An easier (and now cheaper) way to increase credit card spend: Plastiq


PlastiqThere are many reasons why you might be interested in increasing credit card spend, such as:

  1. Meet minimum spend requirements to secure big credit card signup bonuses.
  2. Earn credit card big spend bonuses.
  3. Earn credit card rewards, ideally when the cost of increasing credit card spend is less than the value of the rewards.  See: Best rewards for everyday spend.

On the page, “How to increase credit card spend,” I list many options for manufacturing spend.  Most are fairly complicated.  One that stands out as easy, though, is Plastiq.  If you have large expenses that can’t normally be paid via credit card, Plastiq offers a simple solution: Use their service to pay bills.  In exchange for a fee (normally 2.5%), you can pay those bills with credit cards.  Here are example uses:

  • Car payments (monthly leases)
  • Rent
  • Mortgage
  • Tuition
  • Contractors
  • Nannies, babysitters
  • Landscapers
  • Purchase car, boat
  • Professional services: Law firms, Accounting firms, PR agencies, etc.
  • (more examples can be found here)

Unlike a few similar services, Plastiq is not limited to payees in their database.  If the payee (AKA biller) is not in the database, you can pay them through Plastiq by check or by bank transfer (ACH).  In fact, as a test, I recently succeeded in paying a landscaper through Plastiq. I gave him the choice of receiving the money by check or direct deposit to his bank account.  He chose the latter and he gave me his account number and routing number so that I could pay him.  I initiated payment on a Saturday evening and the money appeared in his account the following Friday morning (or possibly sometime on Thursday).

For detailed information about Plastiq, please see: The Complete guide to Plastiq credit card payments.  The guide includes complete information about types of bills that can (and cannot) be paid through Plastiq, reasons businesses may be interested in Plastiq, gift card usage with Plastiq, and more.

Promotional Rates

As announced via Quick Deals, Plastiq is currently offering reduced rates for bills paid by MasterCard or American Express credit cards. To get this rate, you must sign up for Plastiq using my link or a similar link from another publisher (Disclosure: I will receive a $5 referral fee for each person who signs up with my promo link).

Plastiq 1.99%

Please refer to this Quick Deals post for full information about the promotional rate, including how to lock in those rates long-term:

Pay mortgage, rent, and more by credit card. Plastiq offers 1.99% Amex and MasterCard promo rate

When it makes sense to use Plastiq

Even when cash flow isn’t a motivator, there are times when it can make sense to pay Plastiq’s fees in order to earn credit card rewards:

  • Use Plastiq only for bills that cannot already be paid by credit card.  Many billers accept credit cards and usually do not charge a fee for accepting them. In those cases, I’d argue that it’s almost always better to pay those billers directly by credit card rather than going through a service like Plastiq.  Note: one exception is when the biller does not accept a certain type of payment, such as American Express.
  • Use Plastiq when credit card rewards outweigh fees.  Unfortunately, there are very few cards that earn significantly more than 1.99% for non-bonus spend (see: Best rewards for everyday spend).  That said, there are times when a card’s earnings are better than usual.  For example, Shawn at Miles to Memories recently reported getting a retention offer for his wife’s Citi ThankYou Preferred MasterCard.  For the next 6 months, the card will earn an extra 2 points per dollar for all spend.  This means that Shawn’s wife would earn 3 points per dollar paying bills with Plastiq.  With a 1.99% fee, that’s like buying ThankYou points for .66 cents each.  And, considering that ThankYou points are worth between 1.33 and 1.6 cents per point for flights when you have a Citi Prestige card (which Shawn does have), that’s a great deal!
  • Use Plastiq with gift cards bought at a discount (or with cash back).  It is often possible to get up to 2.25% cash back when buying Amex gift cards.  Similarly, Visa and MasterCard gift cards are often available at discount from certain stores (such as with this recent deal).
  • Use Plastiq to meet large spend requirements for new credit card signup bonuses – if you can’t meet that spend in ways that incur no fees.  It may also make sense just for peace of mind of knowing that you can meet those spend requirements quickly, despite the fees.
  • Use Plastiq to help meet spend thresholds in order to secure big spend bonuses.  Make sure that the benefits outweigh the fees.


A number of readers have complained to me about their experiences with Plastiq.  A common issue is that payments take longer than expected.  Some readers reportedly have had to pay late fees as a result.  My impression is that Plastiq is a young company that has been overwhelmed by demand since I and a few other bloggers started writing about them.  I believe that they are working towards rectifying issues, but that is little consolation for those who experience these issues.

