Posted by Chuck on March 8, 2019
Manufactured Spending

Published on March 8th, 2019 | by Chuck

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Handy Chart from Plastiq to Clarify Which Cards can be used for Which Payments

Our contact at Plastiq sent over a nifty graph which charts out which credit cards can be used for which types of payments. It even drills down the differences between credit cards and prepaid/debit cards.

For the unfamiliar, Plastiq is a bill payment service who allows payment with credit or prepaid cards for a fee of 2.5%, see our full review here. Each card issuer has individual rules about which cards can be used where, and it gets a bit confusing. Hopefully this chart simplifies things. I circled a few of the more commonly used categories which people often ask about.

You can also access a pdf version for easier viewing/saving here.

As you can see, use of an Amex card is highly restricted whereas Visa, Mastercard, and Discover work for most bills. The one big exclusion that Visa has over the others is the mortgage exclusion, that’s a biggie. Mastercard and Discover do allow mortgage payments.

Separately, not addressed in this graph, some consumer Visa cards come through as a cash advance – check out this thorough list from Plastiq for more information on that. (Plastiq will always tell you with a popup if there is a cash advance issue.)

Overall, Mastercard, Discover, and prepaid Visa cards are the most versatile and can be used for most bills. Visa business cards can be used for most things, but not for mortgage payments. Amex can only be used for a few things like taxes, rent, and utilities.

[The biggest surprise for me from this chart is that, apparently, prepaid Visa and Mastercards can be used to pay down credit card bills and personal loans. Update: judging from the comments of this post, this may not work in practice.]

Plastiq also put out an easy infographic to show which payments can be used (click on the graphic to enlarge):

My thanks if you signup for Plastiq with our referral link – you’ll get $500 in free processing ($12.50 savings) after you spend $500 on Plastiq. More details on the Plastiq referral program here, and check out our full Plastiq review here. Plastiq is also running a special on business signups to get a bonus of $10,000 in free processing ($250 savings) – details on that can be found in this post.



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Beefer
Beefer

I couldn’t use a visa prepaid to pay a student loan. I wonder if something has changed in the past three months or if the chart is inaccurate.

Beefer
Beefer

Actually I read the more info page and it appears that nearly all issuers disallow plastiq payments…so they are allowed but only if you find an issuer not on the list.

FindingMyPossible
FindingMyPossible

I’ve been looking around on Plastiq and cant find any more info page that talks about this. Can you point me to it?

MaxPower
MaxPower

I only use Mastercard prepaid for Plastiq since the Visa prepaid cards became a royal pain in the butt to use.

LC
LC

do the the prepaid gift cards cost 2.5% like CC or is it debit card pricing?

Beefer
Beefer

2.5%

Millennial Outrage

Some are debit card pricing 🤫

86
86

“Please note that the Plastiq fee for Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners, Discover, JCB debit card issued in the US is 1%. This excludes pre-paid cards, gift cards, online-only banks and all international debit cards.”

FindingMyPossible
FindingMyPossible

Seems to be entirely inaccurate. I wasn’t able to use one for any payment I tried and the error told me to contact my card issuer.

Millennial Outrage

VGCs don’t work at Plastiq. See second table here: https://help.plastiq.com/hc/en-us/articles/360005215254

As MaxPower mentioned, use MCGC.

AB
AB

Has anyone successfully paid a credit card bill via plastiq? It didn’t work for me.

LC
LC

yeah i find this very unlikely… and even if it does work, it is going to get shut down.

George
George

It says it should work with a “debit” card, I’m guessing it should work with a Prepaid Visa/MasterCard Debit. Anyone wanna try? Great MS opportunity with Amex Gold 4X Grocery and more.

David
David

Terms of service:
You agree not to use the service for …
2. unsupported debt types (such as credit card balances or uncollateralized loans);

chuggol
chuggol

From Plastiq terms

You agree not to use the Services:
B. 2. unsupported debt types (such as credit card balances or uncollateralized loans);

jason
jason

I just asked Plastiq and was told: “Debit cards can be used to pay credit card bills. Credit cards cannot be used to pay credit card bills.”

yuna
yuna

I brought a mcgc with amex cc and paid discover cc bill. Seem to have taken a while but it went through. I do not plan on using this method anymore as it feels like an unnecessary risk since I can just pay student tuition which would be eventually reimbursed after work pays the bills (would take time but, it feels safer).

newbie
newbie

anyone tried using boa “online” category to pay with plastiq to get 5%

Treesha
Treesha

I’ve been wondering that too.

sdsearch
sdsearch

What BofA card gives 5% online? The CashRewards only gives 3% for online if you choose that category. Meanwhile, it better be an MC you have, because as discussed above, you’ll get ZILCH (0%) or worse with a BofA Visa.

mommafrica
mommafrica

So that being said, if I pay my real estate tax online, I will get 3% back being that I picked “Online Shopping?”

Denis
Denis

There’s no guarantee that local taxes qualify as online shopping. I guess you just need to try but be aware of the quarterly limit.

Burton
Burton

FWIW you probably can pay your county directly through their website with a credit card for <2.5% fee. Not sure if you'd be more or less likely to get a category bonus but worth considering if it is an option. Most take multiple payments too so you could send a couple small payments early, see if either works, then pay the rest later.

Denis
Denis

it’s 5.25% with maximum tier bonus
but the speed limit is just $2500 quarterly

lochquel
lochquel

Plastiq does not categorize for online shopping with the Cash Rewards card.

Francesco
Francesco

Thanks for the DP!

rocky_NNC
rocky_NNC

What is the category in the statement?

