Best credit cards for Plastiq bill payments (updated w/ 2.85% fee)

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Plastiq is an online bill payment service that lets you pay almost all of your bills by credit card.  The usual fee is 2.85%, but they sometimes run promotions with reduced rates (especially for Mastercard payments).  Full details about Plastiq can be found in our guide: Complete Guide to Plastiq Bill Payments, and here we’ll investigate the best credit cards for Plastiq bill payments.

It is often worth paying Plastiq’s 2.85% fee in order to meet minimum spend requirements for a new card signup bonus.  It can also be worthwhile when the card is offering a bonus spend promotion or if you receive a good spend-linked card retention offer.  For example, if you call to cancel a card you may be offered a deal to keep your card, and that deal may be a bunch of points or cash back after spending a set amount.  Another situation where it can be worthwhile to pay for Plastiq is when cashflow is a problem.  Plastiq makes it possible to pay your bills with your credit card and then have until the credit card bill comes due to cover those charges (caution: this is very risky if you’re not sure that you can cover the charges).

Aside from the above ideas for when it makes sense to use Plastiq, another question is whether there are cards that earn rewards equal or better than 2.85% for Plastiq payments? In this post I’ll list the credit cards that make sense to use with Plastiq even when none of the above conditions apply.  These are the cards that make sense every day for Plastiq bill payments.

Plastiq restrictions by card issuer

Various card issuers and payment networks have imposed restrictions on Plastiq.  For example, you can use Plastiq to pay your mortgage with Mastercard or Discover, but not with Amex or Visa.  Overall, Mastercard & Discover are the least restrictive followed by business Visa cards.

Here’s a chart that summarizes the types of payments allowed:

The rules for consumer Visa cards are especially confusing.  Plastiq maintains details here.  The key details to note from Plastiq’s page are as follows:

  • The following categories of payments are safe: Rent, Utilities, Tuition (including daycares & camps), Taxes and government fees
  • Plastiq will prevent any payments that could incur cash advance treatment.  In other words, it can’t hurt to try using your Visa card for a payment because if there’s a chance of it being treated as a cash advance, Plastiq won’t let you finalize the payment.
  • Wells Fargo Visa credit cards are not affected.
  • Visa cards issued by Alliant, Navy Federal Credit Union, and USAA supposedly won’t earn rewards for Plastiq payments.

Best Cards for Plastiq Payments

The best cards for Plastiq payments are those that offer the best rewards and the fewest restrictions.  With that in mind, here are my favorites…

Bank of America Cards with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards

If you have $100,000 on deposit with Bank of America and/or Merrill Edge or Merrill Lynch, they’ll give you a sort of bank elite status called Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards.  With this status, you get a 75% bonus on rewards earned with certain Bank of America credit cards.  Each has pros and cons for use with Plastiq…

Bank of America Cash Rewards (5.25%)

Bank of America Cash Rewards (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards)

Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
1.75%
Travel
5.25%
Dine
5.25%
Gas
5.25%
Grocery
3.5%
Shop
5.25%
Other
5.25%

Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, earn: 3.5% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 5.25% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter

This card earns 3% back on the category you choose, capped at $2500 in purchases per quarter.  With the Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards 75% bonus, this becomes 5.25% in rewards!

Readers have reported that Plastiq payments count towards the “online shopping” category.

Disadvantages:

  • $2500 cap per quarter
  • Card is usually issued as a Visa card which means there are many restrictions on what types of bills you can pay.  That said, some people have reported success obtaining a Mastercard version of this card.  One option if you already have a Bank of America Mastercard is to call to ask if they can convert it to the Cash Rewards card.

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard (Up to 5.25%)

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business)

Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard

Base
1.75%
Travel
5.25%
Dine
3.5%
Gas
5.25%
Phone
5.25%
Office
5.25%
Biz
5.25%

Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, this card earns: 3.5% on dining plus 5.25% on 1 choice from: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services (for the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases each calendar year, 1.75% thereafter) and 1.75% everywhere else.

This card earns 2% on dining and 3% back on the category you choose, capped at $50K in purchases per year.  With the Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business 75% bonus, the 3% category earns 5.25% in rewards!  Choices for 3% are: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services.

