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I always pay the full statement amount on my Discover, and have been using the website since forever. It always featured a button to "pay statement amount" or something like that along with "pay current balance," "pay minimum payment," and "other amount," which you could fill in. I would just click the "statement amount" button and set the payment date. Today, I wasn't paying much attention and didn't notice there were only three buttons: "current balance," "minimum payment," and the "other amount" box. I hit the "current balance" button before I noticed it didn't match my statement; it was about $500 less.

Discover has removed the "pay statement amount" button. Now you have to enter the statement balance in the "other" box. I called Discover about it, and the guy said "There's no statement amount button," like there was never one there. Well, there was.

This is not a huge deal, but if had gone through the payment process, I would've been short on my payment and owed finance charges next month. I just wanted to give other Discover users a heads up on this.

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What were you buying and returning that was $1k? And did you do this 3x one month, or did you buy something $3k? What wa... (more)

wfay (Aug. 30, 2013 @ 10:42p) |

It does not satisfy the need for a minimum payment, but it is taken into consideration when calculating whether or not s... (more)

barbcole (Aug. 30, 2013 @ 10:50p) |

That's not been my experience.  What if, in your example, the credit was for the full $1000?  Here's a real example that... (more)

HotSalami (Aug. 31, 2013 @ 1:23p) |

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Sneaky. Thanks for the heads-up.

I reviewed my Discover payment options. I copied the my payment options below and I have different options. The available option to pay the Last Statement Balance would negate any finance charges.

Could other Discover users review their options since the OP's and my options differ.

How Much?

$10.00 (Minimum Payment)

$10.00(Last Statement Balance)

$ (Other Amount)

The OP had no "pay statement balance" because their current balance was less than the statement balance and Discover does not allow payments in excess of current balance through their website.

Nothing to see here....

Do they really charge you fees if the statement balance is higher than current balance, and you just pay the current balance?

I always pay the lower of the 2 (most likely not @ discover) but I don't get charge fees.  

Don't care - always prepay Discover cards less "Small Balance Credit."

Barbcole is right. Op is wrong. Nothing to see here, move along.

barbcole said:   The OP had no "pay statement balance" because their current balance was less than the statement balance and Discover does not allow payments in excess of current balance through their website.

Nothing to see here....

  this.

wfay: Not sure what I'm wrong about. The "pay statement" button was not there on my screen. I asked the Discover person why and he could not tell me. If I had not been paying attention, I would've paid the wrong amount.

barbcole: "The OP had no "pay statement balance" because their current balance was less than the statement balance and Discover does not allow payments in excess of current balance through their website."

This could be the reason, and I don't know why the operator didn't explain this to me. A couple of refunds came in after the statement date, thus reducing the current balance. As for Discover not allowing "payments in excess of current balance through their website," I just did it by entering the statement balance into the "other" box as the operator instructed. The payment went through and gave me a confirmation number.

Maybe I slipped through some Discover payment-warp loophole by momentarily having a lower balance than the statement. Regardless, I still think this is something to watch out for. I've had this Discover card for 27 years, used the website as long there's been a website, have always paid the statement balance, and this has never occurred. By the Sept. 15 statement due date, the account balance will certainly be above the statement balance, and the pay statement button will reappear. But, as far I understand it, I will still owe the statement balance, and as of today, if I had not caught the missing button, I would've set my payment up $500 short.

floatupstream said:   wfay: Not sure what I'm wrong about. The "pay statement" button was not there on my screen. I asked the Discover person why and he could not tell me. If I had not been paying attention, I would've paid the wrong amount.
 

  
You did pay the wrong amount. You would've been fine if you payed the lower amount.
floatupstream said:   But, as far I understand it, I will still owe the statement balance, and as of today, if I had not caught the missing button, I would've set my payment up $500 short.

You understand incorrectly. Your refunded purchases already accounted for the missing $500. You only needed to pay the difference. There's no magic statement number to pay; you just have to pay for your purchases from the previous statement period.

floatupstream said:   This could be the reason, and I don't know why the operator didn't explain this to me. A couple of refunds came in after the statement date, thus reducing the current balance. As for Discover not allowing "payments in excess of current balance through their website," I just did it by entering the statement balance into the "other" box as the operator instructed. The payment went through and gave me a confirmation number.

Maybe I slipped through some Discover payment-warp loophole by momentarily having a lower balance than the statement. Regardless, I still think this is something to watch out for. I've had this Discover card for 27 years, used the website as long there's been a website, have always paid the statement balance, and this has never occurred. By the Sept. 15 statement due date, the account balance will certainly be above the statement balance, and the pay statement button will reappear. But, as far I understand it, I will still owe the statement balance, and as of today, if I had not caught the missing button, I would've set my payment up $500 short.