If you plan to try out Plastiq, I highly recommend sending in payments far in advance of their due date until you get a better idea of how long those payments take to process by Plastiq and by the payee.

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I agree — even in 2017, Plastiq is still super slow in processing its payments. It should be noted that they send their “checks” from a payment processor in Florida (despite their corporate headquarters being in SF, California), so their 5-7 promise is a bit optimistic when there is inclement weather.


Very unreliable. Caused my payment to be late and I was charged fees by both plastic and $50 late payment by my complex! Payment was received days after the 5-7 day promise.


Now they have a new referral program. Referree gets 200 fee-free dollars after making a $20 payment, and referrer gets 400. Here’s my link. I’d appreciate it.


Use the posted link, and then leave yours for the next person.


Please use mine next



I made some payments via Plastiq and it is taking more than a month. Their service is deplorable. Anyone know any other alternative to Plastiq?


How do you set up ACH payment if you have to manually add a payee? Couldn’t find that option anywhere.


I recently tried Plastiq to pay my power bill on 9/28 to see if I can get double points on my Barclay Rewards. Today it finally showed up complete on my transactions. I did get double points. Under the category when you pick what it is, I picked Utility. I hope this helps.

Jerry Mandel

Here in Dallas, Texas, all my utilities + cable & cell phone accept credit cards. I make big prepayments to meet minimum spending for sign up bonuses and get it back from no monthly payments for some months. A no cost manufactured spending. Also, insurances.


I signed up for Plastiq during their recent 0% fee promo for utility payments. I set up 12 recurring monthly payments, entered my credit card info, confirmed the 0% promo fee and waited for first payment to occur. But things did not occur as expected.

The situation with my utility payments is that the amount varies each month depending on how much water or electricity I use. For electricity, I could pay $250 in the summer but only $70 in the winter, but Plastiq requires you to setup recurring payments that cannot be changed to qualify for the 0% fee promo. If you change the recurring amount for this promo after you set it up, the 0% fee promo no longer qualifies and you would get charged up to 3%.

So, Plastiq only worked for this promo if you had static (non changing) utility payments every month.

In addition, Plastiq messed up on my first payment saying “our processor encountered issues that caused one or more of your payment to fail.” That’s a vague way of saying that we are not going to make the payment for you, because I could not find any payment history on my Plastiq account. Luckily I discovered this prior to my utility payments due date because I scheduled the Plastiq payment to occur 7 days prior to due date.

I promptly cancelled my Plastiq account and have no intentions of using this unreliable service again.

[…] Link to article on Paying Bills with Plastiq (Frequent Miler) […]


Honestly, with as piss poor as my experience has been (12 business days-still waiting for ACH payments to show up!), they’re toast in my opinion. If they can’t fix their problems soon, all of their venture capital will go toward fighting off the class-action lawyers.


FM, I’ve been a long time supporter and always follow your links for my AORs. I’m so disappointed by this recommendation. Plastiq has been a nightmare. The payments are late, their CSRs are clueless (They “escalate” promising a phone call response in 24 hours but it never comes.) I was excited about this opportunity and jumped on it immediately because you backed it but now I’m in trouble with my mortgage and car payments and have late fees for utilities. Either they are completely incompetent or have crashed under the weight of new customers. Either way, you need to distance yourself from this as it has blemished my experience with you.


i signed up with ur link but i get 2.5%!


Any feedback from the chase Ink charge you ran back on the 5th?


I signed up for Plastiq a month ago. I’ve never used it. Can I still get the promo offer? How do I ensure that I get the 1.99% offer? Thanks! I really want to give this a try…


My experience has not been a good one, payments taking forever to get there that made me nervous. I mean what happens if you send a payment and then these guys fold? You can kiss your money goodbye.


How long after mortgage payment is submitted is my credit card actually charged? I want to meet minimum spend within the next 4-6 days.


I am a complete newbie to all this manufactured spending and travel hacking stuff, but wouldn’t Plastiq be an excellent choice to pay off my rent, as long as that payment goes toward satisfying the credit cards with the bonus miles deals attached to them? And also to pay off, let’s say, my Medical Insurance montlies that already charge me to make automatic deductions via credit cards?