Some rent and mortgage payments through Plastiq code as travel and therefore earn 5.25% cash back.

Disadvantages:

  • Since this is a business card, you must have Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business.  To get this status, you must have $100K on deposit in Bank of America or Merrill Edge business accounts.

Bank of America Premium Rewards (2.62% or 3.5%)

Bank of America Premium Rewards (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards)

Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
2.625X
(2.63%)
Travel
3.5X
(3.5%)
Dine
3.5X
(3.5%)

Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, earn: 3.5X travel and dining ⚬ 2.625X everywhere else

This card earns 2% for travel & dining and 1.5% back for all other spend.  With the Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards 75% bonus, the former becomes 3.5% and the latter becomes 2.62% in rewards.

Some rent payments through Plastiq code as travel and therefore earn 3.5% cash back.

Disadvantages:

  • Card is issued as a Visa card and therefore can’t be used for Mortgage payments.  I don’t believe there’s a Mastercard version available.

BOA Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard (2.62%)

BOA Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business)

Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
2.625X
(2.63%)
Travel
5.25X
(5.25%)

Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, this card earns: 2.625X points for all spend (and 5.25X for travel purchased through BOA's travel center)

This Mastercard earns 1.5% back towards travel for all spend.  With the Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards 75% bonus, this becomes 2.62% in rewards.  Those with a Bank of America Premium Rewards card can transfer points to that card in order to cash out at full value without having to spend points on travel.

While 2.62% falls short of Plastiq’s 2.85% fee, it makes the fee negligible enough to be worth considering Plastiq as a way to give you extra time to pay your bills.

Disadvantages:

  • Since this is a business card, you must have Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business.  To get this status, you must have $100K on deposit in Bank of America or Merrill Edge business accounts.
  • Rewards at 2.62% fall short of covering Plastiq’s 2.85% fee.

Bank of America Travel Rewards (2.62%)

Bank of America Travel Rewards (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards)

Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
2.625X
(2.63%)
Travel
5.25X
(5.25%)

Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, this card earns: 2.625X points for all spend (and 5.25X for travel purchased through BOA's travel center)

This card earns 1.5% back towards travel for all spend.  With the Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards 75% bonus, this becomes 2.62% in rewards.  Those with a Bank of America Premium Rewards card can transfer points to that card in order to cash out at full value without having to spend points on travel.

While 2.62% falls short of Plastiq’s 2.85% fee, it makes the fee negligible enough to be worth considering Plastiq as a way to give you extra time to pay your bills.

Disadvantages:

  • Card is usually issued as a Visa card which means there are many restrictions on what types of bills you can pay.  That said, some people have reported success obtaining a Mastercard version of this card.  One option if you already have a Bank of America Mastercard is to call to ask if they can convert it to the Travel Rewards card.
  • Rewards at 2.62% fall short of covering Plastiq’s 2.85% fee.

Discover It Miles: Year 1 (3%)

Discover it Miles - Double Miles your first year

FM Mini Review: Great card to get for its first year 3% cash back.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Discover

Base
1.5%

Earning rate: 1.5 miles per dollar for all spend.

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ No foreign transaction fees ⚬ Redeem miles for travel or for cash back (1 cent per mile either way)

See also: Discover introduces a new card and a potentially VERY lucrative 1st year offer

The Discover It Miles card offers 1.5% cash back for all spend, but they double rewards after the first year.  This effectively makes the card a 3% everywhere cash back card in year 1.  This is a great choice when you consider that Discover cards (along with Mastercards) have the fewest bill pay restrictions.

Disadvantages:

  • After your first membership year with this card it is no longer useful.
  • Lately Discover has been granting very low credit lines for new cards.

Citi Double Cash Mastercard (2X)

Citi Double Cash Card

FM Mini Review: 2X rewards for all spend with no annual fee makes this card a winner. Earn 2X everywhere and redeem for the equivalent of 2% cash back or 2X ThankYou points. Pair with the Premier or Prestige card to make points transferrable to airlines.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base

Earning rate: 2% cash back everywhere (1% cash back for each purchase + 1% when paying your credit card bill for that purchase)

Noteworthy perks: 1X when you make a purchase + 1X when you pay for those purchases

The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back for all spend.  Even better, cash rewards can be converted to ThankYou points.  Combine with the Citi Premier or Prestige card and you get the ability to transfer points to airline partners.  By transferring to select partners to book high value awards, it’s possible to average far better than 2% in rewards from this card.

