My credit card won't let me payoff expenses while they're still pending, so sometimes I have to wait.
Ooh, this!. I hate that AMEX won't let you pay in advance. I set up a payment before I left on vacation. It was scheduled to pay a week early, but for unknown reasons, it never happened. By the time I returned home, I had a nastygram from them threatening my credit score and raising my interest rate to something like 29%. To which I say "Meh, who cares?", since I make it a practice of paying it off monthly (this glitch excepted). I'm FIRE, house and cars are paid for, so what does a few points drop in score really matter? It just pisses me off that they are so nasty. I've had an AMEX for over thirty years and they don't care, they just jack up the interest rates because they can. I'd dump them except that I use it at Costco weekly. At least it's "free".
I feel sorry for people who are struggling. Really 29% for one late??? I can laugh at them but someone who's struggling is so screwed. The "punishment" certainly does not fit the "crime".
For the record you can
pay your amex card early, I do it all the time. Just go to make a payment and manually change the amount to how much you want to pay. I sometimes even pay before I make big purchases, so I have a negative balance on my card (MC allows me to do the same). I like zero balances on my cards, even if I know it's not going to accumulate interest until next month. I would rather zero it out and be able to relax.
I have also found amex to be very understanding and forgiving if you are a good customer. I had something similar happen to me, although they didn't sent me a nastygram, just a late fee. I called an explained that I scheduled the payment, as I always do since the beginning of my becoming their customer, and I don't know what happened, and they made a "one time exception" and straightened it all out for me.
I have been caught by the "residual interest" trick (this is why I pay extra to get myself to a negative balance). This trick works like this:
Make payment of $10,000, leaving a 0.01 balance.
CC sees that you did not pay "in full" and so charge you interest on the entire $10,000.01 ....but they don't add that to your next balance (even though you owe it now!).
You check your balance the next month and go "oh shit! I underpaid by a single penny. Oh well, I will just pay 1 extra penny to this months payment to balance it all out so I am at zero balance"
CC company accepts your payment and balances it all out to zero.
CC company then adds in the interest accumulated on $10,000.01 to that bill without telling you that you owed that interest.
That interest (which is added after
the fact) now causes your account to not be paid "in full" (despite the fact that you just logged in and paid your balance in full
CC then says "oh you paid your bill in full, but here is $XX.XX in interest charges you didn't pay (because we didn't add it to your total until the month is done, despite the fact that this is interest from last billing cycle)
That $xx.xx in interest now means your account was not paid in full, so they charge you interest on the entire balance
you had that month even though you paid everything in full (except that interest you weren't aware of).
That cycle repeats indefinitely. The first time it happened to me when I missed a payment (I fucked up and paid less than the full bill) I figured I just fucked up and had to pay the $7 in interest or whatever it was. Then the cycle started, and despite me paying my balance in full for 2 months I kept getting interest added. I finally called and was like "wtf? I pay it in full, why do I keep getting interest added every month?". They were less than helpful and never explained their crazy ass billing scam. I did some research and eventually figured out how the scam works. You have to pay extra in order to get your balance down because they don't add the interest until after your bill is due, so if don't pay in full + enough to cancel out the residual interest they charge you then your balance will never drop to zero - it will constantly have last months residual interested added to keep you in the positive - which leads to you paying even more residual interest on the full balance you charge.
It's especially insidious if you use your card for a lot business purchases (how else would you rack up $10,000 on a cc?) because the balance you are paying interest on is artificially inflated because of all the large business expenses.