The greatest positive trait of credit cards is their convenience. They are a way to make purchases quickly and easily without fumbling for cash or worrying about your checking account balance. So why do some people still rely on inconvenient paper statements to track their credit card account activity and make payments? All major credit card companies offer basic online account management services to their card-holders. Being able to make payments over the internet and track your account activity more than once a month is certainly more convenient than relying on snail mail and paper statements. The tools offered by credit card companies vary. Basics like up-to-date statement information and the ability to enter your bank account numbers and make a payment are common services offered on all major credit card account management web pages. However, more advanced features, such as the ability to track your spending and receive notifications and balance information over your phone are offered by some companies, but not all of them.
Here are the companies that offer the best online account services and the most useful tools for managing your credit from a web site or from your phone.
American Express has online account management features that are available to all customers from premium card-holders to people who only have a basic, no-annual fee AmEx card. As with almost all major credit card company web sites, payments can be made over the internet. AmEx allows users to log on, enter their bank account information, and opt for a service that automatically makes the minimum payment on the due date each month. Users who want to make their payments manually over the internet each month can also opt to receive text messages or emails that remind them when a payment is due.
Other credit card companies have smart-phone applications that allow users to do their credit card account management over the phone. Capital One has such an app. Users can see recent activity on their account and receive alerts about credit limits and payment due dates via email or text message. Chase card-holders get a similar application that they can use to track their account. Chase also has a bill pay service that allows users to pay their household bills online using their Chase account. This is possible because Chase has deals with many of the large service providers in the US, including car insurance companies, telecom companies, cable providers, and auto loan companies. Chase can even help you pay your health club membership and your tax bill. Like Capital One, Chase allows users to receive alerts over their phones. However, these alerts can be personalized on the Chase web site, allowing users to get alerts for whatever issue that they are most concerned about. Account preferences can be altered to send alerts when you are approaching your credit limit, when your bill is nearly due, or when a large payments using your card has been made.
Discover Card has a useful account management web site. Not only can card-holders set up alerts and make payments, they can also make charts and graphs that show their spending patterns. Discover also keeps two years of account statements available online, as opposed the one year of statements retained by most credit card companies. Discover offers a fraud alert service that sends an alert to your email or phone if suspicious activity has taken place on your account. Perhaps the most useful tool on Discover’s online account management system is a spend-down calendar that helps you figure out how long it will take to pay off the balance on your credit card.
All these tools make it very convenient to not only make payments to a credit card company, but also to track your account activity.