Posted by Chuck on October 29, 2018
Manufactured Spending

Published on October 29th, 2018 | by Chuck


Plastiq Now Allows Expedited ACH, Wire, and Check Payments; Why Plastiq Makes Sense for Businesses

Update 10/28/18: Plastiq now added the option of expedited check payment with payments delivered in 2 business days. The fee is 3% instead of the standard 2.5% Plastiq fee, plus there’s a $40 FedEx Priority Overnight fee, plus a $10 handling fee (handling fee is waived for payments $3k+).  Could make sense for a large payment which needs to be paid by physical check.

We added a chart at end of the post which outlines all the current payment options with their fees.

Original Post:

Plastiq is a bill payment service who offers the convenience of paying almost any bill with a credit card, even payees who typically don’t accept a card, e.g. mortgage, contractor, gardener, insurance. The payments were historically done via check, with the exception of select payees found in their system (e.g. some mortgage providers).

Now Plastiq has launched robust electronic payment options, including ACH direct deposit, domestic wire, and international wire. (Link)

I went through the motions of attempting a wire and an ACH to learn more about how it works.

  • The wire option has a $30 fee for domestic and $50 fee for international (payments above $20k might have higher fees) – that fee is on top of the standard Plastiq 2.5% fee. ACH and check options have a flat 2.5% fee.
  • Within the process for setting up a wire they ask for an invoice of the bill being paid. When using the ACH direct deposit option they don’t ask for an invoice during the setup process, but I think they still manually review it and ask for invoice verification in some cases.
  • One key difference is that ACH recipients get an email verification first to verify the account number, while wire recipients don’t need that. If you aren’t interested in trying to explain your recipient what ‘Plastiq’ is, wire could be a better option, though it is of course more expensive. I wish they could do away with that email verification step on ACH payments.
  • Domestic wires will arrive the same day, international wires will arrive the next day, and ACH transfers will take up to 4-5 business days. Plastiq does offer an expedited next-day option for an additional $15. Mailed checks take around 10 days.
  • Domestic wire, ACH direct deposit, and check can be done within the Plastiq system online. For international wires, contact to get it set up.

Plastiq for Business

Plastiq has been pushing hard for businesses to adopt them in paying vendors and providers, something becoming increasingly realistic with the added wire and ACH options, and even international wire. The unique value proposition for businesses is multiple:

  • Cash-flow. One of the biggest issue most retail small businesses face is keeping steady cash flow. Credit cards can give an extra month or two of float.
  • Tax write-off. When paying a business bill with Plastiq which incurs a 2.5% fee, you can write off that fee. In effect, the actual cost to your pocket may be something like 1.5%, depending on your tax rates.
  • Points. Like with personal bills, you’ll get credit card point. This is the biggest motivation for most of our readers. Technically, in the case of business payments, the credit card rewards may belong to the business, though in reality it’s sort of a gray area and I doubt many people report it that way. I wrote more thoughts on this in a dedicated post.

In the end, business owners will have to do the math to see if it makes sense for them. For example, a business owner who doesn’t have a cash-flow issue won’t find it as enticing as one who does.

Remember that Plastiq currently offers fee-free payments on Mastercard payments for the first $250 of each payment. Another angle would be to use CIP which has been working to earn 3x on Plastiq for all payees.

Much appreciation if you signup for Plastiq with our referral link.


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Can you just put another of your own emails for the ACH recipient?

Is this a viable option to send yourself ACH direct deposit for a Chase checking account bonus? I am still not sure I understand how to use an alternative form of direct deposit (not paycheck) to fulfill these bonuses..

I have a small business and mostly get paid by my clients via check. The only “card” payments I accept are through Google Pay Send because they only allow debit card payments and there are no fees on my end. As a business owner, is there a way I can coordinate with Plastiq to allow my clients to pay me with their credit cards, they pay the fee, and I get money via ACH?

I think I just answered my own question by searching the Plastiq site. Chuck do you or the DoC have a referral for businesses to join Plastiq that I can use to help give you some fee free dollars?

I think you’ve made some very good arguments for using a cash back credit card for your business and for employing some MS. However, Plastic fails because it is too expensive. Adding the ability to send payments by ACH only adds to the cost. It would be much less expensive to just establish a line of credit @ 10-20% than to pay Plastic fees for a few extra days of cash flow.

it’s not a few days when 0% APR cards typically go for 12-18 months.

Peter I was thinking and was going to post same thing it would be awesome way to bootstrap a new business.
A LOC can be good to have as as a safety net, but are much harder and plenty of paperwork even more so for new business <2 years tax returns) and hard to qualify for when you need them.

I am curious if you can use it for paying employees/or your self with DD ACH, most of these money services look at you with an evil eye about anything or anyone related to you trying to transfer money to you.

Wire has been an option for a few months now. It’s not more expensive over $20k it’s actually better since they waive the $30 wire fee at that point.

I couldn’t find plastiq online chat option. Can someone help please?

The ACH option is a NIGHTMARE. Requires the receiving bank to confirm the account number BY EMAIL ONLY. If there is no such verification process, Plastiq will mark the payment as sent, but it is actually held in limbo and you are basically screwed. Their chat support is zero help because their “account services” team owns the record. Not to mention how they arbitrarily close their online chat early over 70% of the time.

They want ACH proof for the mortgage payment I tried… just the statement wasn’t enough. They came up with some BS, no quick approval and support turn around time is ridiculous.

Yup. I’m on Day 10 right now with them. A manager emailed me advising that we cancel the ACH and move back to a mailed check. However, with chat “support” online with me, they couldn’t get the address (which is super simple and normal) to be accepted by the system and “need time to investigate.” RIDICULOUS!!

Same experience, and it sucks to see DoC pimping Plastiq so uncritically. They don’t seem to be able to get anything right, including basic English spelling in their communications. There have been so many screw-ups, always accompanied by contradictory information from the support staff (if you can manage to catch them online). I’m now getting ready to dump Plastiq forever.
Not mentioned in the review is the fact that they *always* want to see an invoice or lease for ACH payments. You’re prompted for this when you set up the payment, not when you set up the payee.

I got my payments cancelled twice in a row. I used Amex to pay for the remaining balance of my wife’s furniture purchase via their own finance with 0% interest. I contacted the plastiq support via online chat, but they were not helpful. Instead, I was asked to reply the “cancellation” email and I did. Will I be able to dispute and how? Send them an invoice/bill of furniture purchase?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Maybe this could trigger bank bonuses just by using two different emails

Has anyone else gotten a weird number of calls/emails from Plastiq after signing up? I signed up thru DoC’s link a couple of weeks ago, and have gotten either a call or email every day about “starting to use Plastiq.” The weird thing is, even after I talked with the rep on the phone, he emailed the next day saying he hasn’t been able to connect and wants to talk on the phone sometime…almost a sketchy-ish level of uncoordination, don’t you think?

here’s a referral link for 500 fee free dollars: [removed – don’t spam your links]

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