I do not like paying with cash, I do not like writing checks, I do not like paying with a debit card (or checking account withdrawal) and I will do everything in my power to make sure that I avoid transactions that force me to pay with any of those methods.
Why do I dislike them so much?
They offer limited tracking (it is 2016 – you shouldn’t have to balance a paper checkbook).
They offer little to no rewards (i.e. points, miles, cash back).
They offer limited purchase protection/fraud protection (ATTENTION – please oh please I am begging you please – DO Not use a debit card at the gas station card swiper – you are asking to be skimmed).
They offer no ongoing benefits (i.e. lounge access, hotel status, free checked bags, etc.)
BUT, unfortunately for me (and all of you other credit card lovers), there are certain instances (like paying rent, mortgages or college tuition) in which paying with a credit card are impossible or just economically frivolous.
[Another] BUT, I am here to tell you that there just might be a way…
With a service called Plastiq!
What is Plastiq?
Well, if they do say so themselves:
“Plastiq empowers you to use your existing credit and debit cards to pay any bill, regardless of acceptance.”
Said another way – Plastiq enables credit card use on transactions that historically do not allow that type of payment… for a small % fee. They will charge your card and subsequently send an ACH transfer or paper check to the payee that you have designated.
What sort of expenses can I pay with Plastiq?
Any expense! As long as a good or service being provided. This may include:
Rent, Mortgages, Taxes, Insurance, Utilities, etc.
Note: You cannot pay other individuals if they did not provide a service, and you cannot use this service to pay off your credit card.
What are the fees?
There is a standard credit card fee (Amex & Visa are 2.5%, while Mastercard is 2%) of 2-2.5%, but lower promotional rates are sometimes available. Personally, 2-2.5% is higher than I am willing to pay (unless I am meeting a minimum spend) so I always look out for the lower promotional offers!
Also, there are some cards – like the Citi AT&T Access & More – that offer 3x ThankYou Points on online purchases, meaning you will actually EARN money while paying your bills this way! Just make sure to designate the expense as “business services” otherwise you may not receive the 3x for your payment.
How long does the payment take?
The service does not provide instant payment, considering they have to send ACH or a paper check after your credit card is charged. Based on what I have read, ACH transfers take about a week, while paper checks may take 2 weeks. Remember this timeframe when considering your bill due dates!
This may be a solid option for those who are looking to avoid the pitfalls of other “paper” payment options! Additionally, this is a great way to increase credit card spend to achieve minimum spending requirements or to build your points/miles balances for specific travel redemptions.
In the long run I would advise people to limit the use of this service to meeting minimum spend at the 2-2.5% fee and increase the use of this service when the fees decrease to 1%-1.5%! However, if you have the Citi AT&T Access & More (which I am hoping to get soon once I product change my Citi Premier) than you will be able to make money using Plastiq even at the 2-2.5% rates!
Have you ever considered paying your mortgage or rent with a credit card!? If so, use my link and we both will receive a bonus in the form of “fee-free” payments!
Happy Plastiq Payments!