Will I Still Get Points For Auto Bill Pay?

by on October 13, 2013 · 6 comments

in Amex Bluebird, Sunday Reader Questions, Vanilla Reloads, Video Blog Post

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Update: You can no longer purchase Vanilla Reload cards using a credit card and Vanilla Reloads are no longer available in Office Depot.

TPG Twitter follower Michael tweeted me @thepointsguy this week asking:

“Will I still get points if I set up automatic payments for bills (utilities, cell, rent, car, etc) using my rewards card?”

Yes, absolutely. Whether your credit card payment is automatic or not, if a vendor accepts your card payment, you will get the points.

With bills that you can’t usually pay with points-earning credit cards like mortgage, car payments, insurance premiums and more, you still have some options for earning points on these expenses. If you live in an area with stores like CVS that sell Vanilla Reloads and let customers purchase them using credit cards, you can purchase them, then load the value of those reloads onto your Bluebird card from American Express, which functions as a debit card/checking alternative, and then cut checks and pay bills electronically from that account.

It’s not cheap, necessarily – you’re essentially paying 0.8 cents per point (each Vanilla Reload costs $3.95 to load up to $500 on) to be able to pay these kinds of bills through Bluebird, and Vanilla Reloads aren’t available everywhere. Just be sure to pay off your credit cards on time so you’re not paying interest!

For more information on Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads, check out these posts:

Bluebird From American Express – The Basics
Maximizing American Express Bluebird FAQ’s
Maximizing Prepaid / Reloadable and Reload Cards For Points And Miles – Choosing Which Credit Card To Use
Maximizing Visa Prepaid Gift Cards
Maximizing Prepaid and Reload Cards For Points and Miles
CVS Raises the Daily Vanilla Reload Purchase Limit to $5,000
Maximize Monday: Buying Vanilla Reloads at 7-11 and CVS to Generate Points and Credit Card Spend
Maximizing Reload Cards – Vanilla vs. GreenDot vs. ReloadIt
My Permanent Amex Bluebird Card is Active and the Points Are Flying

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jonathan

    It is unnecessary to pay your bills using blue bird. It does not earn you extra points. The second that you buy reloads you have already earned the credit card points. At that point you can simply pay the credit card off with Bluebird instead of setting up payments 2 a bunch of billars (and thus disrupting your auto pays). the only reason one might pay their bills using Bluebird is to put some normal activity on their account but many have been using Bluebird to pay their cc and haven’t had a problem

  • Buddy M.

    If you rent, Bluebird is a great way to get points for paying the rent since you can use a credit card to buy the vanilla reloads. I only wish Bluebird would allow setup of ACH withdrawals. Then I could pay all my bills with it.

  • Bill


  • Darell

    you can reload the card for free at wal-mart.
    this card can be used a security perspective to pay your bills or shop (online/in-store) except grocceries store but you can also withdraw money for free at your local wal-mart accepting moneypass or atms in your area. For it has its benefits for the right person and the right financial strategy.

  • Darell

    I meant “can be used with a security perceptive in mind…”

    any other atm servicing that do not accept moneypass

    charges a small fee between 1:50-3.00

  • Gus

    You can use bluebird to pay bills that you can’t pay for with a CC. Rent, loans, mortgage, etc.
    The fact that it’s a checking account makes all the difference.

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