I’m confused about something and I hope someone will respond. A lot of you seem to always want to get literally every dollar out of a deal. An example is buying using a credit card to buy Amex gc in order to buy Visa gc in order to load Redbird/Serve/Bluebird. Why would any of you that do that pay 1.99% instead of the 1% or so that a Visa gc costs? If it’s convenience then why would you buy the Amex gc in the first place? Isn’t it much more convenient to simply use your credit card to pay Plastiq directly? I realize you wouldn’t be making any (or much) money that way but that’s the whole point of my question. Why pay 1.99% instead of 1%? Am I missing something?


Thanks for the heads up. I’ve used another service like this before. The way I see it, the benefits outweigh the cost. I suppose it all depends on how you value things.

—I don’t want to go through the trouble of buying gift cards.
—I don’t want to have to take said gift cards to a Walmart to load them onto Bluebird.
—I want to be able to use an AmEx to get the spend bonus that I otherwise wouldn’t necessarily get.
—I don’t want to feel like I’m at the fringes of what’s acceptable as it relates to T&C’s. I understand that it may not be breaking any rules, but at this point in my life I try to stay as far outside the gray areas as I can.

All of that is CERTAINLY worth a 1.99% fee to me. It may not be to others. I get it. Do what works for you.

Matt B

Unlike others, i’m all over the potential here. Just struggling big time to get the site to work. I’ve spent about 2 hours so far trying to get an ACH to my mortgage company to work (CitiMortgage). Have called in twice now but for some reason i’m getting an error when submitting payment. I thought at first it might be because the account number I put in memo field had a hyphen. That didn’t work, called back CSR and she’s asking me if i put in the CSV on my credit card – there is no field for CSV that I can see. If anyone else runs into same problems and figures out, let me know.

Matt B

Figured it out – I was trying to set up recurring payments, and for some reason it does not show the CSV field when doing that. As soon as I switched to one-time payment, the CSV field pops up and all worked fine this time.


Any idea if this will count for the 3x online merchant bonus of the Citi AT&T Access More card? Probably still worth it to get the 10k annual bonus but it’d be a nice cherry.

data point

Used Plastiq to make a loan payment on the Access More card and yes it posted as 3x. But if Plastiq is also charging you a 3% fee you are essentially breaking even. Good to hit the 10k spending bonus on this card I guess.


Greg, how do the charges show up on your credit card bill? Any idea if Plastiq would show up as an online retailer? It would be very beneficial for a certain credit card I have


Can you please run test transaction with Chase Ink? When I purchase GC via paypal digital it is coded as a utility category to earn 5%. If Plastiq can earn 5% on Chase Ink then 🙂


Are you sure AMEX gift cards can be used? I just looked through the website, I think I remember seeing a required name for the credit card. You think we can just put our name on there even though the card is unpersonalized?


Is there any chance of Radpad lowering their 2.99 rate to come close to matching this?


Pretty disappointed after hearing these stories. I had Plastiq in mind to help me meet required spend for CSP. Planning the app around November to take advantage of christmas spending. I figured my landlord would let me pay a few months with Plastiq if I explained the need. Now I’m hesitant.
Have to look more closely at BB but, here in New York, walmart is an absolute disaster and local retailers are usually the first to catch on to anything they consider “unsavory” and clamp down on it.


Like the post–always the most open and balanced opinion when compared to the other blogs.



I used them once a couple months ago when this deal first surfaced…it was a major PITA. They froze my payment for weeks and asked me to submit a bill of sale proving that it was legit.

I don’t really get why they are so aggressively targeting the blogs when they have to know people that read these blogs are MS’ers. Maybe this means they are going to relax a bit and turn a bit of a blind eye to MS activities…but I wouldn’t count on it.


Yea as with any deal one of the first questions I think needs to be asked is: how much can this be scaled?

If they are going to continue to be super aggressive on stopping anything they consider illegitimate then this has limited ability to scale…if they are going to make this a bit of a wink wink nod nod arrangement then perhaps we can actually move some real volume.


Using Amex everyday, it seems like a no brainer. If I can set it and forget it to pay my mortgage, I’m a buyer all year long at $1.99 for 150 Amex points. A 23 day delay, though, sounds like something I want no part of, so I think I will wait to hear more about check payment experiences.

Jon Chan

Will I be able to pay off a credit card payment using Plastiq? To be more specific, Citi Double Cash. If American Express gift cards can be used, it would be a great way to increase spending.

Jon Chan

I do not have much expenses, but I still signed up anyway. Thanks for the find, Greg!


