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When is my credit card payment considered late?

Credit card companies generally can’t treat a payment as late if it’s received by 5 p.m. on the day it’s due (in the time zone stated on the billing statement), or the next business day if the due date is a Sunday or holiday.

Generally, you shouldn’t receive a late charge on your credit card statement if your payment was received by the credit card company by 5 p.m. on the day it was due. If the due date was a day the card company wasn’t receiving or accepting mail – generally weekends or a holiday – you have until 5 p.m. on the next business day. A card issuer may also set a reasonable cut-off time for online payments to be considered on time. For in-person payments, a card issuer may have a cut-off time earlier than 5 p.m., based on when the branch or office closes for the day.

How to avoid credit card late fees

For payments to be considered on time, they need to be received by that due date, rather than mailed on that date.

Keep in mind that payments may get delayed in the mail, and even online bill pay services can take time to process.

To avoid late fees, it’s always a good idea to send your credit card payments as early as possible. By making your payment on time, you can avoid paying late fees as well as interest on your purchases if you pay your balance in full each month.

If your payment was received late, you can contact your card company and ask if they’d consider waiving the late fee.

Learn more about credit cards