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Yesterday was the first payment due date for my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. But if you think I patiently waited until yesterday to clear our credit card balance, you’re crazy.
I have no idea how many payments I’ve logged on and made since activating it on January 7. I set it up on auto-pay as soon as I created a username on Chase’s website, but I just can’t stand having a balance.
I even got impatient and made a manual payment yesterday after logging on several times throughout the day and seeing that the automatic payment had not yet been made.
Using this new credit card to handle most of our payments leads to our bank account showing more money than we actually have until the credit card balance is cleared. Because of this, I am so paranoid that we are going to overspend that I am now even more anal about keeping our budget up-to-date, which leads to me checking or updating it a few times per day.
This neurotic behavior is obviously better than carrying a balance and ending up with credit card debt, but it’s a little exhausting.
Since opening our credit card account, I’ve been thinking that in a perfect world, our transactions would be automatically deducted from our checking account as soon as they’re made so that I’m not obsessively logging in and clearing our balance – essentially using our credit card as a debit card.
And I just recently found out that this is possible with a free service called Debitize.
I signed up yesterday morning after doing quite a bit of research, and I’m excited to see how it goes.
If you have a credit card or are hesitant about opening one, I have to tell you about this service.
What is Debitize?
Debitize is a free service that takes the anxiety out of using a credit card by doing just what I mentioned above. The amount of each credit card transaction is taken out of your checking account and paid to your credit card as frequently as you choose – each week or on the due date each month.
How exactly does that work?
After signing up and connecting your bank and credit card accounts to Debitize, continue using your card as you normally would. The service automatically transfers the amount of each credit card transaction out of your checking account into an account referred to as the Debitize Reserve Account. The money from the reserve account is then used to pay your credit card, either once per month for free or once per week for $4.99 per month.
Or, refer to this fancy graphic from their website to see the process.
Who can use this service?
Any adult who has a U.S. bank account and one or more U.S. credit cards, though Debitize is looking to expand to other countries in the future. This service is especially helpful for those of us from the Dave Ramsey camp who have learned how to manage our finances responsibility but still have a lot of anxiety attached to the idea of using credit cards for the awesome perks they provide.
Why use Debitize instead of creating my own reserve account?
I thought about opening a new savings account to be used as a reserve account for our credit card transactions and manually go through the same process that this service utilizes. I would log into my bank account and transfer the amount of the credit card transaction from our checking account to the savings account, then use that money to pay off the card on the due date. But why put in the work that Debitize will do for me – for free?
If you would like to join me by debitizing your own credit card(s) for free, use the link below for a $10 credit to be applied to your new Debitize account. This $10 will be paid toward your credit card bill after five automated withdrawals.
Read on for more details about the sign-up process.
Do you have to sign up at a certain point during your credit card billing cycle?
No, you can sign up anytime! Just keep in mind that Debitize will not pay off any previous credit card balance that you had prior to signing up. After you sign up and connect your account, they will remind you to pay this amount off yourself.
What information does Debitize ask for during the sign-up process?
- Your first and last name, email address and password.
- Credit card and bank account details
- Credit card number and expiration date.
- Sign-in details for your credit card account. For this, I provided the username and password that I use to log in to Chase’s website.
- Sign-in details that you use to log in to use to your bank account.
- Your bank account (to be entered twice) and routing number.
- Select the checking account to be linked to Debitize.Decide and enter a minimum checking account balance. Debitize will not drain down below this balance. I chose $20 for my minimum balance.
- Verify identity.
- Your street address.
- Phone number.
- Date of birth.
- Last four digits of your social security number.
The process is actually much quicker than it sounds.
After your account is created, Debitize will advise you that new purchases will begin being withdrawn the next day. They also provide you with your current credit card balance and remind you that you will be responsible for paying it off.
I am excited about testing out this service that will allow me to free up more of my focus for other things instead of clearing my credit card balance and updating my budget so frequently.
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