I was paying some bills online and noticed that my electricity bill had a new option for paying via a credit card through something called Western Union Speedpay. I’m not sure if this is universal, but for my utility company it accepted MasterCard, Visa, or Discover with a $4.95 convenience fee per payment for residential accounts. The maximum payment allowed is $1,000 per month.
I decided to charge the full $1,000, because that makes the fee only 0.5%. Even if I pay with a card that gets 1% back, I’d end up ahead over my usual online banking billpay. Of course, you can do better than that with one of these best rewards credit cards. Actually, I put it instead on my wife’s Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to quickly reach the $3,000 spending required in order to qualify for the 40,000 point bonus ($400 value!). I don’t mind paying extra because I never have any problems with my electricity bill, and future bills will just reduce the credit over time.
Anyway, the take-away here is to check if your existing bills have such a similar option. I remember checking before and the only option charged some sort of onerous 5% fee. There are mortgage companies, insurance companies, and more listed on the Speedpay site. For some reason, my company is not listed online (so I suspect many other aren’t either), and I had to call into a telephone bot to pay my bill.
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