Double paying your credit card bill may cause you stress, but it is not the worst mistake you can make. If you end up with a credit for the extra payment on your account, you can reduce the balance by using your credit card instead of other forms of payment. If you need your money back immediately, you may be able to cancel the transaction before it clears. You can also get a refund, but it make take weeks.
Cancel the Transaction
If you catch the mistake before the transaction clears the bank, many credit card companies will let you cancel the transaction. It can take up to three days for an electronic transaction to clear your bank. Sign into your account online and go to the payment history page. Look for a "cancel transaction" button next to each uncleared transaction. If the button is not there, do not panic. Call your credit company and ask a customer service representative if he can cancel the transaction for you.
Ask for a Refund
If it is too late to cancel the payment, contact the credit card company either online or by phone and ask a customer service representative to issue a refund. Many credit card companies issue refunds by check. Once you ask for a refund, your money will be unavailable to you until you receive the check and deposit it into your financial account, which may take weeks.
Spend the Overpayment
By keeping the funds on the credit card, you can spend the excess balance without the hassle of waiting for a check. Use the credit card with the double payment for your purchases and bill payments until you have spent the excess balance.
Avoid Double Payments
Financial software like Quicken or a free online tool like Mint can help prevent double payments because once you pay a bill using the software, the software marks the bill as paid. If you attempt to enter the bill twice, the software will alert you. You can also schedule payments using the software and once you pay the bill, the software will not alert you to pay again. If you pay by check, recording the transaction in the check register will give proof you can refer to that the payment has already been made. If you believe you have paid your credit card bill by phone or online and do not see it reflected in your credit card account balance, avoid double-paying by checking the payment history page online or calling customer service to verify the payment. Electronic payments are reflected in the balance after the transaction clears your bank. The payment will be visible on the payment history page within minutes of you completing the transaction.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images