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If you’re like many Americans, you rely heavily on credit cards to pay for goods and services daily.
Not many people carry cash these days, instead, most of us just pull out Visa or Mastercard to pay for gas, food, entertainment, and other purchases, then make a payment against our cards’ balances at the end of the month.
However, there are still many bills that you can’t pay with a credit card, even though doing so might be a convenient fit for our money management styles.
If you’d like to put your credit cards into action to pay all your bills, then Plastiq may work great for you.
Onto our Plastiq review!
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What Is Plastiq?
Plastiq is a financial service that allows you to pay bills using your credit cards, even bills that normally don’t accept credit card payments.
Plastiq allows you to use debit cards in this manner as well, as it was founded as a personal finance platform for individuals, however, it is increasingly gearing its activities towards small businesses.
The service uses an account at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to support its users’ transactions.
In many cases, most individuals and small businesses are unable to pay bills such as their rent, mortgage, or utilities with a credit card.
However, if you link your credit cards to Plastiq, you can then leverage those cards to take care of these transactions via Plastiq payments.
Plastiq simply finds a method of payment the payee accepts, pays the bill via a Plastiq check, wire, ACH, or other forms of payment, then credits your card for the bill plus a processing fee.
If you’re a business or someone who works with foreign companies providing goods, one great advantage of the service is that you can pay international suppliers who only take payment by TT (telegraphic transfer/direct debit).
In addition to its payment services, Plastiq also offers a promotion for its users called offers is Fee-Free Dollars (FFDs).
FFDs are dollars that can be used with Plastiq without any fees.
Plastiq grants FFDs to its users based on their activities; they are often earned or granted in support of other promotions such as the customer referral program.
Users can use FFDs instead of their credit cards to pay bills through the system, and without being charged any fees.
How Plastiq Works
How does Plastiq work? Signing up for and using the service is relatively straightforward. However, at this time, Plastiq’s services exist only online via a website, there are no apps available for mobile devices yet.
To create an account, you simply follow the prompts on their “Get Started” page.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll need to link one or more of your debit or credit cards to Plastiq.
Once your cards are in the system, you’re in business!
Once your account is set up, using it is similar to most other bill-paying services.
You add payees’ data and payment method into your account and then schedule payments to them.
Once a payee is properly set up, Plastiq stores the information to make it easier to pay them at another time.
You can also set up recurring payments to payees as well. Plastiq’s portal also notifies you when a transaction is complete.
To use the service, you must be at least 18 years of age or be an entity registered in the United States or Canada, such as a small business.
You also must have a valid deposit account or payment card issued on one of the following networks:
- American Express
- Diners Club
Additional restrictions may apply.
Plastiq Fees and Terms
In most cases, Plastiq charges a flat processing fee for each transaction.
Debit card transactions generally are charged 1 percent, while there is a 2.5 percent fee for each transaction using your credit cards.
If, for example, you pay a $100 invoice using a Plastiq account linked to your credit card, you will be charged a $2.50 processing fee for that transaction.
- Debit cards: 1%
- Credit cards: 2.5%
Individuals who have questions can look for answers on their intuitive website. There is also an email and customer service line they can call for support as well.
Plastiq has a 3-Star review on Trustpilot with 92 reviews, which is considered average for a rated company there.
Of note, 42 percent of reviewers have given them an excellent review, while 34 percent of reviews have rated its services as bad.
Positive reviewers praised the simplicity and efficiency of signing up for the service and using it to schedule and pay bills.
Conversely, users who gave a bad rating cited reliability problems with getting their bills successfully paid and what they considered are high fees.
Some complaints seem to indicate a perception that Plastiq pivoted their services away from individuals to cater more to small businesses as well.
Plastiq Review Pros and Cons
Here are some of the key pros and cons you should consider:
- Ease of Use. It is easy to sign up for and begin using Plastiq to pay your bills, whether you’re an individual or small business.
- Streamlines Payment Activities. It is easier to manage and pay all of your bills with a single service, rather than having to use a variety of different payment methods.
- Easier Foreign Supplier Payments. Plastiq makes it easier to pay foreign suppliers who require telegraphic transfers (TTs) or direct debit.
- Cost. If you use credit cards to pay your bills, you’re already being charged interest and other fees in most cases; adding Plastiq as a bill-paying method will subsequently add that service’s processing fees on top of the existing expenses as well.
- Limitations. Depending on the type of credit card you link to the account, you may still have to rely on other methods to make certain types of payments.
