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Repurposing Envelopes May Make Your Payment Late

As I’ve mentioned before, my father works in banking (software, but he has also done customer service time as part of a program his company used to have). He sent me a letter published in Dear Abby and adds:

Also, as I’ve said before, if you don’t use the envelope provided by a credit card bank with the bill, you risk your payment being posted several days late and incurring a late fee. This is in accordance with federal law which specifies that using the provided envelope puts the payer in a category whose payment must be credited quickly, like the same day it was received, unless they put extra paper in the envelope.

If you pay any credit card bills via check, I urge you to use the envelope they already provide. It’s so easy and yet some people don’t do it.

The Dear Abby writer’s letter applies to even more than credit card bills and is particularly relevant to those of us who look for thrifty ways to use items. Since I pay my credit card bill online, I end up with unused envelopes. Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’ve never mailed one.

Some people use the self-addressed envelopes sent to them by businesses and organizations for other purposes. These envelopes have bar codes on them. When people recycle them, they cross out the organization’s name and address but forget to cross out the bar code. Therefore, the envelope gets sent to the business that provided it, rather than to the party to whom it has been readdressed.

Sometimes this happens even after the bar code has been blackened out. We have received tax payments, personal letters, credit card payments — you name it. We do return this mail to the post office, but I am sure it takes a while for it to get to the correct address. I feel bad for people having to endure the delay this causes.

This doesn’t mean you have to throw away (or recycle) those envelopes. But you probably shouldn’t mail them, because in the long run it’s not saving you money if even one payment is late because of it. Instead, consider using them for use around the house or for hand-delivered notes.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly from Almost Frugal November 3, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Write your grocery list or to do list on the back and then stick any coupons you have or pieces of paper that you need for the day in it.

MrsMoney November 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Wow, that’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about that. I love to reuse envelopes for scratch paper!

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