I read through the terms and didn’t see that. How do you know it isn’t allowed?

Are there other services that will allow it?

Jerry Mandel

Yes, credit card payments would be ideal for manufactured spending to get the big sign up bonuses. Would ANY credit card-ANY-let you buy $500 VISA/MC gift debit cards and then let you use them with Plastiq to pay off the minimum spending charge? Alternately, let you use the credit card directly to load Plastiq to pay off the credit card? ANY?


Very disappointed with this post. Very unlike FM!


I am complaining about referral fee. I support that 100%. It’s the 1.99% I am gagging on. But if they move ACH money with speed then I am all in


I wonder if paying off “marker’s” (casino) or front money would be a possible use? The payments look like management companies anyway. (for example : MDDC LLC, or the full name : Marina District Development Company, LLC?) Would be a “super easy” way to deal with a very large spend requirement for a new card, all in one transaction.

Thoughts? Would you just call it “real estate?” – You do have an account #.

Will S

I don’t get it. What can Plastiq do that my Amex Bluebird account can’t already do — and with NO FEE? I pay most of my bills (including the mortgage) with BlueBird already. Those times when I had a bill not in the BlueBird data base, like my local elec coop, I called up BlueBird — and within hours, they had the payee added to their system. When that doesn’t work, like when paying my taxes, or local bills, I use one of my bluebird checks, write out it out, and again, NO FEE.

So what possible advantage does this “plastique” plastic have over bluebird? As in ever?

Seems to me you and others are pushing this too hard.


I suppose if someone doesn’t live near a Walmart, doesn’t have or like Bluebird, etc…


How do you know that credit card bills aren’t allowed by Plastiq?


I agree with Will S.
if you have access to BB you would never have a reason to use this.
Anything with a 2%- 2.5% fee is counterproductive….might as well go back to paypal, amazon payments, and get a creditcard swipe pay gadget for your phone.

[…] Looks like Plastiq is paying the bloggers, with special offer of 1.99% for Amex/Mastercard. The Points Guy has it on his website as well. Anyone use Plastiq to pay mortgage and real estate taxes?…spend-plastiq/ […]


We wary of them:

My first ever payment — to my mortgage company — took 23 days to arrive. After having to send in my DL, and then a selfie-picture (seriously?) and a copy of the actual mortgage statement.

My second ever payment — to the same mortgage company — took 17 days to arrive. After being told that this was a payment to a credit card company and they do not support that. Huh? The account number is not even 16 digits long and it’s a mortgage company. Was asked to send in mortgage statement and copy of my DL — until I told them they already asked me that last time.

I had set up other payments — condo fees — but might send in a separate check since I just don’t trust that they will arrive in a timely matter, no matter what Plastiq promises.

Another nonsensical practice: You get an email saying your payment has been successfully processed. Then another email a week later saying, ok funds approved, we sent out payment to your biller today. Huh? Why would it take a week between “payment sucessfully processed” to “payment sent out”?


No, this was very recent (past couple of weeks). Their customer service rep (Beatrice) actually responds pretty quickly and is nice and polite, but I think their back of the house infrastructure seems very slow.

But questioning me whether a 10 digit account number is a credit card account or not was pretty galling. I’ll try a few more times to see if they’ve ironed out their kinks. But I’m still waiting on confirmation that they have actually even sent out payment that I initiated last week (and that was “successfully processed” last week). At this point it seems saver to send another check to my payee to avoid a late fee. (They have since claimed that it may take up to 10 BUSINESS DAYS for a check to arrive AFTER it’s actually sent — meaning a week after it’s initiated and “Processed”. That’s a total of up to 3 weeks to get somebody paid.)




Yeah Ken I had similar experience. Sent a rent payment via ACH to my landlord as i was out of state on vacation. Trying my best to avoid the late fees racking up, seen at it was going to be cheaper and faster than radpad. Payment was successfully processed. 2 days ago i got a message from Beatrice asking for me to provide a copy of my rentals agreement and a selfie. I was given 48 hours to present said documents or the transaction would be cancelled.
Well the late fees are now racking up and i now have to use radpad. So much for providing an easier way to pay bills.
Note to everyone have your rentals agreement, a selfie and whatever other document you might be paying for ready or your transaction will get declined after it has shown processed and accepted.


Do you know if there is a way to get the AMEX promotional rates for those of us who already have an account with Plastiq.