- No Mobile App. Plastiq has not yet fielded a mobile app, so if you rely heavily on smartphones or tablets for executing your transactions, the service is less than optimal.
- Geographic Limits. Users must be residents of the U.S. or Canada or have a registered company in those countries.
Card Limitations and Restrictions
There are limitations and restrictions on using Plastiq to pay certain bills based on the types of credit cards you have.
For example, neither Visa nor American Express allows Plastiq account holders to use the service to make mortgage payments.
The use of American Express payment methods is further limited to industries made available to users when selecting their recipient category.
In the United States, Plastiq users can only use their American Express-backed accounts in the following industries:
- Government payments
- Residential Rent
- Club fees and memberships
Canadians using the Plastiq service can use their American Express cards for the following industries:
- Business Services
- Residential Rent
Additionally, certain countries where Plastiq is used have restrictions on the service’s use as well.
Plastiq provides guaranteed delivery of your payments to recipients within the projected timeline and provides reimbursements in cases where the guarantee is not met.
When users seek reimbursements in these cases, they simply provide their Plastiq payment ID, along with proof of the payment date and evidence that some late fee is owed.
The reimbursement must be claimed within (30) calendar days.
Plastiq does not provide partial refunds or refunds for transactions where the recipient has already received the payment.
Additionally, there are situations where the delivery guarantee and subsequent reimbursements are not applicable, including:
- Service Provider downtime or delays including United States Postal Service (USPS), Canada Post, and banking partners
- Recipient rejection or return of the payment
- Recipient mishandling or delayed payment posting
- Delivery failure due to incorrect or incomplete information provided by the user (you)
- Cancellation prior to payment delivery
- Failing to respond promptly during Payment Review
Principals and fees associated with using Plastiq to facilitate cross-border payments (CBP) – defined as payments for which recipient funds are delivered in a different country from which they originate – may be subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
When using Plastiq, users must accept that there is an exchange rate risk; the credits and debits executed with Plastiq may be subject to currency conversions that affect the overall value of the transaction.
However, these risks are not considerably different from what individuals and small businesses already have to contend with when conducting international transactions.
Multi-Currency Card Processing
Plastiq can offer users the ability to pay a recipient in a different currency than the currency in which a card payment method is originally issued; this is called “multi-currency Processing” or “MCP”).
They do not charge any additional fees for MCP payments submitted in the local currency of a card (rather than the recipient’s currency) will NOT be charged an additional Plastiq Fee.
The currency exchange rate is calculated on the payment processing date and is visible to users on their payment review page. MCP is currently available in Plastiq for the Chinese Yuan (CNY).
Plastiq is not alone in offering innovative credit card bill-paying services. Some of the Plastiq competitors available to individuals and small businesses include:
Each one of these competitors has its own advantages and drawbacks.
It is worth examining each one to determine which payment service or services would be the best fit for your personal situation.
More, with our Plastiq review below.
Benefits Calculator: Finding Out if Plastiq is Worth it
Plastiq has made it easier for users to determine whether or not making payments with Plastiq is advantageous.
The company now has a benefits calculator that enables you to input all of the information and data about a given payment.
Once a user has provided that information, Plastiq will calculate all of the potential fees and costs associated with the payment.
The benefits calculator is helpful for users attempting to determine how much payments cost them as they attempt to manage their budgets more closely.
Additionally, this tool can be especially useful for businesses looking for ways to optimize their cash flows as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (Faq)
We answer some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Is Plastiq legit?
Plastiq is a legitimate company that allows users to pay for bills and business expenses using a credit card.
How to use Plastiq to pay rent?
We’ve written an article all about paying rent with a credit card.
How to use Plastiq to pay mortgage?
Read our article all about paying your mortgage with a credit card.
How much does Plastiq charge?
Plastiq fees are as follows:
- Debit cards: 1%
- Credit cards: 2.85%
- Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): 2.45%
Plastiq fees may vary depending on the country the card was issued, and the delivery method. Some select recipients may also incur lower fees.
How much does Plastiq charge to pay taxes?
Plastiq fees for paying taxes with a credit card are as follows:
- Bank transfer: Free
- All cards: 2.85% or less
Plastiq Review Parting Thoughts: Pay Bills With A Credit Card
If you’d like to use your credit cards to pay more of your bills, Plastiq could be a great service for you.
A Plastiq account will make it much easier to pay all of your bills using a single method.
However, using the service does come with an additional price, and there are currently mobile platform limitations as well.
So, take all of these factors into consideration as you determine the best way to manage all of your bills and payments.
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Thanks for reading our Plastiq review.
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