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Key link: Plastiq special new member offer
Here’s finally I think a good and super quick and easy way to earn miles paying your rent or mortgage and anything else that you’re currently paying by check or online billpay.
Back in May I wrote about Plastiq, a service that lets you pay bills with a credit card. It’s convenient, you earn miles for the payment, and it costs less than using Paypal.
Not everyone would be ready to jump on a service charging a 2.5% fee, though, it means you’re buying spend at 2.5 cents per dollar (or paying 2.5 cents per mile if there are no bonuses involved). So even thought that’s cheaper than competing services, it’s a niche play .. worth doing if you need a boost to meet minimum spend on a credit card, but not something to use every day.
Right now though Plastiq is running a special offer, fees of only 1.99% for new members when paying with American Express or MasterCard.
That’s crazy because American Express merchant processing usually costs more than Visa/MasterCard (plus Visa/MasterCard are so similar). And because there are American Express cards where everyday spending earns a rate of return of more than 2%. So you don’t have to limit use to niche circumstances where you need to generate a lot of spending.
As a result, I think the offer makes sense to me for:
- Meeting minimum spend requirements for a signup bonus.
- Spending enough on a card to earn a spending threshold.
- Everyday spend, if you have the right card or if you need to top off for the right award.
What Bills Can You Pay With Plastiq?
Plastiq will let you pay an US or Canada business or person for any amount. The only restriction is that the payment has to be for a good or service. You can pay an individual person, for instance, if they’re your landlord and you’re paying them rent or if they are your contractor or landscaper.
Just don’t try to pay yourself, a spouse, or another person just to send money (a “peer to peer transfer”), that’s not allowed, and I’ve seen reports of some individuals receiving payment being asked for documentation that there was a bona fide good or service involved for which they’re being paid. It’s not like the ‘good old days’ where you could send $5000 to your spouse for free with Google Wallet, and they could send you the same back.
While you can pay bills with credit cards issued outside the US and Canada, payment recipients need to be in either of those countries.
They don’t allow payments to credit card companies, either (so you can’t pay your credit card bill with a credit card) and no “trust/retirement accounts” either.
How to Pay a Bill With Plastiq
You’ll create an account and then verify your email address. Then:
You can specify any recipient of funds you want to pay using your credit card. And you can specify whether they get a check or an electronic ACH transfer (provided you have their banking information).
Multiple Benefits to the Service, But it’s Fine to Use Because We Want the Rewards
The landing page even highlights Act Now & Rack Up Rewards, so this isn’t something where exposure is going to ‘kill the deal’, I’ve spoken with one of Plastiq’s founders who understands that using their service helps cardholders earn rewards and that’s a strong motivator.
It’s an easy way for folks outside the US to pay US vendors. It can be convenient to pay a bill by credit card close to the due date, but at the beginning of a credit card billing cycle (and thus have nearly 60 days to actually pay).
And I love retaining chargeback ability when paying by credit card versus having to pay a merchant via billpay or by check — I rarely ever need to file a dispute, but it’s great knowing that I’ve paid by credit card and could do so if necessary.
Sign Up Now to Have an Opportunity to Take Advantage of the Promotion
This discounted rate for paying bills via credit card isn’t available through the ‘general’ Plastiq website, in order to get it you need to sign up with the special offer link.
I’ve talked with the folks at Plastiq and they tell me that if you’ve already created an account with them you can still have the offer provided you know about it — they’re fine with you either re-registering for a new account using the special signup link or emailing them with a request to update your existing account.
Regardless, sign up now even if you just want to be able to use this offer later (I don’t have a firm word on how long this new signup offer will be available, but I anticipate that those who sign up will be able to use it for several months).
Key link: Plastiq special new member offer