Paying Utility Bill Online With Checking Account

Just paid my first utility bill (electric) at my new residence.

Went to website and established registration, same company as before but they retired payments through “my check free”.

I paid with a CC because I was a bit leery about giving them my checking acct. number info.

The only fly in the ointment was a 1.75 convenience fee, the bill was 76.11, I used a 2% cash back card so it really only cost me pennies.

My question is, is it safe to give them my checking info ? I do have a second checking acct. at another bank that I don’t keep much in, the problem is that it’s a pain making a deposit there.

The utility is an old established company, in fact my grandfather started there in the 1920’s pushing a tool cart for 15.00 a week, he worked his way up to an executive before retiring in 1969. So they’re not going anywhere.

I predict my bill will be between 50.00 and 200.00 a month depending on the time of year.

What would you do ?

I pay most of my bills at my banks “Bill Pay” web site. None of the companies get your bank info. Instead of going to each company web site separately you pay all (most) of your bills in one place.


Use your CU’s bill pay service.

And when you are choosing which CU to use, select the one that does not include your personal account info on the paper checks or EFTs they send to your creditors.

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You are concerned to give them your CC info, but you will give them your Banking info? That’s kinda backwards. I have quit doing Automatic Bank pay. I use credit cards or have a check issued from the bank. I don’t use personal checks anymore. CC issues are way easier to handle and the unauthorized use of a CC is protected. Nothing is protected when using a Debit card, a Fake Visa as it were.

Clark recommends not giving your checking information out to any company. A lot of damage can be caused with access to your checking account vs a credit card.

However, in my case my corporate landlord slaps a 4% fee on CC use and doesn’t want to accept personal checks. They just don’t want to handle personal checks. They push you to giving your checking account so they can debit your account.

My solution was to create a second checking account and transfer only the funds needed from the main account to that one prior to the bill coming due and not setting up any overdraft fees. So, even if they make a mistake and attempt to withdraw too much they can’t. Additionally, even if that information was released there would be little damage they could do. I would prefer to use a CC but this was my solution.

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I did the same thing, with no overdraft protection. One caution: my bank [B/A] tries to charge a monthly $12 “management fee” for accounts less than XYZ$$$ daily monthly balance.

My last brick and mortar bank was BOA. After the 08-09 crash I did my best to avoid all of those folks given the much better deals to be had through online only banks. That or credit unions.

Fully agree…! B/A is horrible with their “fees” but I’ve been with them for 65 years, since 1959.

I’ve bought houses, cars, planes, and boats with them and have earned extremely high credit ratings. No big reason to change banks.

Billpay from your account does not (necessarily) give your banking information, and more importantly, does not give permission to access your accounts. Allowing a pull from your accounts does. As does paying by credit card.

Bill Pay, or having your bank issue a check is different than allowing a bank draft. I was referring to bank drafts and debit cards which do have direct access to your bank accounts. And bank drafts open a two-way access. I have used the banks bill pay before when I couldn’t use a CC. I quit writing checks long time ago.

The convenience fee is less than your 2% cash back card so just use your credit card and you are still coming out ahead and safe.