Using Plastiq?

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Loik098
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Using Plastiq?

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:31 am

Hello friends,

Anyone out there have recent, positive experience with paying bills like one's mortgage or student loans with Plastiq? I'm interested in meeting a couple of CC bonus levels ASAP, so I'd be looking to pay via gift cards. Any tips/experience on that end would be appreciated. Thank you!

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packet
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by packet » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:32 pm

Never heard of this until your post.

The web site shows, "2.5% fee or less".

This would negate my 1.5% cash back credit card...

What's the upside?

:beerCheers,
packet
First round’s on me.

Loik098
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:45 pm

packet wrote:
The web site shows, "2.5% fee or less". This would negate my 1.5% cash back credit card...

What's the upside?

:beerCheers,
packet


You're correct, and I wouldn't plan on using this strategy month-to-month for that very reason. The upside (reward) is getting me to companion pass status on a new set of Southwest credit cards so that I can book a pair of flights ASAP. I'm willing to pay a bit for that privilege.

In my reading about how folks have found ways to pay mortgages/bills on forums such as Flyertalk, my impression is that some of the other methods (Bluebird, etc) have dried up somewhat in the past year or two.

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8foot7
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:16 pm

Used it three times in past two months

One mortgage payment -- submitted on 1st of month; was very slow but ultimately arrived within the grace period

Two payments to Lexus Financial Services. Both submitted on 1st, both arrived by 8th

Only did it for meeting minimum spend for signing bonus but it did what it says on the tin

Loandapper
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loandapper » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:22 pm

Yes, I've successfully used it several times.

About eight months ago, they were offering a promotion: for any recurring payment you set up with Plastiq, they would only charge a 1.5% fee. I used my Citi Double Cash card and have been successfully getting paid to pay my mortgage and car payment all year. (I could only set it to continue until the card's expiration date next year.) That's about a $375 value so far. Every payment has arrived on time. And In true Bogglehead fashion, I schedule the payments to hit on the first day of the card's billing cycle. Then, I move the money I would've used to pay the bill into a high-yield savings account for 60 days until the CC bill is due. That's another several hundred in arbitrage interest over the year.

I have also used it several times for large one-off bills. The check always arrives 7-10 business days after I click send. No issues. One time, I meant to schedule a payment but clicked 'pay instantly' by accident. Customer service was very responsive.

They have a new app that lets you take a picture of any bill and it supposedly captures all the info, including address, payment amount, account number, etc...then bills it to your credit card and sends a check. I have not tried this yet but it seems cool.

Loandapper
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loandapper » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:24 pm

packet wrote:Never heard of this until your post.

The web site shows, "2.5% fee or less".

This would negate my 1.5% cash back credit card...

What's the upside?

:beerCheers,
packet


Not sure why they don't advertise this on the home page, but the fees vary. I have paid as little as 1.5%. Currently, anything I bill to my Mastercard is only 2%. I use my Citi Double Cash for big bills then arbitrate the cash for 60 days in a high-yield savings account. It adds up.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:41 am

Paying the fee makes sense only if you have a rewards rate higher than the fee. This can be helpful for example for credit card introductory offers where you need to satisfy minimum spending during a given period of time to earn a bonus, if you don't normally charge that much to your card.
There are several offers currently where you can earn about $500 for $3k-$4k in spending during the first 3 months. That is a 12-16% rewards rate, so paying 1.5-2.5% may make sense if you don't normally charge that much to your card, so you can pay bills to payees that don't accept cards, like your mortgage, or rent.

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packet
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by packet » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:35 am

Loandapper wrote:... I have paid as little as 1.5%. Currently, anything I bill to my Mastercard is only 2%. I use my Citi Double Cash for big bills then arbitrate the cash for 60 days in a high-yield savings account. It adds up.

This is a bit more interesting... :)

What's the pattern of 1.5% vs 2%?
Is it the card provider, IE Visa vs MasterCard?

You've got my mind working now... :) ... If I go get a 2% card, I've got a 0% car payment and a mortgage where the .5% would add up over time!
I'm off to do some math...

Thanks!

:beerCheers,
packet
First round’s on me.

Loandapper
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loandapper » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:06 pm

packet wrote:What's the pattern of 1.5% vs 2%?
Is it the card provider, IE Visa vs MasterCard?


The 1.5% was a special promo rate available about a year ago. I haven't seen that specific deal again but they've had others. It seems like all Mastercard transactions are 2%. I can't speak for other cards.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:45 pm

BTW, anyone who signs up through a referral link and makes a $20 payment will earn $200 fee-free dollars.

I did a search for one on google before I signed up, and made a $20 payment towards my Wells Fargo mortgage last night, which incurred a $0.50 fee.
This afternoon, I had $200 fee free dollars. I then made another $200 payment towards the mortgage, with no fee.