First, I am pretty sure that the credits you received would count as a payment, so even if your balance went up again before payment was due, all you really owed to considered pay in full was the previous balance minus the credits already received.

As for the phone operator not knowing the correct answer, please tell me why this should come as a surprise to anyone?

Use Autopay and none of this is a problem.

floatupstream said:   I always pay the full statement amount on my Discover, and have been using the website since forever. It always featured a button to "pay statement amount" or something like that along with "pay current balance," "pay minimum payment," and "other amount," which you could fill in. I would just click the "statement amount" button and set the payment date. Today, I wasn't paying much attention and didn't notice there were only three buttons: "current balance," "minimum payment," and the "other amount" box. I hit the "current balance" button before I noticed it didn't match my statement; it was about $500 less.

Discover has removed the "pay statement amount" button. Now you have to enter the statement balance in the "other" box. I called Discover about it, and the guy said "There's no statement amount button," like there was never one there. Well, there was.

This is not a huge deal, but if had gone through the payment process, I would've been short on my payment and owed finance charges next month. I just wanted to give other Discover users a heads up on this.

Why would you want to pay more than you owe? Sounds like Discover did you a favor, preventing your carelessness from overpaying your account - only you then proceeded to ignore it and force through a $500 overpayment anyways...

And no, you wont be charged finance charges if you bring your balance down to zero, regardless of what your last statement said was due.
 

How can current balance be less then statement balance thus invoking a finance charge?

First of all, thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. This has turned into a good discussion.

These refunds came in AFTER the statement. They do not appear on the statement. They appear on the website. That means they'll appear on the next statement and the refunded amounts will be deleted from THAT total (the September statement).

By September 14, the day before the payment posts, the acct. balance will be back up to $8k, and the statement amount will no longer be higher than the account balance. I don't see paying this full statement amount as overpaying because it's not being paid today. It's being paid September 15. I'm just setting it today.

I've always gone by the paper (yes, paper) statement amounts, not the website or the current account balance. So I'll pay for the refunded purchases this month, but they will be subtracted from the statement total next month. This is roundabout, and I've always wondered what would happen if I paid an adjusted amount, but I'm so leery of finance charges I've been afraid to do it. For me, the trouble is not worth a few dollars here or there.

As for Autopay, I checked the website, and the options are to pay:

* the Minimum Payment Due
* the Minimum Payment Due + a Fixed Amount you specify
* a Fixed Amount you specify
* your Full Statement Balance

So, I would set it for full statement balance, which would be the same thing I'm doing now manually.

Thanks everyone!

- On a spreadsheet column: 1) enter your closing statement balance as a positive number, 2) enter post-statement payments and credits as negative numbers, 3) sum that column.   The "sum" is the amount due by the due date. 
A1 = Closing Statement Balance
A2:A9 = Post-Statement Payments/Credits
A10 =SUM(A1:A9)
- To track your current balance: 1) start a new column where the first number = sum from the other column, 2) enter your post-statement purchases as positive numbers (or aggregate all purchases as one positive number), 3) sum that column.
B1 =A10
B2:B9 = current purchases
B10 =SUM(B1:B9)


 

floatupstream said:   First of all, thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. This has turned into a good discussion.

These refunds came in AFTER the statement. They do not appear on the statement. They appear on the website. That means they'll appear on the next statement and the refunded amounts will be deleted from THAT total (the September statement).

By September 14, the day before the payment posts, the acct. balance will be back up to $8k, and the statement amount will no longer be higher than the account balance. I don't see paying this full statement amount as overpaying because it's not being paid today. It's being paid September 15. I'm just setting it today.

I've always gone by the paper (yes, paper) statement amounts, not the website or the current account balance. So I'll pay for the refunded purchases this month, but they will be subtracted from the statement total next month. This is roundabout, and I've always wondered what would happen if I paid an adjusted amount, but I'm so leery of finance charges I've been afraid to do it. For me, the trouble is not worth a few dollars here or there.

As for Autopay, I checked the website, and the options are to pay:

* the Minimum Payment Due
* the Minimum Payment Due + a Fixed Amount you specify
* a Fixed Amount you specify
* your Full Statement Balance

So, I would set it for full statement balance, which would be the same thing I'm doing now manually.

Thanks everyone!

