Bank of America automatic payments

Stupid question, but I’ve recently opened a new credit card with BofA, and as I’m living overseas, I’m hoping to avoid a fairly expensive phone call to customer service.

Is there a way, using the BofA website, to set up an automatic payment that will pay off my credit card statement in full? With the other credit cards I’ve had there’s always been an option that allows me to pay off the statement balance. As far as I can see on the recurring payments setup page, I can only specify a set amount (useless, as I spend a different amount each month).

Am I missing something, or do they not offer this ability?

Since you already have an account, and you have used their web site, have you contacted them on the web?

You might be able to do it via your credit card site, instead of your bank’s. You can link to your BOA account from there.

I recently had this question with setting up auto-payment for AT&T or PG&E, I forget which. (I set up both, but I forget which raised the question OP asks.)

There is an option to specify the maximum amount that will be paid each month. But it’s made clear that if your total balance due is less than that, then only the balance due gets paid. No, it’s not going to over-pay. If you set the maximum payment as $100 and you only owe $45, then $45 gets paid.

Take a close look at your BofA auto-payment set-up and see if the option is explained anything like that. It may be that you can simply set up a monthly payment of $1000 or $100000000 or whatever, and it will just pay what you owe, up to that amount. Check it out.

I have, but: there’s no online chat or email option listed under support for bill pay, messages about credit cards make you choose from one of two subjects (order an old statement or financial hardship), and their online chat won’t load properly for me. It also says that it takes up to two days to get a response via email.

To clarify, I’m trying to do it that way. The only account I have with BOA is the credit card I want to pay off; all my other credit cards allow you to set up an automatic bank deduction via the credit card, rather than your bank. If I can’t figure it out through BOA’s site my bank will definitely be my next move, as I’m with USAA and they’re kind of cartoonishly helpful as opposed to BOA’s cartoonish evilness.

BTW (trigger warning! Slight hi-jack and slight threadshit ahead!), I’ve felt very wishy-washy about whether I like on-line bill paying better than just writing an old-fashioned check and mailing it.

I have 5 recurring bills that I choose to pay on-line (well, two of those I recently set up auto-payment for). Paying on-line has always struck me as a bit of a pain-in-the-ass. By the time I can get signed in, navigate to the payments page, and walk through all the payment steps – and on top of which, all the banks keep changing their web-sites and fiddling with the user interface – I often end up gnashing my teeth and swearing to do it all with paper checks from now on.

I am really NOT convinced that paying on-line is easier or faster.

BUT: I recently (within the past 2 weeks) tried paying a few bills by phone. Y’know, I think this may actually be where it’s at. It was faster and easier than farting around with the on-line web-sites. I think I’ll be paying more bills this way from now on. Give it a try!

(Note, I’m comparing pay-by-phone to pay-by-web here. Of course, auto-payments (the subject of this thread) are the easiest of all if you can get it set up right.)

ETA: BTW, BofA is one of the credit cards I paid by phone, just today in fact. It went rather quickly and smoothly, I thought. IIRC their web site is a bit of a pain-in-the-ass to use. Their phone system wants you to use voice commands to do everything, which I dislike. But I answered every question by pushing buttons, and it worked.

Frustratingly, it’s not. I tried going through the setup and there are two options: "Always pay ___", which on the confirmation screen explicitly states that a payment of ___ will me made at whatever interval you want. The only other option I see allows you to set a different amount for the last payment: i.e., always pay $200, except for the last payment on <date> of $100. Great for a loan or mortgage, not very useful for a day-to-day credit card.

Still, I wonder if “always pay __________" must actually mean "pay _________ or full amount due, whichever is less”.

What if you set up $1000 payment and you only owe $45 ? Hard to imagine that it would actually make a payment of $1000 in that case.

If you can’t find anything more clearly written in the fine print, maybe you can just try it. Set a monthly payment of $100. (Or, if your monthly bill is often more than that, set an amount that’s about right for you.) Then just watch your account closely for a few months to see what actually happens. If it actually pays $100 when your bill is less, then you’d just have a credit balance, right? Within reasonable limits, probably no big deal if that happens for a while.

This will result in a credit to your account of $955.

I just went to the BofA site and poked around.

Check this out:

Instead of going to the Auto-Payments set-up page, go to the eBills set-up page. It’s on the same drop-down menu (“Bill Pay” or something like that). At first thought, “eBills” sounds like it would just send you your bills by e-mail instead of snail-mail. But the options on the set-up page appear to suggest that setting up eBills also sets up auto-payments, because there are various options there that seem relevant to that.

This page appears to have the options you want, better designed for CREDIT CARD payments. There is an option to pay bill in full, and I think another option to make the minimum payment, and the sort of option I was thinking of (pay whatever, up to a maximum of $______), and some options about when the payment should happen. It doesn’t actually say anything about making auto-payments, but the kinds of questions on that page sure look like that’s what you’re setting up.

ETA: Hang tight a moment, I’m going to go there again and get a screen shot.

Okay, I was close.

Start with:
– Bill Pay
– -- Automatic/Recurring Payments

Look for the line “e-Bill Initiated - Not Active” – Click on Add

This should take you to the screen you want. Screen shot.

BofA has two different bill payment systems. The one you linked to is the full-blown billpay. It is available only to people who have BofA checking accounts.

For people who only have credit cards, they have a stripped-down system called “Bill Pay Choice.” At the top of the entry page it says “Bill Pay Choice for <your name>.”

I don’t think that can be right. I have a BofA credit card, and NO other BofA account. I’ve already set up an on-line profile for doing on-line payments, where I’ve given the routing and account numbers of my checking account at a different bank. The screen shot shows that it already knows of the account number at the other bank and it seems to say it will happily take the automatic payments from that. (The line where it says Payment From “small pot of pennies”.)

ETA: I mentioned earlier that I made a payment by phone today. There too, I didn’t have to give the routing and account number of my checking account. Even the pay-by-phone system was able to get those numbers from my on-line profile. (Actually, not from my on-line profile, but apparently simply from their internal record of where my last payment came from, which of course was derived from my on-line profile.)

Expensive long distance call? Skype telephone calls (same as with other providers) to US landlines are something like 3 cents per minute.