Guide to Automated Credit Card Payments

Busy cardholders will likely want to take advantage of any opportunities to streamline their finances. A commonly used credit card feature that offers repayment convenience is automated credit card payments, or credit card autopay.

Understanding what autopay is and how it works can help you decide if enrolling in automatic payments is right for you. There are definite benefits to setting up autopay, but there are downsides to take into account as well. You’ll also need to consider how you’d like to configure credit card autopay, as there are a few different options.

What Is an Automated Credit Card Payment and How Does it Work?

An automated credit card payment is a recurring payment that’s scheduled for the same day each month. The automatic payment is typically made on a date that’s either before or on the statement due date.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


Autopay allows cardholders the convenience of making payments on a periodic basis without having to manually set up payments. This also helps with avoiding late or missed payments.

When you enroll in automated credit card payments through your credit card issuer, you’re authorizing the issuer to request a certain payment amount on a specific date from your banking institution. When the autopay date arrives, your card issuer’s bank will send your bank an electronic request for the payment amount you’ve set up.
Your bank then will fulfill the payment request and send it to the merchant’s bank (i.e., your card issuer).

Recommended: How Credit Card Payments Work

Credit Card Autopay Options

There are a few ways to approach automatic bill payments through your card issuer. Each has its benefits and caveats, so assess your own financial situation before choosing an autopay strategy for your credit card.

Paying the Minimum

One option is establishing automated credit card payments for the minimum amount that’s due on your billing statement. The minimum payment is the smaller amount due that’s shown on your statement or online account, and the amount of it varies based on your total charges at the close of your card’s billing cycle.

Selecting to pay the minimum can be useful if you don’t have enough money to repay the entire statement in one fell swoop. By paying the minimum, you’ll fulfill the issuer’s minimum requested payment and keep your account in good standing — which, in turn, helps keep your credit score in good standing.

However, this means you’ll roll over the remaining statement balance into the next billing period, which will lead to incurring interest charges due to how credit cards work.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

Paying the Full Balance

You also can choose to pay the full balance as shown on the billing statement for each recurring payment. Paying the full balance is beneficial, because it allows you to avoid having a balance roll into the following billing cycle. This, in turn, means you won’t need to worry about accruing costly interest charges.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Paying a Fixed Amount

Another option is to set up automated credit card payments for a specific, fixed amount. For example, if you exclusively use your card to pay your fixed monthly cell phone bill of $50, you can establish an autopay for $50 toward your account on a recurring schedule. You can also use this option if you’d like to make extra credit card payments throughout the month.

Benefits of Automatic Credit Card Payments

Choosing a credit card that allows autopay can be helpful for various reasons. These are a few of the major upsides to enrolling in automated credit card payments:

•   You won’t risk forgetting about a payment due date.

•   You’ll avoid penalty fees and penalty annual percentage rates (APRs) for making a late payment.

•   Your positive payment history is maintained.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

Drawbacks of Automatic Credit Card Payments

There are also some caveats to consider before you set up autopay. This includes the following:

•   You might face other fees if you have insufficient funds upon autopay.

•   You might slack on reviewing your monthly credit card statement for red flags.

•   You might inadvertently overspend on your card.

Factors to Consider Before Setting up Automatic Credit Card Payments

Before setting up automated credit card payments, honestly assess your finances and habits. Verify that you have sufficient deposits into your checking or savings account to cover the autopay amount you’ve set up.

And if you do set up automatic credit card payments, make sure you continue to check your monthly billing statements. Confirm that all transactions are yours and are accurate, and that your total spending is still manageable.

Setting up Automatic Credit Card Payments

The exact process for how to set up automatic credit card payments can vary somewhat from issuer to issuer, but in general, it’s pretty easy to do. You will need to first log on to your credit card account either online or through the mobile app. It’s also possible to call the number listed on the back of your card to have someone talk you through it.

Pull up the section labeled payments, and you should then be able to find an option to manage or set up autopay. You’ll need to connect a bank account where the payments will get pulled from and select the date and frequency at which you’d like the payment to occur. You should also be able to select which payment option you’d like (minimum due, the full balance, or another amount).

Tips for Stopping Automatic Payments on Credit Card

If you have credit card autopay activated on your account, but need to halt automated payments moving forward, federal law protects your right to rescind authorization for automatic payments. Here are a few ways to go about it:

•   Turn off autopay through your card issuer. Many credit card issuers give cardholders the ability to turn autopay on or off through the app or via their online account’s payment settings. Just make sure you do so before the next automated payment is processed.

