Home > Credit Cards > 3 Credit Cards for Forgetful Consumers

Comments 0 Comments

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

When you have many financial obligations to manage, it can be easy to slip up and make a late credit card payment. If you’re naturally forgetful, the likelihood of missing your payment due date only increases.

Unfortunately, late payments can lead to fees, penalty interest rates, and damaged credit. But some credit cards are more forgiving of late payments and can even help you remember to pay.

Here are three credit cards for the absentminded.

1. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%.

Why We Picked It: This simple card will never charge you for a late payment.

For the Absentminded: This card won’t charge late fees or hit you with a penalty APR for a late payment. With automatic account alerts, Citi will keep you up to date on your balance and upcoming payments and alert you if you go over your credit limit. You can even choose what time of month you’d like your bill to come due.

Drawbacks: There are no rewards.

2. Discover it Chrome 

Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined gas and restaurant purchases each quarter; 1% cash back on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: First-year match of all cash back.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99%.

Why We Picked It: Discover forgives your first late payment and can help with a misplaced card.

For the Absentminded: Discover will waive the late payment fee the first time you’re late (after that, it will charge you up to $37). There is no penalty APR for late payments. If you misplace your card, you can immediately freeze your account online or via a mobile app while you look for the card.

Drawbacks: If you spend more than $1,000 a quarter on gas and dining, you might want a card with a higher cash-back ceiling.

3. PenFed Promise Visa

Rewards: None

Sign-Up Bonus: $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: Variable 9.49% to 17.99% on purchases; 4.99% for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 9.49% to 17.99%.

Why We Picked It: When it comes to low or nonexistent fees, it’s hard to beat this card.

For the Absentminded: This card will never charge a late payment fee or impose a penalty APR. On top of that, there’s no over limit fee, returned payment fee, foreign transaction fee, balance transfer fee, or annual fee. That’s impressive.

Drawbacks: You must be a PenFed member to access this card. However, a one-time donation can qualify if you aren’t in the military or another qualifying group.

Picking a Card for Your Absentmindedness

If you have trouble making payments on time, you should determine if the root cause is absentmindedness or financial trouble. If it’s the latter, you may want to wait until you can better manage your finances before getting a new credit card.

You should choose a card that you can successfully manage and pay on time. Even if the card won’t punish you for a late payment, late payments can end up damaging your credit if left unaddressed.

Make sure to evaluate the fees, APR, and other costs associated with the cards you’re evaluating. Some cards impose steep penalties for late payments from the start (although it never hurts to call and ask the credit card issuer to waive your fee).

Remember, the best way to use a credit card is to pay off your balance in full each month. That way, you can avoid interest and an unmanageable balance while protecting your credit.

What Credit Is Required for a Card with Late Payment Forgiveness?

Cards that are forgiving of late payments vary in credit requirements. You should make sure your credit is sufficient before you apply, because a credit card application can slightly ding your credit score. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

Image: Petar Chernaev

At publishing time, the Citi Simplicity, Discover it Chrome, and PenFed Promise Visa cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team