Two weeks ago I wrote about Plastiq and their limited-time offer to charge just 1.99% when you pay bills through their service with a credit card.
This discounted fee applies to paying bills via MasterCard and American Express — Visa remains their usual 2.5% which is cheaper than competing services, like Paypal.
You can thus make payments you’d normally use a check or online billpay for using your credit card, and use those payments to meet minimum spend for a credit card bonus or just earn miles.
What I really love is that this service makes sense even when there’s no bonus to earn, if you’re using a card like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
They’ve Launched a New Promotion of 0% Fees For Recurring Utilities Payments
Plastiq’s new promotion is no fee to pay your utilities with a MasterCard when you schedule 6 or more payments up front.
That means you can pay US water, electric, waste (garbage/sewage), and gas/propane with no credit card processing fees.
You can use this for as many utility payments as you want, as long as you make them recurring with at least 6 payments. Note though that if you set up the six payments and don’t actually make all six they can come back and charge their regular processing fees.
Now, you have to schedule ahead six payments or more. And that can be complicated for something like electricity where your bill probably fluctuates month-to-month. However,
- You can pay your monthly average, or overpay
- You can still top off any amount owed with payment using your regular method
- Or if you’ve overpaid slightly carry that over to a future month
Eligility: The promotion applies only to users who registered via a blog referral. If you alrady registered you’ll have this automatically on your account. If you registered before they started running promos two weeks ago, and want to have your account coded for the special offers, email them at support -at- plastiq.com.
When you shouldn’t take advantage of this: Many utility providers take credit card payments on their websites now. For those, I’d continue using your utility company’s website. That way you can make payment in the exact amount due.
Note that I receive $5 if you sign up whether you use the service or not.
There Are Benefits Even In Addition to Miles
Paying bills via credit card is an easy way for folks outside the US to pay US vendors.
It can be convenient to pay a bill by credit card close to the due date, but at the beginning of a credit card billing cycle (and thus have nearly 60 days to actually pay).
Personally I miss the old Diners Club ‘two billing cycles to pay’ because a decade ago the extra float each month was nice.