Disadvantages:

  • If you plan to use cash rewards rather than transferring points to airline loyalty programs, then you’ll lose money by using Plastiq at 2.85%

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard

Annual Fee: $90

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Brand

Earning rate: 3X Virgin Atlantic ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Companion award ticket with $25K annual spend ⚬ 7,500 bonus points with $15K cardmember year spend + an additional 7,500 points with $25K cardmember year spend ⚬ 25 tier points towards elite status per $2,500 spend (max 50 tier points per month).

See also: Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard Deep Dive: Maximize Earnings and Status

This is a great card if you maximize the card’s spend bonuses.  By itself, the card earns 1.5 miles for all spend, but you can also pick up the following bonuses:

  • Companion award ticket with $25K annual spend.
  • 7,500 bonus miles with $15K cardmember year spend.
  • Additional 7,500 bonus miles with $25K cardmember year spend.
  • Also: 25 tier point towards elite status per $2,500 spend (max 50 tier points per month).

If you spend $2500 per month, you’ll earn 60,000 miles in 12 months plus a companion award ticket.  See: Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard Deep Dive.

Amex Blue Business Plus (2X)

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card

FM Mini Review: 2X rewards for all spend (up to $50K per year) with no annual fee makes this card a winner.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base

Earning rate: 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

This one earns 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1X thereafter).  Membership Rewards points can be incredibly valuable for transferring to airline partners to book high value awards.

Disadvantages:

  • This is an Amex card and so the types of bills that can be paid are quite limited.

Amex Delta Platinum Business (1.5X + Elite Status)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Credit Card from American Express

FM Mini Review: Good choice for frequent Delta flyers who can make use of annual companion certificate


Annual Fee: $250

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Brand
Other

Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ⚬ 1.5X on purchases of $5K or more (max 50K extra miles per year)

Big spend bonus: Spend $25,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn 10,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs); spend a total of $50,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn an additional 10,000 MQMs ⚬ Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver (up to Platinum status) with $25K spend across one or more Delta cards (or $250K spend for Diamond status) ⚬ Terms and limitations apply.

Noteworthy perks: Domestic economy companion certificate (subject to taxes & fees) each year upon card renewal ⚬ Priority boarding ⚬ First checked bag free ⚬ Terms and Limitations Apply. (Rates & Fees)

This is a good choice for those who pursue Delta elite status and have large bills ($5K or more) which can be paid by Plastiq.  That’s a pretty limiting combination, but if it fits you then with this card you can earn the following:

  • 1.5X on purchases of $5K or more (max 50K extra miles per year)
  • Spend $25,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)
  • Spend a total of $50,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn an additional 10,000 MQMs
  • Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver (up to Platinum status) with $25K spend.

Disadvantages:

  • This is an Amex card and so the types of bills that can be paid are quite limited.
  • Only optimal for large bill payments (over $5,000) where you’ll earn 1.5 miles per dollar.
  • This only makes sense for those chasing Delta elite status.

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card (5X + free night)

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

FM Mini Review: This is a good choice for its welcome bonus, 40K per year bonus, Gold status, 5X everywhere rewards, and ability to earn up to 3 free nights per year.


Annual Fee: $75

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 10X at CC hotels ⚬ 5X elsewhere.

Big spend bonus: Free night at any US property after each $10K annual spend up to $30K.

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Automatic Gold status ⚬ 40K bonus per year.

This card offers 5X for all spend plus a free night at any US property after each $10K annual spend up to $30,000 for a maximum of 3 free nights. Sadly, there aren’t very many desirable Radisson Rewards properties in the US, but there are a few (the Radisson Blu Chicago is particularly noteworthy).

I only recommend using Plastiq with this card in order to get to one of the three $10K thresholds for earning free night certificates.  The 5X points alone aren’t worth the 2.85% fee.

Disadvantages:

  • This is a consumer Visa card and so the types of bills that can be paid are quite limited.
  • Free night certificates are only good at properties in the United States.
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