Split by GroupMe: Collect Money From Groups – No Fee Promotion

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GroupMe is a group-texting smartphone app with a new feature called Split which allows you to collect payments from groups via credit card (collecting rent from roommates, splitting a bar tab, chipping in for a friend’s birthday gift, etc.). The regular fee for this service will be 4% + $0.99, which covers credit card processing fees plus some profit for GroupMe. The cost for this convenience seems rather steep for regular use, other than maybe splitting a rare dinner bill when I don’t have cash.

However, until Tuesday, March 12th at 11:59PM CST, all fees are waived. Naturally, airline miles collectors love this and a few quickly decided to split a Ford Mustang between friends at $10,000 a pop. 😉 So the free offer was restricted to apply to the first split transaction up to $499 per person. I like trying things like this out, and it was still worth the 10 minutes to get 998 miles and also be able to satsify basically $1,000 of spending requirements on a few $500+ bonus credit cards (these, actually). Here’s how I did it with two smartphones (me and wife).

  1. Both Phone #1 and Phone #2 install the GroupMe app, linked to their respective phone numbers (must verify phone number via text message).
  2. #1 invites #2 into a group and starts a “Split”, let’s call it Paris Vacation Tickets, set to $499 per person.
  3. #2 joins group, and pays $499 with credit card (verify no fees).
  4. #1 started the split and so can’t pay themselves (bummer). You could involve a Phone #3 here, but instead you use your computer to visit the custom split link sent to you via e-mail (http://split.groupme.com/XXXXXX) and choose “Pay without can account.” #1 then pays $499 with their credit card (even if linked to same account). If more people wish to pay, you can also do with the custom link.
  5. Now that two people have paid (minimum required is two), #1 “collects” by entering their bank account information. $499 will be then charged to the two credit cards (again verify no fees with this promo), and confirmation is given that the $998 will be deposited into the bank account in 3-5 business days.
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  1. Pretty sweet I love finding ways to send money on my CC without spending money!

  2. Another thing that i did was Free After Rebate Items.

  3. That worked for me. Took about 5-10 minutes. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Did you or anyone receive the funds they collected to their bank account??
    Can’t find reports of folks getting them. Credit card is charged, but the collected money hasn’t reached the bank yet! I’ve done it 3/8 evening. This is the 4th business day within their window of 3-5 business days for the money to deposit.

  5. I haven’t seen the funds yet either. I’m sure they got a lot of new users this past week, so am thinking it’ll be closer to the 5 business day mark. Will report back when they show up.

  6. Split rejected our shared purchase of a plane ticket. It’s disappointing because they did get a lot of free publicity with a promotion that they didn’t fulfill their side of the deal on. Ah well, on to the next deal. I don’t think this feature will be very successful in any case.

  7. anonymous :P says

    Busted 🙂
    “You recently created or participated in a Split on GroupMe. Unfortunately, we had to cancel this Split due to signs of credit card network abuse, which is a violation of both GroupMe’s and our payment processor’s Terms of Service.
    In our monitoring of our zero fee promotion for Split on GroupMe, we determined that some individuals tried to use the Split service to transfer money directly from their credit cards to their own bank accounts, most likely to collect credit card rewards and points. This form of usage is against both GroupMe’s and Balanced’s Terms of Service.”

  8. I’m not surprised that they rejected, but I did no a careful reading of all of the terms as well as the prohibited transactions and failed to find the violation reasons they cited in the email.

  9. anonymous :P says

    Interesting observation Tom. I haven’t looked but if you’re planning to fight them keep copies of the current terms before they are changed 🙂

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