•   Revoke authorization from your card issuer. Call your credit card issuer to revoke authorization for autopay. Then, follow up the call with a written letter revoking authorization, and requesting a stop to automatic payments on your account.

•   Request a stop payment order from your bank. You can also contact your bank to place a stop payment order on any automated payment transactions requested by the card issuer.

Regardless of how you stop automated payments from occurring, continue reviewing your monthly statement and account activity to ensure that the autopay has ceased.

What Happens if You Overpay Your Credit Card Balance?

Let’s say you inadvertently set up autopay to higher than the balance — what could you do then? Typically, credit card overpayments are processed as a negative balance. A credit for the overpaid amount should be reflected on the next billing statement, assuming your new transactions bring your account above a zero balance.

However, you do have the right to request a refund from the card issuer, instead of having it applied as a credit. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has in place regulatory credit card rules for card issuers when it comes to an overpayment on your card account. It states that upon receipt of a consumer’s written refund request for an overpayment, an issuer must provide the refund within seven business days.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

The Takeaway

Automated credit card payments are a convenient option, particularly for busy cardholders. In addition to helping you keep your card account in good standing, autopay can provide peace of mind. By automating payments, you’ll more easily avoid credit card delinquency, penalty fees, and penalty APRs for late payments.

Having a card that gives back through rewards is another useful feature to look out for in a credit card. When you apply for a credit card with SoFi and get approved, you can earn competitive cash-back rewards on all spending. And for a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Apply for a credit card with SoFi today!

FAQ

Is it a good idea to automate monthly credit card payments?

Whether enrolling in automated credit card payments is a good idea depends on your current financial situation. You must reliably have the payment amount in your checking or savings account each month, and not be at risk of overdrawing or having insufficient funds. Also consider your other financial responsibilities and personal money management habits to decide if automated payments are right for you.

Do automatic payments affect your credit score?

Thirty-five percent of your FICO credit score calculation is based on your payment history. Automatic payments can help you make on-time payments for at least the minimum balance due so your payment history remains positive. As long as the deposit account that automatic payment is drawn from has adequate funds, the credit card autopay transaction can be advantageous to your credit profile.

Do banks charge for automated credit card payments?

No, banks and credit card issuers don’t charge an additional fee to make automated credit card payments. Autopay is intended as a payment method convenience for cardholders. But ultimately, it helps card issuers and banks better secure repayment from customers, thereby lessening the risk of a late payment or delinquent account.


Photo credit: iStock/PeopleImages

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
†SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS PROSPECTIVELY BASED ON MARKET CONDITIONS AND BORROWER ELIGIBILITY. Your eligibility for a SoFi Credit Card Account or a subsequently offered product or service is subject to the final determination by The Bank of Missouri (“TBOM”) (“Issuer”), as issuer, pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Please allow up to 30 days from the date of submission to process your application. The card offer referenced in this communication is only available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age (or of legal age in your state of residence), and who reside in the United States.

*You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.

Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 10/1/22 12:01 AM ET to 12/31/23 11:59PM ET

Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions (“Direct Deposit”) into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.

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Transferring Money from a Credit Card to a Debit Card

Transferring Money from a Credit Card to a Debit Card

If you need quick access to cash, you can get a short-term loan in the form of a money transfer or cash advance from a credit card. You can transfer money from a credit card to a debit card, and the process is a fairly straightforward and simple one. However, expect to get hit with a fee and interest charges. Plus, you’ll be on the hook for paying back the transferred amount.

Read on to learn how to transfer money from a credit card to debit card, what to consider when doing so, and the fees involved — as well as alternatives you might explore instead.

What Is a Money Transfer Credit Card?

As the name implies, a money transfer credit card is a card that allows you to move money from your credit card to a debit card or to your bank account.

Many credit card issuers allow you to make a credit card advance. As a cardholder, you can take out a certain amount of cash against your line of credit, which is what a credit card is. These cash advances usually come with fees.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


Can You Transfer Money From a Credit Card to a Debit Card?

While it’s typically more common to transfer a cash advance from a credit card to a bank account, you can send money from a credit card to a debit card. You can make a money transfer to a debit card in your own name, or to another account holder, effectively allowing you to send money to your loved ones using a credit card.

