Updated, new promotion. Plastiq.com lets you pay bills and invoices with a credit or debit card, even if they don’t usually accept them. The standard service fee is 2.5% for credit cards and 0% for Visa and MasterCard debit cards. However, they run limited-time promotion with lower fees. They will charge your card and send out a paper check to the payee (direct bank transfers to a few), so you’d want to plan ahead for any snail mail delays. They recommend 10 business days to be safe. More ideas from their site:
- Rent or Mortgage
- Homeowners Association (HOA) dues
- Childcare costs
- Buying a car, RV, or ATV
- Income or business taxes
Current promotion runs until November 30th, 2015 and lets you make payments with a 1.5% fee for one-time, immediate MasterCard payments.. Here is their blog announcement. No minimum amount required. Does not apply to recurring payments. No special promotional code or sign up required.
Selected fine print:
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but why wait until then to show how thankful we are that you’ve signed up with Plastiq? To make the holiday even sweeter, we’re excited to share that today is the start of a special promotion. Get a 1.5% rate for all one-time, immediate MasterCard payments to any business! […] This promotion will expire on November 30, 2015 at 5 p.m. PT.
Why would I want to pay a 1.5% service fee?
Sign-up bonus spending requirements. Sign-up bonuses often having spending requirements. For example, you might get a $500 value bonus but need to spend $5,000. Well, that’s effectively 10% back so if you need a little help to get over that hurdle, it’s okay to pay a 1.5% fee. Here are some recent cards with big $500 value bonuses but also spending requirements:
- Chase Freedom Card
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
- British Airways Credit Card
- Southwest Airlines Credit Card
- Chase Ink Plus Business Card
- Citi ThankYou Premier Card
- Citi Prestige Card
2% cash back credit cards, or similar. If you have a rewards credit card that offers 2% cash back (or equivalent value in points), then you can still make a slight profit by putting them on your credit card. A current example is the Citi Double Cash Card. For example, if you have a tuition bill or tax bill of $5,000 and you earned 2% cash back while paying a 1.5% fee, your net 0.5% is $50.
Combine a rewards card + 0% APR on purchases. Many credit cards offer 0% APR on purchases for an introductory period of 12 months or longer. If the card also has a half-decent rewards program on purchases, the combination of purchase rewards and spreading out the payments over a year at no interest could be attractive.
Another play on this is to take advantage of the 0% fee on debit card payments. The PayPal Business Debit card account gives you 1% cash back on online “signature” purchases. If that is how it is processed, you can net 1% and the money is drawn from your bank account. For existing cardholders after 2/1/16 and all new cardholders, PayPal will not pay cash back on “PIN-less debit” transactions. This is a fine distinction, but if that is how the transaction is processed, then you won’t get the 1% cash back.