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In a new promotion launched on Tuesday, for a limited time the bill-paying service Plastiq is waiving its 2.5% credit card transaction fee when you pay any bill or invoice using Masterpass through the service, up to a maximum of $500 per transaction.
Masterpass is a digital wallet by Mastercard that allows you to store your credit card and then check out seamlessly when making online transactions. It’s free to sign up, and most credit and debit cards are supported. What’s more, you’ll continue to collect credit card points even though your purchase will be processed via Masterpass.
Even though Masterpass supports non-Mastercard products, the Plastiq promotion is good only on Mastercard-branded cards used through Masterpass. Fees will be waived for payments delivered through September 30, 2018.
Plastiq is sending the promotional offer to its users via an email invitation, which says the offer is “only available to (the) account associated” with the email address. However, I was able to set up a $500 payment to the IRS using Masterpass through Plastiq, and the payment screen showed I’d be charged no fee.
I then set up another payment for $1,000, and Plastiq calculated I’d have to pay $12.50 in fees, reflecting that the waiver is only good on the first $500 sent. I backed out of both transactions before they were finalized.
Plastiq says the promotion is only good on payments submitted or scheduled on or after May 15, 2018, and the payment delivery date must be on or before September 30, 2018. Cards must be successfully billed by Plastiq and remain in good standing to qualify for a promotional credit. You can’t transfer the credit, nor may you sell it or barter it.
Good Time to Accumulate Points/Cash Back
Normally we wouldn’t recommend using Plastiq simply to accumulate points, miles or cash back on your rewards credit card. That’s because in most cases the rewards you earn by using Plastiq to pay your rent or other bills are not worth more than the fee. Plastiq is best used for boosting spending to earn a sign-up bonus or to hit an annual bonus.
However, in this case, you’ll earn your full non-bonus reward on payments up to $500. That means on a single maxed-out payment, you’d earn miles/points/cash back worth:
- $7 on the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard, according to TPG’s latest valuations
- Up to $10 on the Citi Double Cash Card
- $5 on the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card
Those are just a handful of examples. For larger payments over $500, you’ll have to determine the effective interest rate of the full payment, taking into consideration the fee-free first $500 weighed against your potential rewards to see if it still makes sense. For mortgage and rent payments, this may be a dicey proposition given how large those bills might be.
How to Sign Up
If you don’t have a Masterpass account, it’s easy to get one. Just visit Masterpass.com and create an account for free, then add your credit cards to the Masterpass account. Finally, log in to your Plastiq account, click on your default card at the top left corner of the page, then click “Add New Card.” Above the card icon, select “More Ways to Add,” which will prompt you to add a card from Masterpass.
Featured image by Hero Images / Getty Images.