The credit card process for how to transfer credit card money to a debit card is fairly similar to moving money from a credit card to a bank account. Usually, you’ll need to provide the following information:

•   Name on the card

•   Card number

•   Expiration date

•   Bank account number (in some cases)

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit?

Factors to Consider Before Transferring Money from a Credit Card

Before you transfer money from a credit card to a debit card, here are a few thing to mull over:

•   There are caps on a cash advance. Credit cards usually have a cap on a cash advance. The exact limit depends on the rules for a credit card set by the credit card issuer. For instance, it might be a set amount, such as $5,000, or it might be a percentage of your personal credit limit, such as 15%.

•   You might have to step foot inside a bank. If your credit card has a PIN, similar to a debit card, then you’ll be able to get a cash advance from an ATM. But if you want to do a proper money transfer from a credit card to your bank account or debit card, you might need to go to a brick-and-mortar location of a physical bank.

•   Cash advances could have an impact on your credit score. The good news is that cash advances don’t require a hard pull of your credit, which could hurt your score. However, taking out a cash advance can impact your credit by increasing your credit utilization ratio. That’s because carrying a higher balance ups your credit usage, which in turn can bring down your score.

•   You won’t earn rewards. While you’re using your credit card to tap into cash, you won’t earn any rewards or points. That’s because cash advances usually don’t earn rewards.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

How Much Does Transferring Money From a Credit Card Cost?

Nothing in life is free, and this includes money transfers from a credit card. Here are some costs that go into a credit card money transfer:

•   Cash advance fee: Just like with balance transfer credit cards, you’ll typically owe a fee to do a money transfer from a credit card to either your debit card or bank account. The fee varies depending on the card, and it might be a flat fee or a percentage of the amount of the advance. For instance, the fee might be $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater.

•   Cash advance APR: The annual percentage rate (APR) for a cash advance is usually higher than the standard APR that comes with your card. We’re talking an average of 24%, which is 9% higher than the standard purchase APR. Additionally, with standard purchases on a credit card, you have a grace period between the end of the billing period and the date your payment is due. During that time, you won’t be charged interest. When you transfer money from a credit card to a debit card, however, there’s no grace period. That means you’ll be charged interest from the time you take a cash advance.

•   Late charges, if applicable: If you’re late on a payment, you’ll most likely get hit with a late fee.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

Is It Safe to Transfer Money From a Credit Card to a Debit Card?

For the most part, transferring money from a credit card to a debit card is pretty secure. Banks have built-in security features, so moving money between cards or to a bank account is generally considered safe.

Once you’ve sent your payment, you may want to check in with the intended recipient to ensure they received the funds in the credit card to debit card transfer.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

Alternatives to Transferring Money From a Credit Card to a Debit Card

Moving money from a credit card to a debit card is just one method of sending money. There are other ways you can tap into your credit card limit in the form of cash, including:

•   Writing a check: In lieu of getting that money transferred to your debit card, the credit card company might mail you a check. You can either use it as a personal check or to make a deposit into your bank account.

•   Pulling money from an ATM: If your credit card comes with a PIN, you can withdraw money via a cash advance.

•   Using a payment app: You can also use popular payment apps like PayPal or Square’s Cash App to send money to someone else with your credit. Once you’ve linked your card, you may have the option to send money to someone else. Keep in mind that you or the recipient will likely incur fees.

And, of course, the ideal path is to avoid taking out a cash advance entirely. If you’re in a pinch, you could also explore options like borrowing money from a friend or family member, taking out a low-interest personal loan, or dipping into your emergency fund. All of these alternatives will allow you to avoid the fees and interest charges that can accompany the transfer money from a credit card to a debit card.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

The Takeaway

A cash advance by way of transferring money from a credit card to a debit card could be a quick, easy way to access money. The trade-off is that you’ll be paying high interest charges and a fee. Before doing so, make sure it’s the right choice for you and your needs. Also, be careful not to take more cash than you need, as this will have an effect on your credit utilization.

If you’re on the hunt for a new credit card, consider applying for SoFi’s credit card. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.

FAQ

Can I transfer money from my credit card to my debit card without paying interest?

No, transferring money from your credit card to debit card comes with interest charges. The APR for a cash advance is typically higher than the standard APR on the card. Plus, you won’t get a grace period, so interest will begin accruing immediately.

Is it better to get a personal loan or transfer money from my credit card?

