Posted by William Charles on June 9, 2017
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Published on June 9th, 2017 | by William Charles


Plastiq: PPBDC Now Being Treated As A Credit Card – 2.5% Fee Applies

Plastiq has been a popular way to pay bills and rent using a credit or debit card. Recently the service stopped earning 3x points on rent/mortgage payments with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In more bad news it seems that the Paypal Business debit card is now being treated as a credit card and the 2.5% fee applies.

According to this text exchange it’s an intentional change as the PPBDC is treated as a credit card by their processor (meaning higher fees for Plastiq). I suspect that also means the 3x point change is here to stay and Plastiq has been looking to cut costs.


Hat tip to reader Vic J

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PPMC is basically dead anyway so this is disappointing but doesn’t have much real impact as far as I can tell…

You don’t need to fund your PayPal account with PPMC in order to benefit from using the PPBDC to pay rent via Plastiq. Before this change, people were using the PPBDC to pay rent and earn 1% cash back in the process. Nothing to do with how the PayPal account is funded.

Yes, but what would be the point of doing that when the 1% Plastiq debit card fee offsets the CB?

This was a pretty popular method of liquidating PP balances that were risky to transfer directly to a bank account, but I didn’t think there would be any incentive to use PPBDMC here if you weren’t trying to liquidate. The normal bill pay routes would go through much faster and have less chance of the delivery being lost.

Cashback for PIN-less Debit on the PPBDC has been dead for a while now.

Thanks for alerting me to this. Does it not work for loading Serve either? Back before my original Serve got shut down in 2016, it was working fine for 1% CB. I just got a friend’s Serve to manage and was going to start those loads up again- will I no longer get the 1% back loading Serve? It used to be run as regular debit and not PIN-less debit, which is why it used to work. Thanks.

PPBDC still works for loading on BlueBird and Serve.

This is how it works out in the past:

1. Buy PPMC @ CVS with your preferred CC. Even with Citi Double Cash you are still earning 1% because the fees of $500 PPMC is only $3.95, cheapest in all $500 giftcard such as visa debit or master debit. Especially in this quarter where Chase Freedom offers 5% on max to $1500 on drugstores/supermarkets, you would be already gaining $75-$3.95X3=$63.15 per card. And if you have a UF or CSR, product change it to Freedom.

2. After purchase of the PPMC, wait about 40-60 mins, then load it onto paypal account. Using PPBDC to pay on plastiq, CB on PPBDC will be posted the following month by 10th and that can compensate fees paid to plastiq. That being said, you’re basically paying with your CC so no need to use CC to pay bills through plastic directly. That being said, I don’t even care what promo or how much fee free points I have, I wouldn’t be paying any fees at the end.

Cashback for PIN-less Debit on the PPBDC have never been dead. You can still load Blue bird/Serve and I confirm that as of last month, I still get my cashback from Paypal. And since last October when Plastiq had issue with VGC I had already stopped using Plastiq. Now knowing that they code PPBDC as credit so I will recommend everyone to avoid using Plastiq. Got something to say, Rebecca@Plastiq?

I wonder how long Plastiq will go with 2.5% for credit card transactions. I doubt it is profitable for them. But I imagine they are trying to build up a customer base to get a good foothold and then probably their hope is to sell off to a larger firm. Burn through angel capital. Makes a lot of sense, but could see them hiking the fee to 2.75% too.

I wonder how many customers they lost as a result of no longer coding as 3x…

I’d been using PPBDC to liquidate my paypal account (mostly from kiva repayments) for quite some time. If they charge 2.5%, that will end for me immediately.

I can pay rent with Radpad, but anybody have suggestions for car payments now?

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