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Comcast to require bank account for autopay discount

The cable giant is following other companies that are reducing or eliminating autopay discounts for credit card users.

The cable giant is following other companies that are reducing or eliminating autopay discounts for credit card users.

Content from Comcast's streaming service Peacock appears on a smart TV set. (Courtesy image)
Content from Comcast’s streaming service Peacock appears on a smart TV set. (Courtesy image)

Comcast has started notifying its video and broadband Internet customers of an upcoming change that could impact a discount received for making automatic payments.

Starting July 20, Comcast will require its Xfinity cable TV and Internet customers to link a checking or savings account to their subscription in order to take full advantage of its autopay discount, which shaves around $10 off the monthly cost of service. Customers who want to continue receiving that discount must provide Comcast with their bank’s routing and account number before that date.

Customers can continue to use a debit or credit card to automatically pay their bills, but their discount will be reduced from $10 a month to $5 a month after July 20, the company said.

To get either discount, customers must also agree to paperless billing, with statements available through the Comcast website or delivered by email. A paper statement is still available, but customers who opt to receive them by mail won’t be eligible for any discount, the company said. The discount will be restored if customers opt for paperless billing again in the future.

Related: Comcast changing Peacock perk for Xfinity customers in June

The change comes about four months after wireless phone provider T-Mobile said it will also stop offering automatic payment discounts to retail customers who use a credit card to cover the cost of their service. That change, which took effect last month, requires a retail customer to pay for their bill using a debit card or checking account if they want to get $5 to $15 off their service plan. Business customers can still use a credit card to get the discount. Verizon has a similar policy in place.

In addition to the autopay changes, Comcast is also ending a long-time perk for its Xfinity video and Internet customers that will see them lose free access to the premium version of streaming service Peacock later this month. Comcast has offered Peacock Premium for free with any eligible X1-powered set-top box — including its Flex streaming TV devices — since the service launched in April 2020.

Later this month, Comcast will offer most of its subscribers a $2 per month discount on Peacock Premium that will lower the cost of the plan to $3 per month for one year. Some members of Comcast’s Xfinity Rewards will be able to redeem their reward points for free access to Peacock Premium, though it wasn’t clear how that scheme will work.

Customers who don’t change their Peacock Premium plan to take advantage of the $3 per month deal will have their subscription downgraded to a limited free tier, which will offer access to debut episodes of Peacock Originals and a handful of TV shows from NBC.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).