A personal loan is generally preferable to transferring money from a credit card. That’s because it’s possible to find no-fee personal loans, whereas cash advances generally carry fees. Plus, the interest rate on a personal loan is likely lower than the APR you’d be charged on a cash advance.

Can I withdraw cash using a credit card?

Yes, you can take out cash using a credit card as a cash advance. Mind the fees, rates, and fact that there’s no grace period on accruing interest before proceeding.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
†SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS PROSPECTIVELY BASED ON MARKET CONDITIONS AND BORROWER ELIGIBILITY. Your eligibility for a SoFi Credit Card Account or a subsequently offered product or service is subject to the final determination by The Bank of Missouri (“TBOM”) (“Issuer”), as issuer, pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Please allow up to 30 days from the date of submission to process your application. The card offer referenced in this communication is only available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age (or of legal age in your state of residence), and who reside in the United States.

*You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.

Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 10/1/22 12:01 AM ET to 12/31/23 11:59PM ET

Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions (“Direct Deposit”) into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
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All About Gas Credit Cards

All About Gas Credit Cards

For many people, gas and fuel purchases are one of the biggest parts of the monthly budget. So it’s no wonder that many people look for ways to save on gas. Gas credit cards can be one option to earn a rebate on gas purchases, either in the form of cash back or other types of credit card rewards.

There are many different types of gas credit cards, each with their own pros and cons. Some gas credit cards work only at one particular chain of gas stations, while others offer rewards no matter where you buy gas and may even give rewards on some non-fuel purchases. Understanding the different types of gas credit cards can help you choose the best gas credit card for your specific situation.

Recommended: Average Gas Prices by State

What Is a Gas Credit Card?

A gas credit card is a term that can refer to a number of different types of credit cards. One might be a standard credit card that earns bonus credit card points on all gas purchases. Another type of gas credit card is one that is co-branded with an actual gas station and gives rewards at that gas station. There are also gas credit cards that are designed more for companies with large fleets of vehicles.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

How Do Gas Credit Cards Work?

Gas credit cards work in much the same way that any other credit cards work. Most gas credit cards run on a major credit card processing network like Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. That means that even if you might think of it as a gas credit card, it can be used anywhere those types of cards are accepted.

Types of Gas Credit Cards

There are a few different types of gas credit cards put out by various credit card issuers. Here are a few of the most common types of cards to consider if you want to save money on gas.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

General-Purpose Gas Credit Cards

General-purpose gas credit cards are credit cards that earn rewards on a variety of different purchases. They may have gas as one possible bonus category, or they may earn the same high rewards rate on all purchases. The SoFi credit card is an example of a cash-back rewards credit card that allows you to earn cash back on all purchases, including at gas stations.

Gas Station Co-Branded Credit Cards

A gas station co-branded credit card is generally marketed and primarily branded for one particular gas station (BP, Shell, Marathon, etc.). These types of cards are often referred to as “co-branded” because they are branded with both a gas station brand and the brand of the bank that issues it. While these are also usually part of a major credit card processing network like Visa or Mastercard, the rewards they earn are typically targeted to the main “branded” gas station chain.

Fleet Gas Cards

A fleet gas card or fleet fuel card is a different type of gas credit card entirely, and is targeted more toward businesses that have to manage a large fleet of vehicles. A transportation manager can give fleet cards to individual employees, allowing them to pay for things like fuel, repairs, and maintenance without having to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed. The transportation manager can then track and account for all of the disparate charges centrally.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

How Different Types of Gas Cards Compare

If you’re choosing a rewards credit card, there are a few questions that you’ll want to ask yourself:

•   Ease of use: Is this a gas card that can only be used at one particular gas station, or can it be used anywhere?

•   Rewards: Does the reward structure of the card match up with your spending patterns?

•   Fees: What kind of fees does the card have? Avoiding credit card fees is an important part of choosing the right card.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

Which Type of Gas Credit Card Is Right for You?

Trying to determine what’s the best credit card for gas for you? Here’s a look at who two of the most common types of gas credit cards may suit.

Who Gas Rewards Cards Are Best For

The following types of people might be best served by a general purpose credit card that happens to offer rewards on gas purchases:

•   Consumers who frequently shop at multiple different gas stations.

•   Infrequent travelers who spend much more in other categories than they do at gas stations.

•   People looking to maximize their credit card miles or cash back.

Who Gas Station Credit Cards Are Best For

These consumers might find that the best gas credit card for them is a gas station credit card:

•   Consumers who spend an above average amount at gas stations.

