|01-17-2003, 02:09 AM||#1|
Great online billpay service for travellers...
I just wanted to evangelize a bit about a new online billpay service I started using last November. I've given it a few months to see how it worked out and I could be more pleased. American Express is offering a fairly unique service that extends upon the more conventional features of an online bill payment site in a very useful way.
I've been using some form of online bill payment or another for about six years now. I've hopped from service to service as I changed brick and mortar banks (from SouthTrust to Regions to Wells Fargo) and used all three online billpay offerings. Most recently I was using the Microsft Money Billpay (now just MSN billpay, unified with their non-MSMoney billpay which was once seperate).
What makes the American Express offering unique is that they actually automate the process of receiving bills as well as paying them. Unlike the other services I've seen, with the American Express site you redirect your billing address to a personal box # at AmEx's bill processing center. All of your paper bills are received by AmEx, scanned, and placed online for you to view.
For each individual bill you can set payment rules. For instance, I have it set to automatically pay my water bill as long as it's under $40 for the month. Other bills you can leve ruleless which allows you to visit the website, view a scanned image of the entire bill, and decide how and when you wish to pay. From there it functions exactly as a traditional online bill payment service would.
I travel a lot for work and this system allows me to receive and pay all my bills from the road. I don't have to be home to check my mailbox in order to get and pay my bills. It's unbelieveably useful.
Plus, at the end of the year, AmEx will send me a nice, tidy CD-Rom with all my year's bills and payment history on it for my records.
Entering month three of usage, it's been absolutely flawless for all the companies I do business with. From the large credit card companies to the one-man, handwritten bill, lawn service guy I use it has all just worked perfectly. I couldn't be happier.
https://billcenter.americanexpress.com/ is the website describing the service. There's a little online demo/tutorial thing you can look at for more specfic info on how it all works.
Being fairly unique (I've never seen another service like this) I thought it was worth a mention. They don't seem to be advertising the service much, I heard about it through word-of-mouth. If you enjoy the benefits of online banking, it's definitely worth a look.
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