Net cost : 50 cents.
Net earned : 220/4000 * 500 = $27.50 cash ack from Chase Ultimate Rewards signup bonus.
220 * 0.01 = $2.2 from regular spending (1% cash back from Chase Ultimate Rewards).
Total cash back earned : $29.50 . And it would be 25% more if redeemed more travel. Not a bad return if you ask me. Definitely worth the 50 cents, IMO - even if you don't have a credit signup bonus to satisfy.

I will report on what date those credit card payments actually post to my mortgage account.

Also of note - the Chase card was opened as individual account in my husband's name, and I'm only an authorized user. I opened my plastiq account under my name. When adding the card with my name as the card holder, the card was not accepted by plastiq. But when I put his name, it was accepted, and I was allowed to use the card for payment. We obviously have the same billing address. I guess they need the primary account holder, but this is the first time it has ever happened. Not sure if this is a Plastiq or Chase issue.

If you do signup, definitely do it through a referral link, otherwise you won't get the $200 fee-free dollars for making the $20 payment.
The referrer will also get $400 fee-free dollars. I haven't tried to refer my husband yet. I suspect using the same Chase credit card under 2 different Plastiq accounts won't work, but will try it anyway. We have other cards we can use in any case, but only one with a signup bonus to satisfy right now. It still makes sense even with a card that gives 2% back. If anyone is not good with google, and in need of a referral link, feel free to PM me ;).

Oh, and one more thing - you cannot pay any credit card with Plastiq - you have to pay other bills. I just thought the mortgage was easiest, since we make $1000 monthly prepayments from our bank account. So, we can reduce the prepayment from the bank account by the $220 amount that was just paid with Plastiq. All our other bills are on autopay on credit cards.

Loik098
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loik098 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:10 pm

Loandapper wrote:Yes, I've successfully used it several times.

About eight months ago, they were offering a promotion: for any recurring payment you set up with Plastiq, they would only charge a 1.5% fee. I used my Citi Double Cash card and have been successfully getting paid to pay my mortgage and car payment all year. (I could only set it to continue until the card's expiration date next year.) That's about a $375 value so far. Every payment has arrived on time. And In true Bogglehead fashion, I schedule the payments to hit on the first day of the card's billing cycle. Then, I move the money I would've used to pay the bill into a high-yield savings account for 60 days until the CC bill is due. That's another several hundred in arbitrage interest over the year.

I have also used it several times for large one-off bills. The check always arrives 7-10 business days after I click send. No issues. One time, I meant to schedule a payment but clicked 'pay instantly' by accident. Customer service was very responsive.

They have a new app that lets you take a picture of any bill and it supposedly captures all the info, including address, payment amount, account number, etc...then bills it to your credit card and sends a check. I have not tried this yet but it seems cool.


Great. Thank you for sharing your experience and glad to hear you haven't experienced the headaches that others have. Apart from the promotional offers you referenced (which seemingly aren't as frequent now), using Plastiq to satisfy CC spends doesn't make as much sense as other easier/cheaper MS methods. All told, I'll look to cycle a few thousand through them and then move on unless they get consistently more competitive and reliable.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:05 am

Loik098 wrote:Great. Thank you for sharing your experience and glad to hear you haven't experienced the headaches that others have. Apart from the promotional offers you referenced (which seemingly aren't as frequent now), using Plastiq to satisfy CC spends doesn't make as much sense as other easier/cheaper MS methods. All told, I'll look to cycle a few thousand through them and then move on unless they get consistently more competitive and reliable.


What other MS methods have you been successful with lately ? I have been researching the topic, but have come up mostly empty. Sure, one can buy gift cards and spend those cards later, but that's more like "delayed spending", not "manufactured spending". I haven't found any practical way to liquidate them. Seems most of the way to redeem them for cash (like buying money orders, etc) get plugged very quickly.

RIDL
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by RIDL » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:56 pm

In addition to the reasons listed above, this service works well with the AT&T Access More card, which currently classifies bills being paid on plastiq as online retail. Which means that it gets 3 points per dollar for spending on plastiq. (of course this could change at any time if citi wants to change it.) I have done one payment so far with it and I think it took about 8 to 10 days to get there, so not too bad.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:24 pm

madbrain wrote:This afternoon, I had $200 fee free dollars. I then made another $200 payment towards the mortgage, with no fee.
...
I will report on what date those credit card payments actually post to my mortgage account.


So, this afternoon, I got an email from Plastiq saying that the $200 payment to my mortgage had been refunded. There was no explanation.
I opened a support ticket. I got a response that there was an "error" during payment processing, and Plastiq invited me to try again. No detail on what that error might be. This is really less than helpful. I resubmitted the payment. Let's see what happens tomorrow ...

