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Q: With all the weddings, graduations, and other holidays this month, I’m afraid I was late paying off my balance on my Citi card. What is the late fee for this card?
A: If you have the Citi Simplicity card (read our review), you will never be charged a late fee!
For the Citi Double Cash card, there is no late fee the first time you miss the due date. For all your following late payments, the late fee is up to $35.
For all other cards, you will need to check the CitiCard website for your card’s cardmember agreement. However, you can expect a late fee of $35 starting with your first late payment. (The cardmember agreement, if you’re not familiar with it, lists important information such as late fee amounts, interest rates, and balance transfer fees.)
It’s important to know your payment due date. Make sure to read your credit card statement, and check what time of day your payment is due. If you miss this by even a few minutes, most credit card companies will charge you a late fee. And remember—the payment must be received by the due date, not sent out by it. This doesn’t just apply to payments that you’ve mailed in. Even electronic transfers from your bank to theirs can take a few days. It’s always best to send in your payment as early as possible.
Another unfortunate side effect of sending in a late payment is a possible rate hike. Credit card companies have different policies on this, but most will raise interest rates after a few late payments, and some will raise rates after only one. Always check your statement for the due date, and send in the payment at least a week ahead of time, and you should be able to keep yourself from expensive late fees and avoidable interest rate increases.