The Complete Guide to Plastiq: Pay Bills and Earn More Points

Plastiq

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Putting big purchases on a credit card can provide a number of benefits beyond just the ability to make immediate payment.

For instance, in addition to raising your credit score (provided you pay the balance by the due date), you can also earn points or other types of rewards for using the card.

But unfortunately, there are a number of large expenses — such as rent or mortgage payments, and some utility bills — that don’t allow you to pay with a credit card, which can keep you from racking up additional reward points.

The good news is that there is now an alternative that offers you the ability to pay just about any of your bills using a credit card, even if the lender or creditor doesn’t allow you to do so directly.

Introducing, Plastiq!

What Is Plastiq?

Plastiq is a service that allows you to pay bills with credit cards, even where cards are not accepted by the lender, creditor, or vendor. This includes regular bills, such as your rent/mortgage payment and utilities, as well as other expenses like tuition, and even your income taxes!

If you own or operate a business, Plastiq can be used for paying expenses for your company, such as supplies, marketing materials, and just about anything else.

The recipients of your payments will receive funds with your name, account, and invoice number on them. That way, the recipient knows the payment is coming from you or your company.

Hot Tip: By using Plastiq, you can continue to build up miles, points, or other rewards you’re eligible for through your credit cards. In addition, you may be able to take advantage of early payment discounts with vendors and other creditors, as well as use your cash flow for other more pressing needs.

How Does Plastiq Work?

Using Plastiq to pay your bills is easy. Simply provide information about the recipient, including their name and address (or direct deposit details), as well as the payment amount.

Plastiq will then charge your credit card. Because this charge goes in as a purchase instead of a cash advance, you’ll avoid the cash advance fees that may otherwise be charged by your credit card issuer.

Platiq Add Card
Adding a card to your profile on Plastiq is easy!

However, Plastiq does charge a fee for each transaction.

The maximum fee per transaction when using the Plastiq service is 2.5%, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

In many cases, though, the points and/or other rewards you’ll receive from your credit card company can more than offset this fee —  especially if you’re a business owner who can write it off on your taxes.

Your bill recipients can be paid via check, wire transfer, or ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer. When the recipient receives their payment, you will receive an email notification. In addition, you can track all of your Plastiq transactions in your account.

If the recipient is paid by check, they will typically have their money in hand within 8 business days. Payments via wire transfer (domestic transactions within the U.S) will usually only take 1 day to clear — and in many cases, payment is received on the same day you initiate the transaction.

Likewise, by using the ACH bank transfer payment method, funds are generally deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account within just 1 day.

(Note that for international wire transfers, it may take between 1-3 business days for the payment to clear.)

Business owners can even use Plastiq to make payroll payments. In fact, Plastiq works with all major payroll service providers, so you can fund your entire payroll on a credit card. This can really help you accumulate points or other rewards on your card(s)!

Hot Tip: As an added bonus, business owners may be able to write off Plastiq fees on their tax return as a company expense.

For even more convenience, you can submit your payment(s) for either immediate or future processing. Just provide the payment data to Plastiq with a specific processing date in the future. This makes it easy to ensure your bills and other obligations are paid even when you’re focused on doing other things.

Which Credit Cards Can Be Used With Plastiq?

Plastiq accepts all major credit cards, including:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Diners Club International
  • JCB

Plastiq will also support direct debit payments, where the recipient would prefer to debit a Plastiq bank account instead of receiving payments via a bank transfer or a physical check.

Getting Your Plastiq Account Set Up

To get started, just create an account and enter information about the recipient(s) you are paying, as well as the amount. You can also choose which of your credit cards you want to use for paying the bill(s).

Registering for a Plastiq account will require you to provide your full name, phone number, and email address.

Once you have entered all the information, Plastiq will charge the credit card you have chosen, plus their transaction fee of up to 2.5%. (But there are methods of reducing or eliminating this transaction fee, so read on!)

What Are Common Uses for Plastiq?

Plastiq Pay Rent
You might as well earn miles and points when paying your rent or mortgage!

The sky’s the limit when you think about how many goods or services you can purchase via Plastiq.

Here are some of the most common uses:

Popular Uses of Plastiq
RentMortgage
TuitionUtilities
InsuranceTaxes

Unlike making purchases for items or services, you typically can’t pay your rent or mortgage using a credit card. But given the amount most people spend on regular monthly expenses like housing and utilities, the ability to do so (and reap the benefit of more credit card points!) could make a tremendous difference.

