20% PRICE CUT: Pay Any Bill With a MasterCard and Earn Miles and Bonuses for Just a 2% Fee

Plastiq, the online bill pay service that charges your credit card and then sends out checks on your behalf has dropped the price of processing payments that you charge to a MasterCard from their standard 2.5% (which is still lower than services like Paypal) down to 2%.

They’ve run promotions in the past like 1.5% but this isn’t just a limited-time offer.

Spokesperson Rebecca Sekar tells me, “This is promotional pricing in partnership with MasterCard for US payments – fairly straightforward. No end date, as of yet, but obviously great pricing..”

You may want to meet minimum spend on a MasterCard. It makes sense for:

  1. Meeting minimum spend requirements for a signup bonus.

  2. Spending enough on a card to earn a spending threshold.

  3. Everyday spend, if you have the right card or if you need to top off for the right award.

Plastiq will let you pay an US or Canada business or person for any amount. The only restriction is that the payment has to be for a good or service. You can pay an individual person, for instance, if they’re your landlord and you’re paying them rent or if they are your contractor or landscaper.

Just don’t try to pay yourself, a spouse, or another person just to send money (a “peer to peer transfer”), that’s not allowed, and I’ve seen reports of some individuals receiving payment being asked for documentation that there was a bona fide good or service involved for which they’re being paid.

While you can pay bills with credit cards issued outside the US and Canada, payment recipients need to be in either of those countries.

They don’t allow payments to credit card companies, either (so you can’t pay your credit card bill with a credit card) and no “trust/retirement accounts” either.

I have not heard of any payments coding as a cash advance. Plastiq does flag one possible instance:

For the vast majority of payments, these are not coded as cash advances. The instances that are are if you’re paying specific Canadian merchants with a Visa card. If you are doing this, please email support@plastiq.com to determine if it will fall under this

Note that some transactions get flagged and require additional information. This is especially true if you’re paying an individual. Say your landlord is a person not a company, they may contact you wanting a copy of your lease.

They aren’t a peer-to-peer payments service and are coding transactions as purchases, they need to keep their paperwork good to continue being able to process bill payments like this, and at low rates. And process could take a few days once you provide the documentation they’re looking for. I don’t advise paying bills, especially the first time with a business, close to the due date. Remember that even if you aren’t paying an individual, as long as you aren’t giving them electronic transfer information, they’re mailing a check.

Plastiq also has a new referral program that lets you earn paying bills for free and gives new members signing up $200 in free bill payments after they make their first $20+ bill payment.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Paid my taxes to meet minimum spend on Amex cards and still debating if that was the right thing.

    Financially it is sound but I am worried I have started rationalizing need less expenses top get rewards. T

  2. Gary – not seeing the 2% advertised on the site and I just made a payment with a MasterCard as a test and was charged 2.5%. What am I missing?

  3. My experience, last year, with Plastiq was not good. Their service was inconsistent and unreliable. When you need customer service, be prepared to wait. No one to call. Everything is by email.

  4. I tried using it to pay rent to the Management company of my building. After several days I receive and email asking for a copy of my lease and a letter from the Management company itself.

    There can be a lot of time-consuming paperwork involved.

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