•   Travelers who frequently fill up at the same gas station chain every time.

•   Employees who are given a gas station credit card by their employer and are mandated to use it.

Are Gas Credit Cards Generally Worth It?

For many consumers, gas and fuel purchases are one of the biggest spending categories each month. Just like improving gas mileage, earning cash back or other credit card rewards can help offset some of your fuel cost each month. Just make sure to compare the different gas card options to find the best gas credit card for your situation.

The Takeaway

There are a variety of different cards that can be considered gas credit cards. Some gas credit cards are more general rewards credit cards that happen to give a bonus on gas purchases. Other gas station cards have rewards targeted to one particular gas station brand. Still other gas cards are used by companies with large fleets to help manage their transportation expenses.

One general purpose gas credit card is the SoFi credit card. You can earn cash-back rewards points on gas and all other purchases when you apply and are approved for a SoFi credit card. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.

FAQ

Is there a credit card only for gas?

There are some gas credit cards that work only at specific gas stations and do not work for other purchases. Other gas cards are branded with a particular gas station’s color and branding (such as BP, Shell, or Marathon) but are still part of a major credit processing network (like Visa, Mastercard, or American Express). That means that you can use the card anywhere those networks are accepted.

What is the best fuel card to get?

The best fuel card to get is the one that maximizes the rewards based on your unique and specific spending patterns. If you always shop at the same gas station, you might be better off with a card that’s specific to that brand. If you shop at different gas stations or want to earn rewards on non-fuel purchases, you may want to consider a more generic rewards credit card that happens to also earn rewards on gas purchases.

Do gas cards help build credit?

Whether gas cards help build credit depends on specifically what kind of gas credit card it is. If it is a store-specific card that is not part of a major credit card processing network, it likely does not report purchases and credit history to the major credit bureaus. In that case, it likely will not help you build your credit history.


Photo credit: iStock/kckate16

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.


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What To Do if Someone Opened a Credit Card in Your Name

What To Do if Someone Opened a Credit Card in Your Name

Has someone opened a credit card in your name? While you might feel panicked and overwhelmed, it’s important to act fast. There are clear steps you can take to stop the fraudster in their tracks and avoid any harm to your credit score and bank account.

In this piece, we’ll outline:

•   How to find out if someone opened a credit card in your name

•   What to do when someone opens a credit card in your name

•   What to do if a family member commits identity theft

Finding Out That Someone Opened a Credit Card in Your Name

You won’t always immediately know that someone has stolen your identity. However, there are several ways to stay on top of potential identity theft and keep it from getting out of control.

Watch out for some of these common signs of credit card fraud:

•   Bills in the mail for an unfamiliar account in your name

•   Email or text notifications for a new account opening that you did not initiate

•   Notification that an account in your name has gone to a debt collections agency

•   Notification from an identity monitoring service or free credit monitoring service that a new account has been opened

•   Unfamiliar activity while reviewing your free credit report

•   An unexplained drop in your credit score

•   Credit application rejection because of a drop in your score

Recommended: Credit Card Scams You Should Know About

7 Steps to Take When Someone Opens a Credit Card in Your Name

“Someone opened a credit card in my name. What should I do?”

It’s a question you never want to have to ask — yet it can happen to anybody. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 2.8 million fraud reports from consumers, though it’s likely that many more cases of fraud went unreported.

If your identity has been stolen, it’s important to take a breath but remain focused. Knowing what to do if someone applies for a credit card in your name allows you to act quickly. That’s why we’ve put together seven steps to take as soon as you realize someone has opened a credit card in your name.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


1. Contact the Bank or Card Issuer

You may not be a customer of the specific financial institution where the credit card was opened, but that doesn’t mean you can’t call them. In fact, the first thing you should do is contact the credit card issuer’s fraud department and file a report. You can usually find the bank’s customer service information online.

The credit card issuer should be able to close the account during the fraud investigation. But if they won’t, you can ask them to freeze the account until the investigation is complete.

Just in case, it’s a good idea to change the username and password of major online accounts, including your email and online bank logins.

2. Report the Identity Theft to the FTC

The report you file with the credit card issuer is the first of many. Next, file an identity theft report with the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov . The FTC will create a recovery plan and issue you an Identity Theft Report, which you may need when working with the credit card issuer and credit bureaus. When you file the report online, you’ll even be able to access form letters to send to creditors about the fraud.

