I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
Update: Plastiq no longer allows child support or alimony payments through their system.
Several states allow credit card payments for child support through their official programs.
Some states limit acceptance to MasterCard and Discover, others to Visa and MasterCard. Apparently New Jersey stopped taking cards altogether. And I’m not aware of any that take American Express.
But let’s assume you want to pay with American Express, or to pay the other parent directly. Perhaps you need to build up miles because your ex-spouse took them all in the divorce.
You’re basically buying miles at 2 cents apiece by paying your bills that you’d otherwise have to write a check or use your bank’s billpay service for. This is obviously worth it when a spending bonus (like a signup or threshold bonus) applies. But it can be well worth it with certain cards whose points-earning is valuable enough.
Reader Greg asked,
Gary, can this be used for child support and/or alimony payments?
You’re not allowed to use the Plastiq.com service for “peer to peer” payments. You can’t send money to a spouse and charge it to your card, and then have them send money back to you charged to their card.
To make sure child support and alimony are kosher, I asked the company’s CEO, and here’s what I was told:
It’s fine. The way to do it is to specify ‘other’ as the payment purpose and then type “alimony” as the reason.
More information may be requested after the transaction to document that there’s really a payment being made for a particular reason, so that Plastiq can remain compliant with their processing partners.
So there’s a chance auditing could ask for a formal acknowledgment that the amount of money is owed to the particular person for a specific reason — that way they can keep processing these types of transactions without calling them cash advances.