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- Bye to RadPad, Hello to Plastiq for 2% Bill Payment Fees With MasterCard (Including Mortgages and Utilities)
I’ve long enjoyed using RadPad despite its 2% fee because I’ve been earning 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent on rent with my Citi AT&T Access More card, which far outweighs it, especially when paired with Citi Prestige.
But on June 1st, 2016, RadPad is increasing its rent bill payment fee to 3.49%, which makes the service much less appealing.
But, Plastiq easily takes its place – and charges a 2% fee on MasterCard payments. Even better, you can earn 3X Citi ThankYou points with the Citi AT&T Access More card. And, it works on mortgage payments, too.
Plastiq is the new sheriff in town
I did test payments during my last billing cycle and just got the statement.
I paid rent and a mortgage payment to see how they’d code and if I’d earn 3X Citi ThankYou points. And I paid a utility bill to see how that would go.
I also wanted to see how fast they’d make the payments.
- Mortgage payment on 4/18 (ACH)
- Utility bill on 4/21 (ACH)
- Rent on 5/3 (check)
Here’s how fast they posted:
- Mortgage payment received 4/22 (4 business days)
- Utility bill received 4/28 (5 business days)
- Rent check sent 5/5, received 5/9 (5 business days)
These times are totally acceptable. And, they were pretty fast with sending out the rent check – it took the same amount of time as an ACH payment.
The utility payment only earned 1X Citi ThankYou point per $1, which is in-line with Citi’s official policy:
You won’t earn 3X Points for purchases of and payments for medical services, insurance, taxes and government services, education, charities, and utilities.
But, I got 3X on the rent and mortgage payment, which is awesome.
I’d heard a few complaints about slow payments with Plastiq, and was nervous about relying on them. So I left plenty of margin for error – but was pleased with the payment speeds.
Is it worth the 2% fee?
Plastiq charges a 2% bill payment fee for a MasterCard payment. And a 2.5% payment for Visa and Amex.
Times you might consider paying the fee:
- When you know you’ll get more than 2 cents of value per point/mile
- To quickly meet a minimum spending requirement
- To hit a threshold bonus for status/elite qualifying miles/bonus miles
- To float a charge for a couple extra weeks
- When the points’ value outweigh the service fee
In the case of the Citi AT&T Access More/Citi Prestige combo, you get 3X Citi Thank You points on rent and mortgage payments with the former card. And can use them at a rate of 1.6 cents each toward American Airlines flights for having the latter card.
It’s a powerful combo that puts you nearly 3% ahead even after paying Plastiq’s 2% fee (3 * 1.6 = 4.8% – 2% fee = 2.8%).
For a $1,000 payment, for example, you’d earn 3,060 Citi ThankYou points and pay a $20 fee. But those points are worth ~$49 toward American Airlines flights, putting you ~$29 ahead even after the fee.
After 12 $1,000 payments, you’d be ahead by ~$348.
You could do even better by transferring the points to an airline partner, like Etihad or Singapore (which has better award flight rates in some cases) – especially for Business Class or First Class award tickets.
If you use a 2% cashback card, the fee is obviously canceled out – and you can use Plastiq’s service to float your payment instead of pulling it out of your bank account right away.
Plastiq is the only service I know of that lets you earn points or miles for paying mortgage payments with a credit card. And it’s a handy service for paying rent, too.
It also works nicely with the Mileage Plus X app to earn 5X points in total at Amazon.
I’m pleased with how quickly Plastiq processed my mortgage payment and will continue to use them for as long as the rate stays around 2%. Housing is the biggest monthly expense for most peeps – it’s nice to earn extra points or miles for it.
Let me know if you’ve had an experience with Plastiq!
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