Kuso29
Kuso29

Tried using CSP a month ago got rent and it was coded as a CA. Don’t use Visas for payments on Plastiq, they will say it will run as something different as a CA but when calling chase, the rep said it was a CA and that Plastiq was lying. Just another DP, discover and MC are the safest bets.

El Loco
El Loco

Used to be that your first Visa payment coded as cash advance but not subsequent ones. Not sure if things have changed.

Kuso29
Kuso29

It was considered as a purchase with Visa last year same time. However, I think the policy has changed and now Visa payments are CA. You’ll get a warning only if the amount exceeds your CA limit and not if it will code as such, i.e. the only warning is for a limit that is too big, no other warnings. This is complete lack of clarity on either Plastiq or Visa’s end and this chart for sure lies about it.

nubs
nubs

Are you sure the final posted transaction was coded as CA? I used a Chase personal Visa card in Jan ’19 on Plastiq, and it checked against the CA limit when it initiated as a pending transaction, but when it ultimately went through it was not a CA.

Marrrrrrrrrk
Marrrrrrrrrk

And only VISA or MC can be used to wire rent (if that’s what your landlord prefers), even though rent is usually a category where you can use AmEx

El Loco
El Loco

From the link it seems US Bank CC code as cash advance in Plastiq. Any experience with this?

Treesha
Treesha

Thanks for the information! I visit your site multiple times a day, I learn so much!

Gareth
Gareth

If it’s a Visa there’s more card specific restrictions. And yes I am still wondering if Plastiq charges count as 3% on MasterCard version BOA Cash Rewards cards.

Tall T
Tall T

I haven’t tried but the list of exclusions is extensive, I’d be very surprised if they let that be a 3x category.

TBB
TBB

TBB is reporting that you get paid thousands of dollars every month from Plastiq: https://travelbloggerbuzz.com/marriot-bonvoy-promotion-airbnb-buys-hoteltonight-dumbo-airplane-capitol-hill-dogs-skoolies/

Considering that a typical referral link doesn’t pay cash, shouldn’t you have a better disclosure posted for what’s really going on?

TBB
TBB

TBB is reporting that you get paid thousands of dollars every month from Plastiq: https://travelbloggerbuzz.com/marriot-bonvoy-promotion-airbnb-buys-hoteltonight-dumbo-airplane-capitol-hill-dogs-skoolies/

Considering that a typical referral link doesn’t pay cash, shouldn’t you have a better disclosure posted for what’s really going on?

LC
LC

Even if DOC is getting a cumulative of 3k a month for posting info, at least DOC only posts info they believe to be helpful to readers. I’ve never seen something posted that wasnt helpful or was purely for financial gain. They have a disclosure statement that states they have financial relationship with some companies and may receive compensation but theyll only post what they believe it useful for consumer. Plastiq is useful and so is this chart.

Honestly im glad DOC gets paid sometimes or this site might not exist. They are still the best site around for this info, IMO all the other ones look for DOC to post and then they write their own story on it.

mommafrica
mommafrica

What I would like to know is, when I see comments such as these: what the heck is the point?! So what if he/she makes money off of their blog…..does this not benefit you or any other at all?
My S/O and son/daughter need car repairs that will cost me $500 and through this site or any other (said respectfully DoC) I’m able to save $175 or even $300 of that. After that do you think that my next worry is how much that site is making! Seriously!
If you have nothing good to say or contribute, why just not say/do anything at all.
DoC, you already know that I benefit extensively from this so please keep it coming. Great Job! Would be nice though if you paid me $3K/wk for checking in here about 10-20X/day LOL. Hey, I’m just sayin’ LOL.

LC
LC

because hes obviously a hater. Doc is hands down the best site around for this game.

William Charles

Chuck handles the Plastiq stuff so can’t really comment, he says that he doesn’t get paid anything like the numbers they are saying but even if he does then I say good for him. He works hard writing articles so I certainly won’t begrudge him any money especially when it costs readers nothing to use that link.

In terms of the referral link, he clearly states it’s a referral link so I’m not sure what additional disclosure you’d like?

Moldova
Moldova

I was not allowed to pay Daycare with Amex 3 months ago. I end up paying with Mastercard.
According to this chart Amex is ok. Anyone else tried it recently?

Kuso29
Kuso29

This chart is not accurate, i consider it an accurate one if they actually have current examples of their own employees doing this instead of customers calling/emailing about the coding issue later on.

Amex has worked fine with me, no issues there.

LC
LC

Nice chart, will use in future. thanks doc!

curtis leasure
curtis leasure

Other than creating spend for things like spend goals and maybe status levels with companies has anyone found a use for Plastiq that actually helps with point accumulation? Seems like the 2.5% fee offsets any real gains one may make. Even if you have a 4% card you pay 2.5% processing fee = net 1.5% Let me know if I’m missing an easy point churn.

mommafrica
mommafrica

Just finished reading all of this and went to the Plastiq site to pay my real estate tax with my MC (thanks sdsearch) and the site is down for repair LOL.

Ryan
Ryan

I noticed the same. Sometime on Mar 7 the login page literally disappeared (was displaying a server error that said the file did not exist). Today there is a page up that says “We’re currently improving our website”. I wonder what’s up. Very unusual for a site this large to be offline for more than 24hrs.

Millennial Outrage

Happy they finally updated that support article to call out VGCs don’t work. I won’t hold my breathe but cautiously optimistic that will change one day.

FindingMyPossible
FindingMyPossible

This chart shows prepaid visas do work. Where does it say VGCs don’t work? I know they don’t because I’ve tried and I have been frustrated with the PDF as being entirely inaccurate with respects to these.

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86
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