Plastiq Once Again Taking American Express for Bill Payments

Plastiq is a bill payment service. They charge your credit card and sent a check to someone you owe money to. This can be useful for several reasons:

  • Float, you pay someone today but if it’s the beginning of a credit card billing cycle you may not have to cover the funds for nearly two months
  • Earning miles or other rewards
  • Reaching spend thresholds, for instance I want to put $50,000 on my Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver next year to earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles, 6000 elite qualifying dollars, and a companion ticket for American Airlines

There are a whole lot of compliance hoops that Plastiq needs to go through in order to offer this service — to classify payments as purchases and not cash advances, to avoid running afoul of federal rules — so the first time you make a payment to someone you may be asked to substantiate the payment. And they’re mailing physical checks that takes time. Be sure to build that into when you make a payment to avoid being late.

Recently American Express stopped processing payments with Plastiq. They suggested this was temporary, I’m surprised by how temporary it was, since they’re back processing American Express cards for payments again. Note though that they don’t take Amex for everything — notably mortgage payments.

According to Plastiq’s terms,

For Recipients in the United States, the use of American Express cards is permitted for the following industries: Government, Utilities, Education, Residential Rent and Club Fees and Memberships.

Plastiq is not taking American Express or Visa or mortgages (and the Visa restriction isn’t in the terms). If you want to pay a mortgage using Plastiq you’ll need to use a MasterCard. (This is great for me since it will help me with American Airlines qualifying miles and qualifying dollars.)

Some payments to merchants that haven’t been paid via Plastiq before will generate cash advance fees when using a Visa. However Plastiq will warn you in advance of this. Make a payment to that merchant with another card, then there’s an established Plastiq relationship with the merchant, and future payments can be made with Visa.

(HT: batrick)

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, 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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  1. do you know if you’re grandfathered in if you’ve been paying mortgages by Visa?

    recently when they were saying that amex cards weren’t being processed, and that if you paid with Visa, they’d be considered cash advances, i had neither issue.

    they were processing my amex, and they weren’t classifying Visa payments as cash advances?

  2. Looking to pay a contractor to repair roof with plastiq. Wanted to use amex SPG business to do it, will that work? A little confused as to the limitations on categories etc. Haven’t used plastiq before.


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