I still love getting my bills via snail mail. I avoid online statements because I get over a hundred e-mails a day and it is very easy for me to put it off temporarily and never remember to read the e-mail again. A paper bill will stay on my desk until pay it and I file it away.
However, I essentially got paid $50 to sign up for paperless statements when signing up for the Citi Forward® Card (see my review), so of course I did it. This month, I barely got my payment in on time, and was only 2 days away from being dinged a $30 late fee.
As a result, I’ve been gradually visiting all my financial provider websites and signing up for online alerts, which e-mail or text you when certain criteria are met. For example, with Citibank I can get alerts for:
- Current Balance (you choose frequency, up to daily updates)
- Within $XXX of credit limit
- Balance exceeds $XXX
- Payment notification: A payment posted on [xx/xx/xxxx]
- Minimum payment due on [xx/xx/xxxx]
- Balance Alerts (too high or too low… avoid overdrafts!)
- Deposit Notices alert you whenever funds are credited
- Bill Payment Alerts inform you when there are insufficient funds in checking
- Check Alerts notify you whenever checks are presented for payment
- CD Alerts notify when your CD is about to mature.
For the credit cards, the option is under the “Account Profile” menu as opposed to under “Tools” where I thought it would be. See screenshot.
Some sites like American Express also have an alert that triggers when it is X days before the bill is due, but they still haven’t received payment, which find most useful. Another alternative would be to just set up auto-pay on the card while it was on e-statements. But if you’re like me, I just switched my Forward card back to paper statements after I got my 5,000 ThankYou points. Sorry, trees!