Best Bill Payment Services | OMCP

Once upon a time, you had to send bill payments to your utilities, mortgage and credit card companies, vulnerable to …

Once upon a time, you had to send bill payments to your utilities, mortgage and credit card companies, vulnerable to the vagaries of the postal service. But nowadays consumers have many options, including scheduling or paying bills online with each business or using apps and software to streamline the process.

Here are a few ways to make paying bills the old-fashioned way easier, along with tech solutions to help you stay on top of your bills so you can stay on budget and avoid the dreaded late fees.

[See: 35 Ways to Save Money.]

Set up automatic bill payment with your bank. It’s a pretty straightforward process. You will offer your bank account information about each creditor, and your bank will automatically pay these bills each month from your checking account. Often, you can choose to receive a reminder when an invoice is about to be paid – so that if you need to put more money into the account (or prevent the invoice from being automatically withdrawn), you can. to do.

Perform an automatic debit transaction. You can also ask a creditor to deduct money from your bank account on a monthly basis, such as as part of a payment plan. You will give the creditor your bank account and routing number, and they will withdraw the money each month. There are downsides to this because you are giving out your banking information and you really want to make sure that you have money in your bank account every time the payment is deducted. Still, it’s a perfectly valid way to make payments, and by automating those payments you don’t just make it easier for you to pay bills, you also eliminate the risk of forgetting to make the payment yourself. .

Set up automatic payment by credit card. This usually works well for monthly charges like a cell phone or cable bill. This tends to not work well with mortgage or student loan payments (at least federal student loans; private loans can be another matter). Financial companies tend not to want people to borrow money to pay off debt.

The advantage of paying bills with credit cards is that if something goes wrong and a bill is overpaid, it’s usually easier to get your money back. However, as many cardholders know, if you have a credit card that pays you cash back on transactions, this can be an easy way to lower your bills – usually by 1%, but you might be able to get up to it. ‘at 5% reduction. , depending on the credit card.

[Read: Best Cash Back Credit Cards.]

The best bill payment apps and software

If you want to take your bill paying to another level, consider a bill payment app or software.

That said, there are only a handful in the market that actually pay your bills. Most money management apps let you track your bills and budget, but not actually pay using the app. So you can use any of the first four in this list for bill payment and some of the rest for bill budgeting.

– Prism.

– Quick.

– MonChèqueFree.

– Pay the trust.

– Mint.

– PocketGuard.

– You need a budget.

Prism

What it is: It is strictly a bill payment service. It lets you track and pay your bills in one app. You download Prism to your phone or tablet and enter your login details. The app will then sync your account balances and invoices, and you can see them all at the same time. You can then pay bills from the app or schedule bills to pay.

The cost: To free. The app may charge a nominal fee from some billers who might appreciate getting faster payments, but you won’t pay anything.

Advantages and disadvantages : Once you’ve got things set up, you’ll always have everything right at your fingertips on your phone or device. It’s the digital version of sitting at a desk and looking at a bunch of financial statements. The downside is probably that the app lacks some of the bells and whistles that other money management and budgeting apps and software do. You should also be aware that if you pay an invoice and the transaction is declined, you may receive a returned item charge of $ 15 from Prism (and this may be on top of your bank charges).

[Read: Best Budget Apps.]

Accelerate

What it is: This personal finance and money management software does a bit of everything. Its Quicken Bill Manager, within Quicken, is the component that allows you to view and pay all of your bills from your financial dashboard.

The cost: The price can range from $ 34.99 to $ 99.99 per year, depending on the type of computer you have and what features you want with the software.

Advantages and disadvantages : The main advantage is that Quicken offers more than just bill payment services. For example, it allows you to track your investments and create budgets, in order to better manage your finances. One possible downside is that it works best on a desktop computer, although there is a Quicken app, which is compatible with iPhone and Android phones and tablets. And, of course, it’s always negative when you have to spend money. But the hope with any bill payment service is that by always paying your bills on time, staying on budget, and avoiding late fees, the money you shell out will be worth it.

MyChèqueFree

What it is: This is a bill payment service website where you can pay online bills for hundreds of businesses, from A (i.e. Academy Sports + Outdoors) to Z (credit card Zulily).

The cost: To free.

Advantages and disadvantages : The great thing is that it’s free, and while it’s not a flashy website, it’s a perfectly useful bill payment tool. At least one downside is that there is no longer a MyCheckFree mobile app. But you can visit mycheckfree.com from your mobile browser and pay your bills that way. It also takes a few days to process invoices, so if you have an invoice that is going to be overdue if you don’t pay it today, it’s best to try another service. If you use the site a lot, you’ll want to get used to scheduling bills to pay a few days before they are due.

Paytrust

What it is: It is a bill payment service website. As the Paytrust website says: “All your invoices saved and organized online… View any invoice, anytime, anywhere. ”

The cost: You get one month free, then $ 9.95 per month thereafter.

Advantages and disadvantages : Once you’re set up, you’ll pay for the convenience of paying your bills, all at once or individually, with a single click. The downside can be that the setup can be complicated. You need to contact each biller and give them a unique Paytrust PO Box, which means your invoices will be sent to Paytrust (and then you’ll see them on your app or desktop screen). From there, you will no longer receive boring invoices in the mail; they will all appear on your Paytrust app.

mint

What it is: Like Quicken, Mint is one of the leading personal finance and money management software.

The cost: Mint, also known as Intuit Mint, is free.

Advantages and disadvantages : This can be a great way to track your spending and have all of your bills in one place where you can see them. The user interface is user-friendly and you can get your credit score for free. But the downside is that it no longer offers bill payment, a feature that was discontinued in 2018.

[SEE: 10 Best Money-Saving Apps.]

PocketGuard

What it is: This is a money management and budgeting app. Your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investments are all linked with this app, and you will get a useful report showing you how much money you have left after you pay your bills and other expenses.

The cost: There’s a free version, but to get most of the benefits you’ll have to pay for PocketGuard Pro, which costs $ 4.99 per month or $ 34.99 per year.

Advantages and disadvantages : The Pro version has a lot of advantages. You can track how you spend your money across multiple bank accounts and even manage ATM transactions. Other than the price and the app which doesn’t actually offer any bill payment features (you can budget here but not pay the bills from within the app), there is no real downside to PocketGuard. .

You need a budget

How it works: This budgeting application uses a unique system. He makes sure every dollar is accounted for, whether it’s for a bill or for fun. YNAB makes sure every dollar has a place to go.

The cost: There’s a 34-day free trial, and then you’ll spend $ 11.99 per month or $ 84 per year – and you’re better off paying in full for a year. If you go for $ 11.99 per month, after 12 months it comes down to almost $ 144.

Advantages and disadvantages : It’s an easy to use and navigate site, and overall a great app for budgeting. One negative point is that, unlike some of its other competitors, you can’t track your investments or plan for retirement (although a good budget allows you to spend more money on retirement), and you can’t actually pay your bills through this app. .

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