3. File a Police Report

The FTC also recommends filing a police report any time your identity is stolen. The police can provide you with a copy of the report, which may be helpful in closing new accounts, disputing fraudulent charges, and working with credit bureaus to repair your credit report.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

4. Consider a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze

To further protect your identity, the FTC recommends that you place a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit report. You should only have to contact one of the three credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax — and that bureau must coordinate with the other two. Such alerts ensure that lenders are more thorough in verifying your identity before awarding a line of credit in your name.

Victims of identity fraud can choose between two fraud alerts: initial and extended.

•   Initial fraud alerts last one year but don’t require evidence of identity theft.

•   Extended fraud alerts require the FTC Identity Theft Report and last for seven years. They also remove you from any credit card and insurance offers for the next five years.

You may also want to freeze your credit report with each of the three credit bureaus. To do so, you’ll need to contact each bureau independently. When you freeze your credit report, creditors won’t be able to access it unless you temporarily unfreeze it. This prevents fraudsters from opening credit in your name.

5. Check Your Credit Reports in Detail

As a consumer, you have access to a free credit report every year from AnnualCreditReport.com , and that increases to two a year if you have an extended fraud alert. Creating accounts with individual credit bureaus may also get you access to free credit reports.

It’s important to comb through your credit report upon becoming a victim of credit card fraud. Doing so allows you to identify any other fraudulent accounts or activity you may not yet be aware of.

6. Dispute Fraud with Credit Bureaus

To protect your credit score and remove fraudulent activity found in your report, you’ll need to contact the credit bureaus. You can dispute the fraud online with all three bureaus:

•   Dispute fraud at Experian

•   Dispute fraud at Equifax

•   Dispute fraud at TransUnion

You’ll need a valid copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report for this process, as well as proof of identity and a letter that details which information on the report is fraudulent. Credit bureaus can then work with creditors on any fraudulent account and block them from sending your information to debt collectors.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

7. Remove Charges and Close the Account

Some credit card issuers and banks will immediately remove false charges and close the fraudulent account when you contact them in step one. However, if they could not do that when you first filed, it’s a good idea to get back in touch with them now that you have reports from the FTC and local police.

At this point, you should be able to close the fraudulent account and remove any fraudulent charges.

Recommended: Changing the Name on Your Credit Card

What If a Relative Opens the Card in Your Name?

Because of their close proximity to personal information, family members can more easily commit identity fraud. While we’d like to think a loved one would never steal our identity, it does happen, especially to children and seniors.

In fact, nearly 73% of child identity fraud is committed by a friend or family member with access to the child’s information. Identity theft is also a form of elder abuse — and for that, 60% of the perpetrators are family members.

You now know what to do when someone opens a credit card in your name. But what about when it’s a family member you care about? While it’s ultimately your decision, you risk significant damage to your financial future by not taking action.

Not only will you be on the hook for any expenses in your name and damage done to your credit score, but you’ll also face other future barriers:

•   Your lower credit score may make it more difficult to rent an apartment, get utilities turned on, or find discounts on auto insurance.

•   You may have issues with government support, student loans, and even tax returns if the family member is using your identity in more than one way.

•   You could obtain a criminal record if the family member uses your identity when/if arrested. You also risk being complicit in a crime if you do not report the family member who is committing identity theft.

Ultimately, the steps are the same when reporting a friend or family member, whether it’s a spouse (or an ex), sibling, parent, child, or another relative. You may face one additional task — and that’s confronting the family member before filing your reports.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

The Takeaway

Identity theft is a stressful experience and can have lasting effects on your credit and finances. When someone opens a credit card in your name, it’s crucial that you stay calm and act fast by filing reports with the credit card issuer, FTC, police, and credit bureaus. By taking swift action, you may be able to avoid long-term damage to your finances.

When you open a SoFi Credit Card, you’ll benefit from Mastercard ID theft protection, which keeps your personal information safe-guarded against fraud. But it’s not just identity theft protection that the card offers; you’ll also benefit no foreign transaction fees and cash-back rewards on all purchases.

Access your ID theft protection with a SoFi Credit Card

FAQ

What happens if someone applies for a credit card in your name?

If someone applies for a credit card in your name, it’s important to remain calm and act fast. You’ll need to file reports with the credit card issuer, FTC, local police, and credit bureaus. You may want to put fraud alerts and/or freezes on your credit report and work closely with the credit card issuer to remove any fraudulent charges and close the account.

