When you get a new travel rewards credit card, you want to meet the credit card minimum spend in order to earn the valuable signup bonus.
But, the last thing you want is to run up charges on your credit card you won’t be able to pay off in full.
This guide will explain how Plastiq can help.
I’ll break down the math to show how to use Plastiq to meet a credit card minimum spend. As well as how doing so can help you maximize the return on your money with the bills and expenses you already pay.
How to Use Plastiq to Meet Credit Card Minimum Spend
Plastiq is a bill pay service that lets you use a credit card to pay for bills and services you wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay with a credit card.
Using the Plastiq interface, you’re able to quickly and easily set up payments for your bills with your credit card. After which, Plastiq will pay the bill either with a check or by ACH.
The upside to this, of course, is earning miles and points for expenses you otherwise wouldn’t be able to earn miles and points for. However, the downside is the 2.85% Plastiq fee for this service.
Looking at this value proposition from a miles and points perspective, the goal is to always earn a greater return than what you’re spending.
So outside of a Plastiq promotion, if you’re earning 2% or less of a return on your spending, paying a 2.85% fee doesn’t work out numbers-wise.
There are exceptions, however. One of which is meeting the minimum spend on a new credit card to earn the welcome bonus offered by the card.
Welcome bonuses offer a higher than normal return value than when you use a credit card for everyday spending and bills once the minimum spend has been met. Because of this, you never want to miss earning a card’s welcome bonus.
It’s beyond important to know and understand your monthly budget and expenses so as not to overreach on the minimum spend you can handle and pay off in full at the end of the month.
Most credit cards allow 3 months (some 90 days) to meet a minimum spend. During that time, you’ll be asked to spend a specific amount of money to earn the signup bonus.
With a tool like Plastiq, you can consider all the bills, everyday spending, and services you already pay as a means of meeting that minimum spend, not just the ones that accept credit cards.
This is especially great if:
- You’ve used your new credit card for your everyday spending and the bills you can already pay with a credit card but still are short of the minimum spend.
- You’re planning for a bucket list trip and need to be a bit bolder with your credit card strategy. With Plastiq’s help, you’ll have more options to meet multiple minimum spends at the same time.
For example, let’s say you have a $350 car payment each month. Plastiq can help you pay that car payment over the next 3 months, giving you $1,050 more in credit card spend over a 3 month period.
That’s $1,050 you would’ve been paying anyways but paid with Plastiq for a return on your spending in the form of earning a lucrative welcome bonus.
I know you’re probably thinking yes to more miles and points but that 2.85% fee is no fun!
So, let’s get out our math notebooks, shall we? 😉
Ultimate Rewards credit cards like the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve, as well as the Ink Preferred, are often recommended as the first cards to get.
Welcome offers vary so check the latest offers for details.
But, for the sake of an example and having numbers to work with, let’s assume you sign up for a credit card with 60k Ultimate Rewards points as the welcome bonus once you spend $4k within the first 3 months.
The estimated worth of these points is $750 in travel when the points are redeemed for a 1.25 cent valuation in the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
This means you’d “get back” $750 of that $4k in minimum spend in the form of travel rewards, working out to be an 18.75% return on your spending.
If you met the minimum spend with the bills and everyday expenses you would’ve paid anyway, that’s 18.75% of your money spent getting you closer to your travel goals.
I’d also argue this $750 value is the minimum. Those 60k Ultimate Rewards points can be worth much more by using a Chase transfer partner like Singapore, Flying Blue, or United and redeeming for an award flight.
Now, let’s factor in the 2.85% fee for using Plastiq to pay bills you’d otherwise not be able to pay with a credit card.
Redeeming the 60k Ultimate Rewards points earned for the minimum amount in the Chase travel portal works out to a 15.9% return on your spending when the Plastiq fee is accounted for.
If you maximize those points with a Chase transfer partner, the percentage of your money’s return value can increase significantly.
Remember, the goal with Plastiq is to simply shift how you go about paying for certain bills and expenses to earn a travel reward. No matter what, you have to pay off that credit card bill in full by the end of the billing cycle.
Paying credit card interest fees will chip away and eventually completely erase the value of that signup bonus in the first place.
Beyond meeting a credit card minimum spend, you’ll have to do that math with your particular credit card to figure out if the 2.85% fee works to your advantage long-term.
A return value higher than 2.85% could make sense depending on your expenses and travel goals, particularly when you’re using credit cards that earn 2+% and the rewards earned can be redeemed for a higher cent per point value than that.
Can I pay my mortgage with Plastiq?
This is one of the more frequently asked questions I get from travel hacking beginners. Before continuing, it’s important to understand what cards you can and can’t use for specific types of expenses with Plastiq.
Use Plastiq to pay your mortgage (Discover and Mastercard only), rent, utility bills, taxes, and tuition to meet minimum spending requirements and earn award travel.
There may be exceptions to what’s allowed so if you’re trying to make a payment and having trouble, consider a different credit card or contact Plastiq for more advice on your specific situation.
Businesses may be able to use Plastiq to pay for services from a contractor or electrician. (However, payments among friends aren’t allowed.)
You’ll notice Mastercard and Discover cards can be used to pay all kinds of bills with Plastiq. Visa and American Express cards come with a few restrictions.
In the past, there has been a sticky problem with some Plastiq Visa payments coding as cash advances. The workaround was to use a different card to pay that bill first and then use a Visa card once the payment had been established.
However, Plastiq has gone a step further and won’t allow a transaction that could be coded as a cash advance to be completed.
Minimum spends and Plastiq aside, I never use my cards for cash advances because of the high-interest fees you pay upfront.
Either way, I’ve lowered my cash advance limit to $0 on all my credit cards to avoid a costly accident.
Just to highlight how beneficial using Plastiq could be, let’s imagine you have $10k in tuition to pay.
The average credit card minimum spend is around $3k, with some being much higher or lower than this. You could potentially break up this $10k payment among 3 or more new credit cards for an incredible return value on your money.
With the right cards, the $10k tuition payment could essentially be in exchange for a fully “paid-for” trip with miles and points from the welcome bonuses alone.
The whole reason I got started with miles and points in the first place was that I saw how much money my husband and I were spending each month on bills and everyday spending and I knew there had to be a way to get a better return on our money spent.
We all work hard for our money and in return, our money should work hard(er) for us.
How to Get Started with Plastiq
You can use Plastiq by signing up for a free account.
Make your tuition, mortgage, rent, and all the expenses you wouldn’t normally be able to pay with a credit card work harder for you.
Using Plastiq to meet credit card minimum spending can earn you miles, points, and cashback rewards so you can book award flights, award nights, and travel more.
What are your questions about using Plastiq to meet a minimum spend?
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