Posted by Chuck on October 23, 2018
Manufactured Spending

Published on October 23rd, 2018 | by Chuck


[Expired] [Updates] Plastiq: Get 1 FFD per $1 Spent with Mastercard [Targeted]

Deal has expired, view current deals by clicking here.

Update 10/23/18: Now is the final week for this offer. Many/most payments process the same day, so you can continue making payments until the end of month (or close to it) and still be eligible. Also, it’s been confirmed that Mastercard gift cards are working to trigger the promo as well.

The Offer

Direct Link to offer (targeted offer, check your emails)

  • Pay with Mastercard on Plastiq and get 1 FFD per $1 spent.

FFD are Plastiq’s currency for free payment processing.

The Fine Print

  • Valid October 11, 2018 through October 31, 2018.
  • Must be set to process on or before Wednesday, October 31, 2018. On the payment review screen, click the blue “Delivered by” under the Amount & Schedule section. A window will pop up and show you the processing date for the payment.
  • Your account will be credited with the fee-free dollars on November 1, 2018.
  • Mastercard payments only.
  • Must pay a fee of at least 2.5% of amount on that payment (ex., no FFDs can be applied).

Our Verdict

It essentially ends up to be a 1.25% fee instead of the standard 2.5% fee since you’ll get free future processing for whatever amount you spend. Nice deal, but Mastercard only makes it harder to take advantage of. Remember, this offer is targeted.

Our review of Plastiq can be found here. Appreciate if you signup with my referral link. You can also find reader’s links in this dedicated post. 

Hat tip to readers J. and G.

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can you use mastercard gift cards ?

I believe so.

I stand corrected “Must be on a Mastercard credit card (excludes pre-paid and debit cards)”

I wonder if that just means that you need to pay the 2.5% fee, not the 1% debit card fee. Their terms also say “Must pay a fee of at least 2.5%” (yes, this interpretation would make one of those statements kinda redundant, but their terms in the past have had other redundant statements).
Some (most?) gift cards are treated as credit by Plastiq, with the 2.5% fee, so maybe they’d work for the promo.

Unless this has changed over the last month, yes.

On the actual offer page, it states No Prepaid and Debit Cards.

Wonder if using Masterpass with the GC would work.

Since the FFD is granted afterward you would be taking that risk, vs. the Masterpass deal where the discount was given upfront.

The GC appear to work for the promo even without going through Masterpass (based on the email I just got from Plastiq)

Which payments count towards this promotion?
Payments must meet the following criteria to count towards promotion:

Must be on a Mastercard credit card (excludes pre-paid and debit cards)

Yes, they seem to count for this promo (see my recent data point).

I made mcgc payment. Spoke with rep online. He said my cards are prepaid, not eligible. I voided payments

Were you charged the 2.5% fee, or was the card treated as debit, with a 1% fee?

2.5% fee. I told rep it is not fair because my card is essentially debt card but I was charged 2.5% and then treated as prepaid, not eligible for promotion. He said it is not eligible because he can see the card type is prepaid

FFDs posted for me for payments I made with MCGC. Probably the rep you talked to didn’t really know the answer.

got the email.

Use Citi Double Cash card for 2% rewards – 1.25% Plastiq fee = 0.75% profit. Make big payments to your mortgage or whatever.

Also, important note is that this offer applies to payments that are set up starting tdday. So i cancelled all my recurring payments and did set up again.

With a large rent payment (no FFD cap in the fine print that I could see) and a Citi Double Cash, this is a decent moneymaker and saves me the hassle of mailing a check!

just to clarify, 1 FFD per $1 spent

So I do a $1,000 payment via Plastiq, I would get 1000 FFD?

How much is 1000 FFD towards fees?

I got the targeted email and I am quite confused by this

A FFD means you can send 1 dollar without a fee. With a normal fee of 2.5%, that means each FFD is ‘worth’ 2.5cents.

With 1000 FFDs you can make a $1000 payment with no fee, which would have cost $25.

Got the email. Hopefully the math works out a little better than 1.25% fee: For example.. Make a $1000 payment, get charged $1025… Hopefully get $1025 in FFD. Thus, you will have made $2025 in payments for a total cost of $25, approximately a 1.2345679% fee.

+1. Was thinking about this as well.

Also, the nice thing about this promotion, is that you can use the FFD later with any card (within their restrictions). In other words, yes, you have to use your mastercard initially, but you can then use the FFD with an amex for a tax payment later down the road, for example. Does anyone know the expiration of FFD?

Usually 90 days from issuance of FFD.

Thanks, I thought I remembered it being a very short window. Was hoping they’d last until July 2019 (a school tax payment then).

You can string it out as long as you want by using a little bit at a time. Any time you use a single FFD, the expiration date for ALL FFDs resets. So if you send a $5 payment every 3 months, it will keep FFDs alive indefinitely (less the little bit that you use).

Thanks! I do remember that actually, now that you mention it.

I doubt that they’ll give you FFD for the fee. But I agree that their terms are vague, so it’s a possibility.