How do I stop someone from opening a credit card in my name?

While identity theft can happen to anyone, you can make it more difficult for fraudsters to open a credit card in your name by freezing your credit report. You can also put a fraud alert on your account and use credit and identity monitoring services to get notifications about any suspicious activity. Reviewing your bills, bank activity, credit score, and credit report regularly are all helpful ways to detect fraud.

Can someone open a credit card with my Social Security number?

It is possible for a person to use your Social Security number to open a credit card in your name. Thus, keeping your Social Security number private and secure is important for protecting your identity.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
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No Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

No Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

If you bought something while traveling in a foreign country, you might get charged what’s known as a foreign transaction fee. On top of that cost, you could also pay an annual fee on your credit card, which is essentially a charge just for the privilege of using the card.

Depending on the credit card issuer and the card, there are specific rules around these fees and how much they run. Plus, there are some credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fees at all.

Opting for a no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee credit card may seem like the obvious choice when selecting a card — and often it is. However, there are some scenarios when avoiding fees won’t be a cardholder’s top priority.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

What Are Foreign Transaction Fees and When Are They Applied?

As mentioned, a foreign transaction fee is a charge that you might pay when you make a purchase on your credit card while in a foreign country. For instance, you might get charged a foreign transaction fee when buying a ticket to visit a museum or dining at a restaurant abroad. These fees might also get tacked on when you take out money from an ATM in another country.

You don’t necessarily have to be in a foreign country to get charged a foreign transaction fee though. Sometimes, a foreign transaction fee might kick in if you’re buying something from a company that’s based in a foreign country and that processes the transaction in its local currency. For instance, let’s say you buy a pair of shoes from a retailer based in France. If the purchase is processed in Euros, you might be charged a foreign transaction fee.

A foreign transaction fee is typically based on a percentage of the transaction amount. For instance, if your card charged a 2% foreign transaction and you bought an item that cost $100, the foreign transaction fee would be $2.

Foreign transaction fees are a common credit card fee that will show up on your credit card statement, and they can make your travels more expensive. Let’s say you spend $4,000 on a trip overseas, and your credit card charges a 2% foreign transaction fee. In that case, you’d pay $80 extra to cover the cost of foreign transaction fees.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


How Much Are Foreign Transaction Fees?

The amount of foreign transaction fees varies depending on the credit card issuer. That being said, most foreign transaction fees range anywhere from 1% to 3% of the transaction amount. Many cards don’t have a foreign transaction fee.

One thing to note: Foreign transaction fees are different from currency conversion fees. In some cases, you might get hit with a double whammy and be charged both. You could also face a credit card convenience fee, depending on where you use your card.

Foreign Transaction Fees by Credit Card Issuers

Let’s take a look at foreign transaction fees charged by the major credit card issuers. On average, here’s how much they can run, depending on which card you’re using and the issuing bank or credit union:

Credit Card Issuer

Average Foreign Transaction Fee

Visa 0% or 3%
Mastercard 0% or 3%
Discover 0%
American Express 0% to 2.7%

Recommended: How Credit Cards Work

What Are Annual Credit Card Fees and When Are They Applied?

Some cards come with an annual credit card fee. This fee is a yearly charge collected by a credit card issuer in order to use the card. Often, paying an annual credit card fee allows cardholders to tap into special perks and benefits, such as higher credit card points earnings on purchases, extended warranties and price protection, and travel or cash back perks.

The annual credit card fee will turn up on your credit card statement once a year as a single, lump sum charge. Usually you’re charged during the same billing cycle or month in which you initially signed up for the card. Once you pay the annual fee, the next time you’ll get charged is in 12 billing cycles.

You’ll cover a card’s annual fee just like you would any other purchase you put on your card. The fee will show up on your card and get folded into your statement.

How Much Are Annual Fees, Typically?

The amount of an annual fee depends largely on the card, but in general, annual fees can run anywhere from $95 per year to upwards of $500. There are a number of credit cards available that don’t charge an annual fee. And some that do also offer the opportunity to get the fee waived.

Do Cards With No Annual Fees Tend to Also Have No Foreign Transaction Fees?

Whether cards that skip out on charging annual fees will also have no foreign transaction fees really depends. There’s no hard-and-fast rule. In some instances, a card might have an annual fee but no foreign transaction fee. On the flip side, a credit card might have a foreign transaction fee but no annual fee. Or, a card could charge both fees or neither fee.