  
Yes yes, you are still arguing, and you are still wrong.  If your refunds came in after the statement then it would still apply against your total balance, and so the system would still see that you owe less than the statement balance.

It's fine if you want to give them money a month early, we don't care -- just don't act like it's some conspiracy theory.

Be aware that discover will now debit your deposit account 10 days before the due date if you use the balance in full autopay option. The other autopay options still debit on the due date.

ryoung81 said:   
 
  
"Yes yes, you are still arguing, and you are still wrong.  If your refunds came in after the statement then it would still apply against your total balance, and so the system would still see that you owe less than the statement balance.

It's fine if you want to give them money a month early, we don't care -- just don't act like it's some conspiracy theory."


Agreed.    Think about it this way:  If your statement balance is $50, and you return $100 in merchandise, the bank now owes you $150.  so why would you pay them ANYthing?  Call the bank and they'll tell you the same thing - don't pay.
 

NEDeals said:   Be aware that discover will now debit your deposit account 10 days before the due date if you use the balance in full autopay option. The other autopay options still debit on the due date.
  There's been no change that I know of; from the Discover autopay options page:  
"Full Statement Balance 
(Automatically withdraw the last full statement balance on your Discover Card every month, 10 days before the last day of the following billing period.)"

This works out to about 5 days before the actual payment due date.  I have a similar problem with my Costco Amex card (which I hardly ever use); full payment on the due date is not an option.  Instead they make you pick how many "days after statement closing date."

The change was actually a few years back, i've been doing autopay since the 90s. My statement closes on the 15th, previously the autopay was also on the 15th, slightly after the due date.

After the change, my autopay is on the
5th. You are right, it is about 5 days before the due date.

floatupstream said:   
These refunds came in AFTER the statement. They do not appear on the statement. They appear on the website. That means they'll appear on the next statement and the refunded amounts will be deleted from THAT total (the September statement).

 

 
It is not that hard to understand, not sure why you refuse to get it. A refund is a credit on the account, just like your manual payments. If you have a refund post on X date it is _exactly_ the same as posting a payment of that amount on the same date. 

Ecuadorgr said:   
It is not that hard to understand, not sure why you refuse to get it. A refund is a credit on the account, just like your manual payments. If you have a refund post on X date it is _exactly_ the same as posting a payment of that amount on the same date. 

No kidding.  I've *always* paid all of my credit cards prior statement balances *to the penny*, inclusive of any posted credits for the current statement cycle.  It's easier for me to reconcile that way.  In fact, Discover's own statements combine the figures in their Account Summary ('Payments and Credits').  It's not hard to understand...  What if you had no purchase transactions during a statement cycle where you had a posted credit?  You're supposed to pay twice (by way of the credit + payment)?  I don't think so...

I always pay the statement balance, irrespective of any credits that might have posted, so I can kind of see where the OP is coming from.  I can see the hesitancy to regard the credits as payments.  Take the scenario below:

Statement balance:  $1,500
Next month, buy a $1,000 item and return it a few days later (and no other activity for simplicity).
If the "return" results in a $1,000 credit, then pay remaining previous statement balance of $500.
Next month's statement balance: $1,000 (and no interest)???

Is this a loophole for perpetual deferral of interest charges (and payments)?

dcwilbur said:   I always pay the statement balance, irrespective of any credits that might have posted, so I can kind of see where the OP is coming from.  I can see the hesitancy to regard the credits as payments.  Take the scenario below:

Statement balance:  $1,500
Next month, buy a $1,000 item and return it a few days later (and no other activity for simplicity).
If the "return" results in a $1,000 credit, then pay remaining previous statement balance of $500.
Next month's statement balance: $1,000 (and no interest)???

Is this a loophole for perpetual deferral of interest charges (and payments)?


While I've never done this, I'm pretty confident that the return credit would be applied to the same attachment as the purchase (or later if the statement was already paid), so I'd say no.

dcwilbur said:   Statement balance:  $1,500
Next month, buy a $1,000 item and return it a few days later (and no other activity for simplicity).
If the "return" results in a $1,000 credit, then pay remaining previous statement balance of $500.
Next month's statement balance: $1,000 (and no interest)???

Is this a loophole for perpetual deferral of interest charges (and payments)?

 Have been doing for years when could not pay statement in full as our income was much smaller than currently, works really well if you do not mind the hassle and that some stores can blacklist you if you do it too often for high price items. Lately many cards changed their T&C that you still need to do min payment, so in you example it will work as you will be doing $500 payment anyway.