Loik098
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loik098 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:05 pm

madbrain wrote:
Loik098 wrote:Great. Thank you for sharing your experience and glad to hear you haven't experienced the headaches that others have. Apart from the promotional offers you referenced (which seemingly aren't as frequent now), using Plastiq to satisfy CC spends doesn't make as much sense as other easier/cheaper MS methods. All told, I'll look to cycle a few thousand through them and then move on unless they get consistently more competitive and reliable.


What other MS methods have you been successful with lately ? I have been researching the topic, but have come up mostly empty. Sure, one can buy gift cards and spend those cards later, but that's more like "delayed spending", not "manufactured spending". I haven't found any practical way to liquidate them. Seems most of the way to redeem them for cash (like buying money orders, etc) get plugged very quickly.


I sent you a PM :sharebeer

navyitaly
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by navyitaly » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:52 am

If you are Platinum Honors with Bank of America and have Travel Rewards (2.625%), it's free money for bills you have to pay anyway. I do it every month to make a few bucks on the 2.625 - 2.5% spread. Takes two seconds and just pay the bill to the Visa card and redeem the credit as cash back.

SRenaeP
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:21 am

Loik098 wrote:
madbrain wrote:
Loik098 wrote:Great. Thank you for sharing your experience and glad to hear you haven't experienced the headaches that others have. Apart from the promotional offers you referenced (which seemingly aren't as frequent now), using Plastiq to satisfy CC spends doesn't make as much sense as other easier/cheaper MS methods. All told, I'll look to cycle a few thousand through them and then move on unless they get consistently more competitive and reliable.


What other MS methods have you been successful with lately ? I have been researching the topic, but have come up mostly empty. Sure, one can buy gift cards and spend those cards later, but that's more like "delayed spending", not "manufactured spending". I haven't found any practical way to liquidate them. Seems most of the way to redeem them for cash (like buying money orders, etc) get plugged very quickly.


I sent you a PM :sharebeer


PM me too please. :D

-Steph

azanon
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by azanon » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:23 am

Loik098 wrote:Hello friends,

Anyone out there have recent, positive experience with paying bills like one's mortgage or student loans with Plastiq? I'm interested in meeting a couple of CC bonus levels ASAP, so I'd be looking to pay via gift cards. Any tips/experience on that end would be appreciated. Thank you!


I pay with plastic for any vendor that will take them, because I prefer 2-6% cash back vs. 0% back, and I also like the added protections that credit cards offer me, vs. no protection. And my credit cards are auto-paid in full every month, so there's no risk to pay interest.

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Toons
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Toons » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:34 am

I am still trying to "wrap" my brain around this.
What bills I do have are all auto-debited,
Yet I pay no fees.
If I do want to pay a bill I point and click it.
What am I missing :mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Loik098
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Loik098 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:28 am

Toons wrote:I am still trying to "wrap" my brain around this.
What bills I do have are all auto-debited,
Yet I pay no fees.
If I do want to pay a bill I point and click it.
What am I missing :mrgreen:


The idea behind using platforms such as Plastiq is to pay for the privilege of using a rewards credit card for bills that otherwise don't allow it, such as a mortgage or student loans.

However, because the fees of the platform will usually outweigh the day-to-day CC cash-back rewards (unless you've got a card like navyitaly has or you're capitalizing on promotional rates like madbrain is), using a service that costs money overall is really only justified when one is trying to obtain CC sign-up bonuses. The value of such bonuses outweighs the costs of using the platform.

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Toons
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by Toons » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:02 pm

Loik098 wrote:
Toons wrote:I am still trying to "wrap" my brain around this.
What bills I do have are all auto-debited,
Yet I pay no fees.
If I do want to pay a bill I point and click it.
What am I missing :mrgreen:


The idea behind using platforms such as Plastiq is to pay for the privilege of using a rewards credit card for bills that otherwise don't allow it, such as a mortgage or student loans.

However, because the fees of the platform will usually outweigh the day-to-day CC cash-back rewards (unless you've got a card like navyitaly has or you're capitalizing on promotional rates like madbrain is), using a service that costs money overall is really only justified when one is trying to obtain CC sign-up bonuses. The value of such bonuses outweighs the costs of using the platform.



Thanks for the insight :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

dontlikebeinganeng
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by dontlikebeinganeng » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:19 pm

Step 1: Buy Green Dot VGCs, 4.95 for $500 worth
Step 2: Liquidate VGC (non-vanilla) via MO at Walmart, $1000 worth for $0.75 transaction fee
USPS use to allow for vanilla VGCs, not sure if they changed.
Step 3: Deposit the MO back into bank, but don't go depositing 100k in MOs to 1 bank, do 2-3k a month max per bank.

Transaction cost, $4.95*2 + $0.75, $10.65 for $1,000 worth, or 1.06%.