Before opening an account, it’s important to read the fine print and comb through the terms and fees of a given credit card. This will outline the fees a card might charge as well as the rate of credit card purchase interest charges. That way, you’ll know what you’re getting into with any given card.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

No Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards: Who They’re Great For

Let’s take a look at when a one-two punch of a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee might best benefit you.

Online Shoppers

If you do a lot of your shopping online, particularly through brands that aren’t U.S.-based, you might find a no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee credit card beneficial. That way, if you happen to buy something from a merchant based in a foreign country and credit card processing is done in their local currency, you can save on foreign transaction fees.

Plus, if you have a strong credit score and can snag a card that offers a better-than-average rate of cash-back rewards or points, you might not need to splurge on a card with an annual fee to gain access to added perks.

Recommended: Cash Back Credit Card Study

International Travelers

Foreign transaction fees can rack up quickly if you’re putting purchases on your card while traveling in other countries. For instance, if you spend $5,000 on your credit card while on a trip overseas, and your card charges 3% for foreign transaction fees, that could cost you an additional $150.

To avoid this expenditure, you might be better off looking for a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. You’ll further avoid cuts to your travel budget by skipping out on paying an annual fee.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

No Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards: Who They’re Bad For

If you fall within one of the following groups, you might not find that it’s worthwhile to focus on finding a credit card with no annual fee and foreign transaction fee.

People Who Want the Most Rewards and Perks

For those looking for the most competitive rewards rate, lucrative travel perks, or a sizable welcome bonus, then a credit card with an annual fee might be their best bet. By taking advantage of these benefits offered by the card, you could still come out ahead even with the annual fee, as the perks can effectively offset the cost of the fee.

Just make sure to do the math ahead of time and ensure you’ll take enough advantage of the available perks before agreeing to a hefty annual fee.

Recommended: Choosing a Rewards Credit Card

Those With Poor or Limited Credit

If you have poor credit or a limited credit history, you might not be faced with the choice of credit card miles vs. cash back when choosing a card. Instead, your options may be pretty limited. For those in this situation, a credit card that charges an annual fee and/or foreign transaction fees may still be their best — or only — available option.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

Tips for Save on Credit Card Fees When Traveling Abroad

Hoping to avoid credit card fees while you’re out of the country? Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

•   Ask about fees ahead of time. If you’re not sure which of your credit cards does or does not charge foreign transaction fees, it can pay to ask ahead of time. Then, you can opt to avoid using a card with a hefty rate for foreign transaction fees while you’re traveling. Even if you can’t avoid these fees entirely due to the credit cards you have, you’ll at least avoid a surprise when you get home from your trip and be able to spend more strategically.

•   Consider getting a no foreign transaction fee credit card. If you have the time ahead of your trip, can weather a dip in your credit, and are in the market for a new card, then getting a credit card with no foreign transaction fees — like the SoFi Credit Card — can make sense. This is especially true if you have a number of trips abroad planned for the future.

•   Exchange cash before leaving the country. Another way to dodge fees while traveling is to exchange U.S. dollars for the local currency in the country you’re visiting before you leave. This will allow you to avoid potentially costly trips to the ATM and added fees when swiping your credit card. Just make sure to take safety into consideration before taking out a huge amount of cash.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

The Takeaway

A no annual fee no foreign transaction fee credit card can save you money — especially if it comes with its own set of perks that you don’t have to pay extra for. Plus, you don’t have to keep as close an eye on your spending abroad so you can better kick back and enjoy the sights.

If you’re shopping around for a credit card, the SoFi credit card is an option with no foreign transaction fees. Plus, you can earn competitive cash-back rewards. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.

FAQ

What does it mean when a credit card has no foreign transaction fees?

A credit card with no foreign transaction fee means that you won’t get dinged with a fee should you make a purchase in a foreign country. Depending on how much you end up spending while traveling, it could save you a significant chunk of change.

Why are no annual fees important?

A credit card with no annual fee means money you don’t have to spend. Plus, you won’t have to work as hard for the annual fee to pay off. In other words, you won’t have to strategize to make the most of any special perks, nor will you need to worry about spending a certain amount to offset the cost.

Is 3% foreign transaction fee a lot?

A 3% foreign transaction fee is on the high end of average. The rate of foreign transaction fees can vary, but they typically run anywhere from 1% to 3%, with some cards not charging any foreign transaction fees.


Photo credit: iStock/RgStudio

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.


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