It’s never been easier to manage your personal finances. You can log into online banking and pay a credit card bill within seconds – or set up a recurring automatic payment that does it for you.
The ability to manually review cashflow for upcoming payments, set reminders for due dates, and pay bills are all basic useful features. Additionally, as Australian banks offer automatic payments on credit cards, you can also leverage Autopay.
By setting up Autopay, which is a free service, your bank will pay your monthly credit card bill from the account you select. Depending on the bank, you can choose to pay either the minimum amount, a set number or the full balance. All you have to do is ensure there are enough funds in the account that will be debited – otherwise the payment could be cancelled and result in a missed credit card payment fee. For example, Westpac charges $15 for missed payments.
An automatic payment on a credit card is different from using the card to Autopay other bills. You can use the credit card as the recurring payment option for your expenses, which will be set up on the respective provider’s website. For example, if you’re a Vodafone customer, you can use the credit card as the payment method, which will be tied to your Vodafone login, not your online banking.
If you’ve missed a payment before or like the peace of mind of knowing you won’t in the future, Autopay could be your financial best friend.
» MORE: Guide for credit card payments
Why automate your credit card payment?
The main benefit of setting up autopayments is never missing a bill. Life is busy and it’s easy to miss an ‘upcoming payment’ notification. With Autopay, your credit card will always be paid on time and at the right amount.
Just be aware of your cashflow and what’s going in and out of the account you’ve chosen as the payment method – give it a day or two on either side of the due date in case of processing delays.
The second major reason to set up autopay for your credit card is to protect your score. Missed payments on bills and outstanding debt can damage your credit score.
You’ll receive messages for upcoming payments, both within your online banking and via email. Keep an eye out for those notifications, so you can double check your balance before the payment processes. It’s also helpful to not drop below a certain balance in your account to avoid issues if multiple payments come out at the same time.
Credit card Autopay options
You can choose to pay:
- The minimum required payment.
- The full balance (to avoid interest charges).
- A set monthly amount (for example, $200).
Westpac also offers the option to set the payment as a percentage of the closing balance, if that suits your budgeting better.
How to Autopay credit card bills
Most banks provide an easy way to set up automatic credit card payments for bills, either through the dedicated app or desktop online banking. Some lenders, however, require you to complete a direct debit approval form. It’s the same process if you need to make changes or cancel the Autopay.
The big four:
- Log into the CommBank app.
- Under View accounts, pick the credit card.
- Click Manage, then Set Up AutoPay
- Enter your PIN.
- Select Autopay type and confirm.
- Sign into Westpac Online Banking.
- Go to Services & Preferences.
- Select Services, then Card Services.
- Click Manage Card Autopay and choose Pay From account.
- Log into the NAB App.
- Open Cards and choose the credit card.
- Under Repayment Details, click Manage Automatic Payments.
- Complete details and check if NAB Card Autopay is showing up.
ANZ refers to automatic payments on credit cards as CardPay Direct. Consumers need to fill in this form and send it (by email or physical mail) to ANZ.
To set up Autopay for a credit card, customers need to complete a Direct Debit Request form. Macquarie Bank will inform customers once the direct debit has been set up. Until then, they recommend that you continue to make manual payments.
All changes to the Autopay schedule or setup must be made the same way, through the Direct Debit Request form.
Complete the Direct Debit form and return it to Suncorp. The quickest way is through Suncorp Internet Banking. Go to Credit Card Services and Document Upload. Follow the prompts.
» MORE: How do credit cards work?
Tips for automating credit card payments
- Check your bank’s Autopay terms and conditions, fees and processing times.
- Request reminder notifications if they don’t come through automatically.
- For the first few cycles, put a reminder in your phone to check your bill and payment account before the Autopay due date.
- Don’t let your payment account drop below a certain amount. If you want to avoid interest, your funds should cover the total credit card bill each month.
- Try the different Autopay setup types to find the best structure for you – partial payment, full balance, a set amount or percentage.
Credit card autopayments, if used correctly, can help empower your personal finances. Just make sure you prioritise paying off your credit card, not just the monthly bill. Paying on time is important but paying it down is the ultimate goal.
Frequently asked questions about automatic credit card payments
It’s easy – just log into your online banking, find the respective card and activate Autopay. Look for the prompt ‘Set up Autopay’ or ‘Card Autopay.’ Select the account you want to pay it from each month.
You can change or cancel Autopay by following the same prompts. Simply click ‘Cancel Card Autopay’ or edit it. In the Westpac login, for example, you can choose the minimum monthly payment, the full balance, a fixed dollar amount or fixed percentage.