A new GOBankingRates survey gleaned information about how Americans treat their bills in terms of autopay. Over 1,000 Americans ages 18 and up were asked which bills they currently have on autopay and which ones they would never have on autopay.
Based on which category received the most votes, GOBankingrates has determined what Americans are putting on autopay — and what they never would — with some surprising results. Here are the bills Americans do and don’t put on autopay.
Do Put on Autopay: Cellphone
The bill that by far received the most “on autopay” votes was the cellphone bill. The overwhelming majority of respondents — 65% — indicated they had their cellphone bill on autopay. Only 20% of respondents indicated they would never put their cellphone on autopay. Perhaps the use of a cellphone is considered a necessity in this day and age, as it seems to be prioritized above all other bills, according to respondents in this study.
Do Put on Autopay: Streaming Video Services
Streaming video services are another high autopay priority for survey respondents, with autopay winning out by a 3-to-1 margin. Only 16% of respondents indicated they would never put streaming services on autopay, while 46% reported they currently have this bill on autopay. As with having a cellphone, it seems survey respondents don’t want to risk missing out on their favorite streaming entertainment by accidentally missing a payment.
Do Put on Autopay: Utilities
Smartphones and streaming services aren’t worth much if you don’t pay your internet or electric bills, which is probably why utilities are typically on autopay, according to survey respondents. By a 41% to 28% margin, participants indicated they preferred having their utility bills on autopay as opposed to never doing so.
Do Put on Autopay: Cable and Satellite Service
Cable and satellite services didn’t rank quite as highly as streaming services in the autopay vs. non-autopay decision, but respondents still overwhelmingly preferred to autopay these bills. Just 19% of respondents said they would never put these bills on autopay versus the 33% who currently have these bills on autopay.
Do Put on Autopay: Music Streaming
The jury was effectively split on whether or not to autopay music streaming bills. The convenience of autopaying music streaming bills appealed to 25% of respondents, but a nearly equal 23% said they would never put their music streaming bills on autopay. Devoted music fans who don’t want to risk an interruption in their service likely have their bills on autopay. However, for many others, the risk of having a “zombie subscription” that they don’t use that much may be enough to keep music streaming services off their autopay list.
Would Never Put on Autopay: Monthly and Annual Services
Monthly and annual services encompass items such as food delivery and news services. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they would never put these services on autopay. As customer preferences tend to change, sometimes rapidly, committing to payments to these types of services doesn’t make sense for many Americans, and 40% of survey respondents agreed. However, 13% indicated that they did keep these types of services on autopay, perhaps because they have found products they like and don’t anticipate changing.
Would Never Put on Autopay: Car Payment
Although more respondents indicated they would never put their car payment on autopay, the margin was close. Just over 26% responded in the negative, but a close 22% indicated that they do currently have their car payment on autopay.
As it’s important to keep car payments current to avoid losing your vehicle — and the amount doesn’t change from month to month — it’s perhaps surprising that more respondents would never put it on autopay. Perhaps the fact that car payments are so sizable leads to the reluctance of some to have them automatically deducted from a checking account each month.
Would Never Put on Autopay: Gym Membership
Respondents prefer to make gym membership payments on their own terms by a 2-to-1 ratio. Only 14% indicated they had their gym memberships on autopay, but a sizable 27% said they would never do that. This is probably a wise decision, as gym memberships are notoriously underutilized and are at risk of becoming phantom recurring deductions that provide no benefit.
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