I believe MoneyOCD is correct. The credit card company categorizes payments and returns as credits to your account. So in the case that dscwilbur described, the return of $1000 would count as a credit to the account, therefore, only need to pay $500 to avoid interest. However, I would not recommend doing so multiple times.

While there might be some confusion regarding credits on refunds (though I also think MoneyOCD is correct), there's one very clear and obvious line:

If your balance is less than or equal to zero at some point between your statement date and your due date, you will pay no interest. Period.

tchen811 said:   I believe MoneyOCD is correct. The credit card company categorizes payments and returns as credits to your account. So in the case that dscwilbur described, the return of $1000 would count as a credit to the account, therefore, only need to pay $500 to avoid interest. However, I would not recommend doing so multiple times.
  Yes, we never did more than 2 months is row. Largest amount that we have been "rolling over" is around 3k but that was one time thing. Usually amount did not exceed 1k.

Is this a loophole for perpetual deferral of interest charges (and payments)?
  
If your $1,000 deferred earns 1%, you're making $10 per year for around 10 hours of work.  But you do get the pleasure of possessing the items before you return them.

Ecuadorgr said:   
floatupstream said:   
These refunds came in AFTER the statement. They do not appear on the statement. They appear on the website. That means they'll appear on the next statement and the refunded amounts will be deleted from THAT total (the September statement).

 

 
It is not that hard to understand, not sure why you refuse to get it. A refund is a credit on the account, just like your manual payments. If you have a refund post on X date it is _exactly_ the same as posting a payment of that amount on the_ same date. 

While true in the OP's situation, this is not _exactly_ true. A credit for a return will generally not satisfy the minimum payment requirements for that month's statement at all issuers I am familiar with.
Example: $1,000 statement with a $50 minimum payment. A return and credit of $100 occurs after the statement but before the next payment due date. A minimum payment will still be due (it may not be $50 if the payment was based on % of balance, but nonetheless a "real" payment is still required), the credit does not satisfy the minimum payment requirement. However a payment of $900 would still be a payment in full.

MoneyOCD said:   
tchen811 said:   I believe MoneyOCD is correct. The credit card company categorizes payments and returns as credits to your account. So in the case that dscwilbur described, the return of $1000 would count as a credit to the account, therefore, only need to pay $500 to avoid interest. However, I would not recommend doing so multiple times.
  Yes, we never did more than 2 months is row. Largest amount that we have been "rolling over" is around 3k but that was one time thing. Usually amount did not exceed 1k.

  What were you buying and returning that was $1k? And did you do this 3x one month, or did you buy something $3k? What was it? Just generally curious. I think most stores would freak out over a $3k return...

InTrouble said:   
Ecuadorgr said:   
floatupstream said:   
These refunds came in AFTER the statement. They do not appear on the statement. They appear on the website. That means they'll appear on the next statement and the refunded amounts will be deleted from THAT total (the September statement).

 

 
It is not that hard to understand, not sure why you refuse to get it. A refund is a credit on the account, just like your manual payments. If you have a refund post on X date it is _exactly_ the same as posting a payment of that amount on the_ same date. 

While true in the OP's situation, this is not _exactly_ true. A credit for a return will generally not satisfy the minimum payment requirements for that month's statement at all issuers I am familiar with.
Example: $1,000 statement with a $50 minimum payment. A return and credit of $100 occurs after the statement but before the next payment due date. A minimum payment will still be due (it may not be $50 if the payment was based on % of balance, but nonetheless a "real" payment is still required), the credit does not satisfy the minimum payment requirement. However a payment of $900 would still be a payment in full.

  
It does not satisfy the need for a minimum payment, but it is taken into consideration when calculating whether or not sufficient payment was received to maintain the grace period. So as long as you made at least the minimum payment, the remainder could be from credits and you could end up having your entire statement balance "paid" and no interest -- despite having only really paid the minimum payment.

InTrouble said:   While true in the OP's situation, this is not _exactly_ true. A credit for a return will generally not satisfy the minimum payment requirements for that month's statement at all issuers I am familiar with.
That's not been my experience.  What if, in your example, the credit was for the full $1000?  Here's a real example that's occurring to me this very month with Discover (rounded for simplicity), which is a perfect case, as the sucky Discover bonus categories this quarter have limited use of my card to this single purchase:

8/18 Online purchase for $100
8/24 Statement closes.  Balance of $100, with a minimum payment due of $35 (due 9/19)
8/30 Online purchase returned, credit of $93 ($7 was subtracted by the vendor for the return label postage)

What do you think I'll be paying on 9/19?  You can bet that it won't be $35.



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