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Plastiq is a good way to pay bills with a credit card that you otherwise couldn’t. This lets you earn miles and points while paying your rent, mortgage, insurance, electric bill, property taxes, or a variety of other bills for which the provider doesn’t accept credit cards.
I’ve been using the Plastiq service on and off for the past year or so and have had a really good experience overall. There are fees involved, of course, so you need to make a conscious decision as to whether to use Plastiq based on your own personal value of the miles and points you’ll be earning.
That said, Plastiq has an offer out now that could make the decision to pay your rent or mortgage a little easier depending on your situation.
Plastiq is currently sending out offers where if you schedule at least six months of recurring rent or mortgage payments with a Mastercard, they’ll waive the service fee for the first two months. That’s basically the same as getting a 33% discount.
Plastiq normally charges a 2.5% service fee. Therefore with this offer you would essentially be paying a 1.66% service fee over the next six months.
The key is that you need to schedule the first payment by March 31, 2017.
And according to comments over at Doctor of Credit, it might only be offered to those who have not previously made any rent / mortgage payments with Plastiq. That would probably explain why I wasn’t targeted.
Whenever you use Plastiq, you’re basically making a conscious decision to buy miles. That’s because you could have paid the bill using a traditional method — like mailing a check — for almost free. (Ignoring the cost of the stamp, and the value of your time while you try to locate your checkbook. Maybe the latter is just me.)
So whether this is a good deal or not depends entirely on how you value the rewards that you are earning.
In this case, the miles or points you earn need to be worth more than 1.66 cents each. If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card, for example, which offers 1% cash back on every purchase, and then an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases, that could be a good choice for a promo like this.
A mortgage example
Let’s say my mortgage is $2000. If I pay it through Plastiq using this offer, I’ll pay $33.32 in fees each month, and then get $40 of rewards on the Citi® Double Cash Card once I pay my bill. Each month I’ll make $6.68.
You might also have a mileage earning Mastercard that you prefer to use. I have the Aviator card that earns one American AAdvantage mile per dollar spent. If I was using that card with this deal, I’d be buying American miles at 1.66 cents. That’s right around what I think they are worth — and I have plenty of them – so I’d probably pass. But your valuation may be different.
Using Ben’s valuations, here’s the cost of using some of the popular travel Mastercards:
|Card||Return on everyday spend||Value of rewards||Net cost of $2k payment|
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®||2x points||1.05¢ / $42.70||($9.37)|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay||1.00¢ / $40.00||($6.68)|
|Citi Prestige® Card||1x points||1.70¢ / $34||($0.68)|
|Citi ThankYou® Premier Card||1x points||1.70¢ / $34||($0.68)|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||1x miles||1.50¢ / $30||$3.32|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||1x miles||1.50¢ / $30||$3.32|
So you can see how this could be a very good deal in some cases, and not as much in others.
Of course you might also choose to use Plastiq when you need to meet a minimum spend on a credit card to earn the signup bonus. That’s actually a really good use of the service, as it can justify paying the full 2.5% service fee if you really need the spend.
My Plastiq experiences
I’ve been using Plastiq on and off for the past year or so to pay our mortgage and various other bills that I couldn’t otherwise pay with a credit card. I’ve found their service to work as advertised. Their chat-based customer service is really good, with friendly representatives who seem to genuinely care about fixing issues and making their customers happy.
It’s true that it can take several days for payments to arrive, but they are pretty clear about that on the website. They’ve also been working to speed that up with certain payees.
Overall, I’ve been impressed.
Plastiq can be a really good option for paying bills with a credit card that you otherwise could not.
They have a nice promotion running currently that allows you to essentially pay six months of rent or mortgage payments at a cost of 1.66%. Depending on how you value your points, that might be a good deal.
Anyone else paying rent/mortgage through Plastiq?