I’ll admit it. At this point, I feel super entitled to free stuff. I’ve put in a lot of time learning how to capitalize on credit card rewards points and now I can’t wrap my head around why I would ever pay for something, ANYTHING, and not get something in return for free. Lacey and I pay with credit cards for literally every bill and expense we have. Yes, this will now include mortgage payments. I’m going to tell you exactly how we do it because you should be getting free stuff for paying your bills too!
Before jumping right in and signing up for random credit cards to start paying your bills with; think about what your end goals are. What do you want to get in return? Look back on a previous post or two of ours that should help you decide on what card to sign up for to get a certain reward in return.
Once you select and receive the credit card that is going to get you the awesome reward you’re going for, you’ll want to create an online account with the bank that sponsors your new credit card. For example, if you signed up for the Chase Sapphire card, you’ll create an online account at chase.com . While logged in to your account, find where you can set up auto-pay. It’s usually under a tab titled something like “manage payments”. I would highly recommend you set auto-pay to pay off your entire balance each month. This is an important step to make sure you don’t miss a payment and completely jack up your credit score (35% of your credit score is your payment history).
Now, take your new card and link it to every reoccurring monthly bill you have. Login to all of your online bill pay accounts for things like cable, internet, electricity, gas, water/sewer/trash, Netflix, iTunes, and anything else you can think of. If you’ve never setup AutoPay for things like these don’t worry, it’s really easy. Similar to how you setup your online account with the bank that provided your credit card, you’ll create an online account and set up auto-pay for each service you subscribe to. Set your credit card as the payment source for every monthly bill you have. By doing this along with putting all of your day to day expenses on your card (groceries, gas, meals,etc), you’ll be shocked at how easily you’ll hit your spending requirements.
At this point, you may have figured out that your mortgage company and the bank you make your car payments to won’t allow you to pay with a credit card. This totally sucks because these are likely your 2 biggest monthly bills and now you’re missing out on tons of reward points! While most banks won’t accept credit card payments, they will accept checks. There is an awesome service called Plastiq that will let you set up your credit card as a payment source while they will, in turn, send a check to whoever you need to pay. Boom goes the dynamite cuz you’re back in business! While the Plastiq service does charge a 1-2.5% fee per transaction, if you sign up through our referral link you’ll get $200 of fee free payments. Pretty cool of them to do that.
Is it worth the % fee that Plastiq charges for making your payments? Well, that’s up to you. To put it in to perspective, let’s say your monthly mortgage payment is $2,000. You’ll get charged about $40 to make the payment through Plastiq. Let’s say in this example that you’re using the Southwest Premier card to make your payment. For the $40 you spent to put $2000 on this card, you’ll reach the spending requirement and will get an estimated $650 worth of free flights within a matter of weeks after receiving the card. You’ll be headed to Cabo, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Aruba, or any of the other awesome new locations Southwest now flies to. So if you’re in a rush to hit the spending requirements on a credit card to get the bonus, it may be worth a few bucks to do it through Plastiq.
I hope this gets you started on a path that earns you awesome free stuff for every dollar you spend. The next time you get an unexpected $1,000 bill…turn that around and get a free vacation out of it! Good luck! Let us know if you have any questions.
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