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Plastiq.com is a service that will charge your credit card and mail checks on your behalf. (With some vendors they also make electronic ACH payments.)
Their usual fee for this is 2.5%. It’s worth it to incur that fee if you’re earning a signup bonus with the credit card charges, or you’re meeting a spending threshold for a bonus.
However I generally advise that it’s not worth it for the ongoing miles without a spending bonus. You don’t want to incur a 2.5% fee to earn 1 mile, you’re buying that mile at 2.5 cents. No mile is worth that.
There is an exception: for business spending companies can generally write off the fee. If you’re paying business bills via Plastiq.com your net cost is 2.5% minus (2.5% * your marginal tax rate).
Here’s something I love though: right now it appears that Plastiq is charging just 1.5% for Mastercard payments. You can pay a residential mortgage with Mastercard credit cards. That creates a pretty cool opportunity if you value the miles you’d earn at more than 1.5 cents apiece, or if you’re working on a bonus with a Mastercard. The two premium American AAdvantage credit cards that earn elite qualifying miles based on spend are Mastercards.
Plastiq has made this adjustment to their systems to charge just 1.5% on Mastercard payments, but has not yet advertised this special offer.
(HT: Doctor of Credit)
Update: fee has reverted to the usual 2.5%. Personally I scheduled my mortgage payments out a year, and they remain intact at the 1.5% fee quoted. I’ll be watching to make sure that remains the case!