Time it takes: 6 minutesWhy mess with checks and trips to the post office? Why risk a late payment when, according to Consumer Action, 85% of credit-card issuers impose penalty rates that average 24.5% if you're late on one or two bills? Pay bills online at your bank. First register at the site. Then gather your bills. Many bank sites have a pull-down menu of merchants; select yours and enter your account number. Or plug in the name, address and account number manually.