When Should You Use Plastiq?

So when exactly should you consider using Plastiq? The opportunities are many! By using Plastiq and referring others to the service, you can earn valuable bonuses like:

  • Credit card sign-up bonuses
  • Credit card big-spend bonuses
  • Plastiq Fee-Free Dollars

Earn a Sign-Up Bonus

First, there’s the sign-up bonus. Let’s say you’ve opened a new credit card or 2, which both have a sign-up bonus if you hit the minimum spending requirement in the stated time frame. If you are only able to use these cards for paying regular expenses, it may take a while to hit your minimum amount.

But for many of us, our rent or mortgage is where we spend a sizable chunk of money. Just think how much quicker you could reach the minimum spending requirement if you could pay your everyday expenses with your credit card(s).

With Plastiq, now you can!

For a small fee, you can put these large expenses on your new credit card to help you earn the sign-up bonus. When you consider the value of the points, you’ll often see that the sign-up bonus far outweighs the Plastiq fee.

Hot Tip: Check out our featured credit cards list to see the great sign-up bonuses offered right now. Many of them are large enough to allow you to book a one-way or round-trip award flight!

Hit a Big-Spend Bonus

Many credit cards provide annual bonuses for hitting specific spending thresholds. From free hotel nights to bonus miles/points or elite status, using Plastiq to pay your “everyday” bills can help you earn these perks.

When doing so, you’ll have to decide whether or not these perks outweigh the processing fee in your particular situation.

Here are some examples of the perks you could earn. Make sure to check with each card for their current offers:

Credit CardSpending RequirementBig Spend Perks (Example)
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®$40,00010,000 EQM’s
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express$30,000/$60,00015,000 SkyMiles and MQMs toward status at each benchmark
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express$30,000Earn Gold Elite status
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Card$35,000Earn Gold Elite status
The JetBlue Plus Card$50,000Mosaic status for the remainder of the calendar year and the following year
Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card$30,000Travel Together companion ticket
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card110,000 Rapid Rewards pointsCompanion Pass for the remainder of the current year and the following year
Citi® Hilton Honors™ Reserve Card$40,000Diamond status; free weekend night at $10,000
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card$40,000Diamond status

Another perk for those who fly Delta regularly is the Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver that can be earned through one of this airline’s co-branded American Express cards. If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year on one of these cards, it waives the requirement that you must hit spending thresholds with Delta to earn status.

United has a similar arrangement with the United Explorer℠ Card. With $25,000 in spending, the Premier Qualifying Dollar requirement is waived up to Premier Platinum status. (Earning Premier 1K status will still require you to spend $12,000 on United flights.)

Points Outweigh the Fees

If you’re not working on a minimum spend or an annual big-spend bonus, make sure you carefully consider which card you use when paying via Plastiq.

Since you’ll be paying a 2.5% fee, you will want to use a card that earns a category bonus if at all possible. If you will only be earning 1x points from your card, it’s best to top off an account so you can book an award.

Additionally, it might be worth it for you to earn points this way if you want to fly business or first class, since points are much more valuable when booking premium cabin travel.

Earning Plastiq Bonus Points

In addition to earning your sign-up and big-spend bonuses, there is a way that you could reduce (or even eliminate) the 2.5% fee that is charged for Plastiq transactions. This is by accumulating Fee-Free Dollars.

As the name implies, Fee-Free Dollars — also referred to as FFDs — are dollars that can be sent through Plastiq without you incurring any fees.

Here is how this might work. If you have $1,000 in Fee-Free Dollars and you pay a bill in the amount of $800, then no fees will be charged on that transaction. If you happen to have any FFDs left over, that amount can apply to the next payment you make through Plastiq.

Hot Tip: Plastiq will occasionally run promotions for lower fees, such as dropping their charge to 1.5% on Visa or MasterCard payments above a certain amount. Be sure to check the Plastiq website frequently for promos, especially if there are other rewards that can be accumulated on your credit card.

Plastiq Referral/Affiliate Program

You may want to take part in the Plastiq Referral Program to encourage your friends, family members, business associates, and others to use the service.

