Plastiq is a great service. It lets you pay bills by charging them to your credit card. This way you have credit card spend and earn miles, and you can also manage cashflow too (pay the bill now, at the beginning of a credit card’s billing cycle, and pay in six weeks or so when the card’s bill is due).
They do charge fees for the service which makes it unlikely most people are going to want to earn just one mile per dollar for the spending. There have been times when Plastiq earned bonus miles with various credit cards. And of course it’s great when you’re looking to generate a lot of spend for big bonuses, or to meet a spending threshold for benefits — like putting $25,000 on a card to waive the spending requirement for elite status with an airline to give one example.
However Plastiq has been running into several problems recently. Perhaps this is predictable.
- Payments with a Visa to recipients that hadn’t been paid before were getting processed as cash advances on some cards. Plastiq was great about flagging this before the charges actually went through so that people could use a different card.
- They stopped being able to process mortgage payments with Visa or American Express (and some rent payments too) leave MasterCard as the only option for these big charges.
- Now they’re telling customers they are unable to process payments using American Express cards entirely. This applies even to previously scheduled payments. They say this is a temporary situation they’re trying to resolve. (HT: Len B.)
Please note that other card types are supported & can be used to update your payment(s). Future payments may also be impacted, but we will inform you in advance if that is the case.
We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and have credited your account with 500 fee-free dollars. Our team is working diligently to resolve this, and we will notify you when payments with American Express are processing again.
I don’t know what’s behind the inability to process American Express payments. I have to think it’s American Express that’s shut them down, though hopefully there’s a process that’ll bring Amex back online (perhaps with new restrictions).
The continued limitations and hurdles placed by payment networks on Plastiq can’t be good for their business. It’s a great idea but straddles so many lines — card companies not wanting to make hitting minimum spend requirements easier, not wanting to process what are effectively cash advances as payments, etc.
I want to see Plastiq succeed because it’s a great tool. And I’m happy still being able to use MasterCard for mortgages because I want to put $40,000 next year on my Citi Executive card (10,000 elite qualifying miles) and $50,000 on my Barclaycard Aviator Silver (10,000 elite qualifying miles, $6000 elite qualifying dollars, and a companion ticket). I have goals, and Plastiq is an easy way to help meet those from my computer screen — no going from one store to another can make it worth the cost.