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Travis has written extensively about Plastiq, which is a bill pay service. The idea is that Plastiq allows you to pay bills that you couldn’t otherwise pay by credit card for a fee. That fee is typically 2.5%, though they frequently have promotions that lower the transaction costs, and they also have a generous referral program.
There are potentially a few areas where this could be most useful. I imagine some value this if they have liquidity issues and have a card with a 0% APR offer and need to pay a bill. But there’s also value in this for miles & points enthusiasts. This can help us reach the minimum spend on credit cards. Beyond that, given how rewarding some cards are, this could also represent a good deal for just trying to pick up points.
In early May, Travis wrote about how some rent payments made with the Chase Sapphire Reserve were apparently coding as travel, and therefore earning triple points. At a fee of 2.5%, for some that was an opportunity to pick up Ultimate Rewards points for ~0.8 cents each.
I didn’t take advantage of this offer myself, though I was certainly intrigued. Typically merchants can choose how they want to be categorized, and I had a hard time imagining that Plastiq would try to “trick” Visa into thinking that they were some sort of a travel company (as much as it would be good for their business short term).
While I can’t guarantee it’s related, Miles to Memories is reporting that Plastiq can no longer accept Visa credit card payments for mortgages, and possibly for other types of transactions as well. It seems like this has kicked in as of this past weekend:
VISA has just informed Plastiq that use of a VISA card for mortgage will no longer be supported via Plastiq and will not process going forward. I’m very sorry for this. only use of another card type such as MasterCard, Amex, Discover or even VISA debit will allow your future mortgage payments to process using Plastiq. We are complying with recent directives from VISA regarding not allowing mortgage payments via use of a VISA card with Plastiq.
So this is something to be aware of if you’ve been using Visa cards for payments through Plastiq. While we don’t officially know the reason for this, I would be surprised if it was unrelated to whatever caused Plastiq purchases to code as “travel.”
If you’ve been using Visa cards for Plastiq payments, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your account, as your Visa payments may get denied.