Sunday, May 31, 2009


Why is it that some businesses take so long to push thru the transactions when you make a credit card purchase at their establishment? This is so effing annoying to me. Why? Well, I like to pay off my entire credit card balance each month and I like to track how much that payment is each month. When businesses take forever to push the purchase thru, the transaction isnt recorded on my account when I want to pay my bill and thus jumps over to the next month. Since Citibank is lame and wont let me pay more than my current balance, even when I know charges are out there waiting to be added, there is nothing I can do.

There are 2 reasons this annoys me:

1.) I have been spending a shitload of money this year. Probably about double what I spent last year on a monthly basis. Sure, Im having way more fun but Im trying to get myself back into saving mode as I have a few things Id like to save for. When charges get carried over to the next month, I dont get to "start fresh" with a chance at keeping my card spending low for that month by starting with a zero balance. Its a mental thing I guess and something thats not easy to explain. Just one of my many quirks.

2.) As a business owner, wouldnt you want your money as fast as you could get it? I just made about $400 in purchases since last Tuesday. NONE of these have shown up on my card yet. One was from an online retailer. The other was a restaurant here in Miami. The online guy has shipped my order and Ive already eaten the food from the restaurant and crapped it out by now.

I guess I could add Citibank being lame and not letting me prepay balances that I know are on the way to the list of why this annoys me. Bank of America let me do that but they dont give me AA miles for my purchases. Instead they have a lame reward program so it was bye bye to BoA. This may be the first case of someone wanting to be charged for goods and services but, unless the transactions have been forgotten or wiped clean, Id like to be charged. Dammit.


Suzy Newhouse said...

It's not always just the merchants although most times it's a simple as someone not closing out a cc machine correctly.

Sometimes it's due to release policies. Once a charge is approved, a hold is placed on the funds however the transaction is not really complete until the bank collects the funds. Since holds mean the funds are available, they know they have the $$$ so they take their sweet time.

Blind Mind said...

Thanks for the info, Suzy. The whole thing just makes zero sense to me. Couple that with the fact that I made an online purchase on May 22nd and it still hasnt shipped nor been charged and my frustrations have just about peaked.

David said...

I'm guessing the delay would be helpful if there was some sort of identity theft taking place. Although, the delay could take place on the back-end and you could just see the charge taking place as if it was in real-time.

But, I agree with you, it is annoying :)

Alex said...

That is infuriating since you are being forced to pay interest charges on money you don't want to borrow until the following month.
But what do you mean Citi doesn't let you pay in advance? I have the same card I suspect you do, the Citi AAAdvantage, and have sent many times a higher payment based on what I know the balance would be the day they "close" the month. Not once have they credited me a penny.

Blind Mind said...

Sorry Alex, I shouldve been more clear... When I receive my credit card bill, the balance to be paid reflects what I have spent from the time of the last bill to the date where the new bill was sent. I base my payments on the "pay date". So, when I get a bill for, say, $500 on May 15th and it says its due on June 15th, I wait until June 15th to pay it but I also pay off my entire current balance at that time. The current balance is money I have spent thru June 15th. I do this because I like paying a bill and starting at zero, not having money hanging out there. When the bill is due on June 15th and I make a purchase on the card on June 10th, I expect that charge to show up on my online statement when I make my payment on June 15th. Citibank will not let you pay more than your "Current Balance" which, as I said before, is much different than the "Balance Due".