Here’s a simple trick to take the edge off bill paying. Settle up with a credit card and start racking up a ton of reward points.
Are you a good candidate?
Before diving in to the nitty-gritty, let’s determine whether paying bills with a credit card is right for you. It’s pretty simple.
Got excellent credit and the discipline to pay the full balance off every single month? Sweet. Full steam ahead.
Carrying a sizable balance and struggling to pay it down? Hold off on burying yourself under a mountain of debt and take advantage of this credit card secret when your finances are in better shape. Paying unnecessary interest on monthly bills totally negates the benefits.
What’s in it for me?
Reward programs are simple. The more you spend, the more you get back. Most people already use their cards for gas, groceries and other everyday purchases but you can really double-down on bonus points by applying plastic to your largest expenses of the month: bills!
Can I pay all my bills with a credit card?
Probably not, but you can definitely pay a lot of them. You’ll have to check each bill separately to determine whether they accept credit cards or not. Payment options are generally listed at the bottom of the stub.
The most common businesses willing to accept plastic are cable/internet companies, utilities, cell phone providers, insurance and absolutely anything related to medical expenses.
Call up customer service to ask if they take cards. Frequently, companies won’t expressly offer the option but are willing to do so over the phone upon request.
The BIG Caveat
But here’s the rub – many businesses tack on an extra fee to cover the cost of credit card processing on their end. In these cases the cost of the fee cancels out any gains.
For example, if the electric company charges a 3% fee to pay with plastic and you’re set to earn 2% cash back, this is a losing game. Double-check that you aren’t being levied an extra fee before charging any bill.
What about rent?
This is the most common question when it comes to using rewards credit cards to pay bills.
Some landlords do actually accept credit cards in an effort to help tenants pay their rent on time but it’s not extraordinarily common. Again, ask about any hidden fees before moving forward.
Condo association dues, however, are much more commonly payable via credit cards fee free.
Beware any third party service that allows you to pay your rent or mortgage through them using your card. The cost of using such a service is prohibitive.
Get Started Today
Earning more reward points by paying the bills you are already responsible for is easy. What are you waiting for?
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