For each contact who registers with Plastiq through the referral program and completes a payment of at least $500, you will earn 1,000 Fee-Free Dollars (FFDs). Your newly-referred contact will also receive 500 FFDs.

Plastiq Referral
Refer friends to make Plastiq an even better deal for earning miles and points!

You can obtain a tracking link for referring others to the Plastiq service. Any contact who follows this link and also signs up for a Plastiq account within the same website session will be considered your referral and can trigger the referral program payouts.

Some Items to Consider Before Signing up With Plastiq

Even with all the great benefits you can get when using Plastiq, there are a few items to keep in mind before you dive in.

First, there are of course the potential fees. You’ll need to make sure any rewards you earn are worth more to you than the fee incurred.

In addition, even if you have a substantial amount of Fee-Free Dollars in your Plastiq account, be mindful of when these rewards expire.

For example, these “dollars” will need to be used relatively quickly — typically within 90 days of earning them. Otherwise, they will expire. Using or earning any of your FFD points will “reset” the clock to 90 days.

There are also some restrictions on the type of services you can pay using Plastiq. For instance, Plastiq will not support transfers of money to yourself or to an entity in which you have control (such as a company that you own).

It also does not allow you to send money on behalf of another party, for a transaction that is not in conjunction with a direct exchange of a good or service, and for goods or services whose delivery or completion has not yet been confirmed.

You can view the Plastiq Terms of Service in its entirety here.

Final Thoughts

Nobody really relishes the idea of paying bills, especially big ones. But earning rewards for doing so can help to ease the financial pain (at least somewhat).

Being able to pay your bills early — even when you don’t have the cash on hand to do so — can also provide you with added rewards, along with the peace of mind of knowing you won’t be hit with a late fee from the creditor or lender.

With that in mind, using Plastiq can be a great way to pay just about any of your bills quickly and conveniently, along with getting some nice additional perks!

FAQ

What is Plastiq?

Plastiq is a bill pay service that allows you to use a credit card to make payments. They send a check or initiate an electronic bank transfer to the payee on your behalf.

Who can I pay with Plastiq?

You can pay businesses, organizations, and individuals located in the U.S. or Canada.

What cards are accepted by Plastiq?

You can use American Express, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover for almost all Plastiq payments.

What are the fees to use Plastiq?

They charge a 2.5% processing fee for credit cards, but often run promotions that reduce the fee. The fee for debit cards is 1%.

How long do payments take to be delivered?

Once a payment has been processed, checks are delivered in 5-7 business days.

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9 comments

  1. Christian · September 8, 2018 · Reply

    Nice article. I was thinking about paying my business rent with my Hyatt Visa next year to maintain Globalist status. The rent is over $5,000 a month, so that would help a lot with 2 nights elite credit per $5,000 put on the card. The thing is, I remember reading somewhere that using a personal Visa card with Plastiq is difficult, because Plastiq needs to authorize 5 times the amount being charged. Are you familiar with this, and if so, any suggestions? I have an awful lot of Chase cards, with credit spread all over the place, so getting my credit limit bumped up to $30,000 or so is not gonna happen.

    • Hey Christian – I personally have never had that issue and I’ve Plastiq used the service a LOT with Personal VISA Cards. I wouldn’t be too concerned about it, perhaps it was just a blip for that reader or an anomaly.

  2. erin Cheng · September 11, 2018 · Reply

    I used to use chase ink prefer card to pay tax and get 3x reward points on plastiq but last week after I paid my tax I didn’t get 3x. Any suggestion what credit card to use on plastiq to get 3x reward points?

    • Stephen Au · September 12, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Erin, you can use the Citi DoubleCash, AmEx BBP, or Capital One Spark for 2% cash back, or 2x MR, or 2% cash back.

  3. ink prefer card · September 18, 2018 · Reply

    Ink Preferred card no longer earns 3x? Can someone confirm again?

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 18, 2018 · Reply

      Yes, that is correct. My last payment with the Ink Preferred card using Plastiq did not earn 3X and others have reported the same.

    • Stephen Au · September 18, 2018 · Reply

      Yes. Chase Ink Preferred no longer earns 3X on Plastiq.

  4. Hi there.
    I have a question regarding $500 referral. If i make a payment of $2500, will i still get $500 fee off of my $2500? For example, plastiq will only charge me 2.5% based on $2000 not $2500. Please correct me if i am wrong. Thanks

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