The fee also makes your CC rewards slightly higher than I first thought, e.g., with a 2% CC, rather than getting 2-1.25=0.75%, you get 0.775% since you get 2% on the fee too (but that’s only 50 cents extra in your example).

You don’t get FFD for the fee (based on the numbers in an email Plastiq just sent me).

got the email. Just made a car payment with a M/C. Not sure why saying only M/C makes it harder to take advantage of. Who are the major M/C issuers in the USA? Citi, US Bank, Barclays..that’s a lot of cards.

good for meeting minimum spend for a nice bonus…

Plus MC = Mortgage. Amex and most Visa do not allow it

Just as an FYI, I received the e-mail. I contacted Plastiq, because I wanted to know if there was any maximum on this offer. They confirmed that there is no maximum with the amount you can spend. I think this is a great deal for the Citi Double Cash.

Cost=1.25% Citi DoibleCash Earning =2%. Net profit 0.75% + time value of money (since you don’t pay your credit card immediately) Not bad at all.

I got the email for this offer today and yesterday my property tax bill. Need to make a strategy and apply for a couple cards for sign up bonuses.

I have a $25k 3% savings account, 3.5% mortgage (standard deduction in 2018, not itemized). This deal is a 0.775% money maker if you use a 2% cash back credit card.

Should I use my entire 3% savings account with this deal to pay my mortgage?

I believe the math works out to (But please correct me if I’m wrong!)
-$750 (lost interest, $25k at 3%)
+875 (pay $25k at 3.5% mortgage)
+$193.75 (cash back 2% reward)
Total $318.75 profit

Hi Jeremy,

Can I ask which online savings acct that you yield 3%? TIA!

I don’t know how u calculated $193.75, but yes an overall MM.

Old Missouri Bank 3%
Heritage Bank 3.33%

Calculated the $193.75 by $25k x 0.775% profit this money maker is if you use a 2% cashback card.

Remember that 0.775 is not actually profit, it’s just FFDs as in ability to pay future bills with no fee, so I don’t think you math is correct, unless you’re building in opportunity cost of a future credit signup bonus spend or something along those lines.

My math checks out

Pay $12,500 to mortgage
Fee 2.5% = $312.50
Total charged to my 2% rewards credit card = $12,812.50
Cash back earned on this deal at 2% = $256.25
FFD earned = $12,500

Pay $12,500 to mortgage again
Fee 0%
Cash back earned on this deal at 2% = $250

Total earned = $506.25
Total fee = $312.50
Profit = $193.75
Total spent = $25,312.5

$193.75 / $25,312.5 = 0.765% profit

Then you lose out on whatever interest your $25k is earning (In my case 3%), but gain interest savings for lowering mortgage amount

-$750 (lost interest, $25k at 3%…actually would be less than a $750 loss after you account for your income tax rate let’s assume 25% income tax rate so $562.50)
+875 (pay $25k at 3.5% mortgage)
+$193.75 (cash back 2% reward)
Total $318.75 – $506.25 profit

Good analysis, indeed you are right, this works out as long as you don’t mind committing the 25K savings on it at once.

Forgot to add, and assuming that you were planning to pay off your mortgage in one year, otherwise as mentioned, you’re missing out on the compounded interest.

Interestingly, I played a bit with some mortgage/savings rate calculators, and a 25K prepayment on a current 30 year 300K loan with 4% rate (doing the prepayment 2 years into the loan as just an example), compared to a guaranteed 3% savings rate during the reduced time frame of the loan ended up in a $5K loss overall (45K savings in in mortgage interest vs 50K balance on savings), but you’re a home owner 4 years earlier 🙂

You are wrong. You are making more money. The mortgage interest amortizes over a longer period and the interest on the savings compounds for longer time. Add to your gains compounded 0.5% on $25k over the time remaining on the mortgage.
The disadvantage would be not having the savings available. I would not do this with my savings but with a 0% apr when possible.


I have a little different take on this and trying to simplify than be accurate: I don’t have Citi Double cash. Can only use a 1% CB MC. In this case, I would pay a $1000 bill with it along with $25 in fees earning $10.25 in rewards. Then in November I would use a 2% CB visa card to pay another bill for 1000 paying a fee of $0 and earning $20 in cash back. So my net profit paying the two $1000 bills is $10.25 – $25 +$20 = $5.25
Nothing big, but I might still take it just for the 1 month of float.

I think this would work, or as a reserve when opening another account or taking advantage of 0% purchase APR deals (which often pop up around the holidays). Just remember the FFD expiration. I am doing the same on my Citi ThankYou Preferred with 1 TYP per dollar, but with 0% APR until January 1, 2019. Pay it off before the new year and then use the FFD to unload discounted office store GC for free (Staples and OD always have these deals near the holidays) or use it as minimum spend towards a new card.

I’m planning to combine combine this with the 5x CB offer (up to $50) on the Sears Citi card. I’ll use a 2x card for the FFD. So net 4.5x.

What a great idea!!! Does Sears Citi card consider $600+ transaction on plastiq as eligible transactions for 5% CB?
It seems that they will post the CB after promotions ends or 2 billing cycle which might be a downside. Please share your experience.

can I use more than one mastercard?

Yes you can make multiple payments with different cards.

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