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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

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.