Liquidating the MO without getting a SAR from your bank is a hard part.
Walmart also enables billpay but it's pretty costly.
Walmart enables 2,999 of MO without recording. Some cashiers don't care (I walked out with 17k of MOs one sitting, was glad wasn't mugged).

Plastiq use to have free Bill Pays without fees (Mastercard to Utility, free money via answering their survey)

Radpad is dead on the AT&T Access Plus.

All time record was 50k/month churning.
Last edited by dontlikebeinganeng on Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:24 pm

dontlikebeinganeng wrote:Step 2: Liquidate VGC (non-vanilla) via MO at Walmart, $1000 worth for $0.75 transaction fee


Can you do this at any Wal-Mart ? None of the Wal-Marts in the SF bay area have money centers, or money center kiosks.

dontlikebeinganeng
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by dontlikebeinganeng » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:26 pm

YMMV.

You need one with a money center. SF was known to be cash only for VGC at most locations and really picky on MO using prepaid debit cards.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:04 pm

Just following up on this - my $20 payment from 7/12 posted about 1 week later . The $200 payment which they claim was mailed by check on 7/13 still has not posted. This is quite a long time. I hope it will post next week.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:04 am

3 payment attempts through Plastiq with the so-called fee dollars have been a miserable failure.

The first attempt was charged and automatically cancelled 2 days later - only the statement closed in between those dates.

The second time, Plastiq claims to have mailed a check on 7/14. By 8/1, after the bank still had not received it, I had Plastiq cancel the check.

The third time, I resubmitted a payment on 8/5. It is now 8/17, and again, the bank still has not received it, so I'm going to cancel this one as well.

Plastiq claims the checks should be deposited within 5-7 business days from the date they mail them. They are heaquartered in San Francisco. The payment address is in Los Angeles. It just can't take 2 weeks for mail to get between those 2 cities.

Mysteriously, the one payment that actually made is very first one I made, the one made when actually paying the Plastiq fee.
All 4 payments were to the same payee.

To me, it looks very suspicious that 2 out of 3 payments that Plastiq claims to have mailed never made it, and that those 2 lost payments are the ones for which the fee should have been waived.

At this point, I believe Plastiq is a scam.

madbrain
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by madbrain » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:14 pm

I had a few more experiences with Plastiq that worked, including auto loan payment to my credit union, and a few more principal payment attempts to my mortgage company that worked. The last few took about 5-8 days to post. I didn't pay any fees up until now as I had some fee-free dollars from referrals.

I'm trying for the full mortgage payment for next month - have to pay a fee for this one, though, but it is still worth it in order to meet the minimum spending requirement on my husband's Chase Sapphire Reserve.

mikep
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by mikep » Fri May 19, 2017 1:13 pm

I was using Plastiq successfully for about 9 months to pay my mortgage. I got in on a 1.75% promo and using the 2% Citi double cash, so I was making a few bucks per month.

All was fine until this month it never arrived in 3 weeks. I set a flag with my bank (US Bank) to stop the plastiq check and the check #, but with them it means ALL checks or any payments for the same amount through any means. They neglected to tell me this initially.

I have tried a couple times to pay at a US bank branch and have been rejected with a check payment, a phone payment, and billpay. Now there are late fees since I am after the 15th. This will probably all get resolved okay in the long run, but not worth the hassle of plastiq anymore.

I have canceled all plastiq payments and removed my CC from their site. Definitely not worth the hassle for $3 and change. Now their fees are 2.5%, definitely won't use them any more.

fantasytensai
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by fantasytensai » Fri May 19, 2017 1:34 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
Loik098 wrote:
madbrain wrote:
Loik098 wrote: Great. Thank you for sharing your experience and glad to hear you haven't experienced the headaches that others have. Apart from the promotional offers you referenced (which seemingly aren't as frequent now), using Plastiq to satisfy CC spends doesn't make as much sense as other easier/cheaper MS methods. All told, I'll look to cycle a few thousand through them and then move on unless they get consistently more competitive and reliable.
What other MS methods have you been successful with lately ? I have been researching the topic, but have come up mostly empty. Sure, one can buy gift cards and spend those cards later, but that's more like "delayed spending", not "manufactured spending". I haven't found any practical way to liquidate them. Seems most of the way to redeem them for cash (like buying money orders, etc) get plugged very quickly.
I sent you a PM :sharebeer
PM me too please. :D

-Steph
Same please. Ever since the Meta axe I have not been able to efficiently liquidate. I also hate, HATE Wally World.

sco
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by sco » Fri May 19, 2017 7:40 pm

Please PM me as well...

inbox788
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Re: Using Plastiq?

Post by inbox788 » Fri May 19, 2017 9:23 pm

From the subject, I mistakenly thought this was about plastique. :oops:

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