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I opened a new USAA card to take advantage of a 0% APR rate until February 2020 (but gosh how I wish the Limitless card with 2.5% cashback everywhere would come back). I previously got a new card to make a student loan payment.
So the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards card earns 1.5% cashback on purchases. I was hoping Plastiq payments would code as “miscellaneous services” (or similar), but nope, they post as a “quasi-cash merchant” and do not earn any reward points.
So don’t use your USAA card with Plastiq!
More importantly, I hope this doesn’t signal a trend of Plastiq coding as cash-like purchases.
Even still, I was not charged a cash advance fee per Plastiq’s advising.
Tread carefully with USAA Plastiq payments
- Link: Blue Business Plus Amex – learn more here
- Link: Blue Business Plus Amex: New Card for Plastiq Payments?
Currently, the best cards to use for Plastiq payments are:
- MasterCards for mortgage payments
- Discover cards for mortgage payments
- Amex cards for rent, utilities, student loans, and most others
- Visa small business cards
Within this framework, there aren’t many worthwhile cards left. That’s why I recommend the Blue Business Plus Amex (learn more here) for most payments, though the jury’s still out regarding mortgage payments.
If you go the Visa personal card route, you’ll get a cash advance fee on cards except those issued by:
- Capital One
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- Alliant Credit Union
- Wells Fargo
So when I saw USAA on the list, I thought, yay I can make payments without fees and get caught up on some bills.
I still did that but…
USAA cards don’t earn rewards for cash-like transactions
And Plastiq codes as a “quasi-cash merchant.” I hoped it would code differently.
The only rewards I earned for this billing cycle were for my Sinemia membership (I’m using it the first time this week – review coming!). I earned nothing for $1,000+ of Plastiq payments.
That said, I did NOT incur cash advance fees (whew!) – so that is still a net positive.
But it stung a little to lose/not earn all that cashback. Which would’ve been awesome, but alas.
The bit about USAA cards not earning rewards for Plastiq payments is niche because not everyone can get a USAA card. But the bigger issue is how Plastiq codes – and how it continues to shift.
In a general sense, I hope this doesn’t mean a shift toward no rewards with any cards because these payments will eventually code as cash-like instruments. If that ever happens, Plastiq will be useless.
For now, I’m still earning points and cashback with other cards. And, touch wood, I hope USAA is alone in how they’re processing payments for a long time.
Just wanted to put it out there in case you’re in the same boat.
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