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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by jacobbeckley, Mar 7, 2014.
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Is it possible to earn miles for paying everyday bills like your mortgage?
Possible? Definitely. But economically feasible? Depends on how you value miles.
One of the most common things people do is to get a free Bluebird account and fund it with Vanilla Reload cards which often are available for purchase with a credit card at CVS. The fee to do this is $3.95 for up to $500 -- so a bit under one percent -- but the credit card points you get are probably worth more than that. You can then write a check from your Bluebird account to pay the mortgage.
There are limits and not all CVS stores sell with a credit card, but it's a start.
and also search this forum for Vanilla Reload (or VR).
A side question about mortgage/miles, has anyone taken on a mortgage (or refi) with a miles bonus attached?
If so, did you notice any increased cost (fee(s), interest rate, etc) over other offers you obtained?
Depending upon the credit card, and what is purchased, you can get anywhere from 1:1 (dollar to mile) up to 1:10 (although this is increasingly rare). Any bill that permits a credit card use in lieu of a bank (checking or bank account) debit can be paid with a credit card.
Of course, the key to any credit card charge to accumulate miles is to pay off the monthly bill, and to never accumulate an interest charge. Anything other than this just isn't worthwhile.
Not including mortgage/rent, I auto-pay all of my bills with my SunTrust Delta debit card. (In 7 years I have never had an issue with an erroneous charge.) I also use them for any purchase possible. (I'm a mile junkie!)
The interest rate is higher, or at least it was with Well Fargo through the AA program. I didn't line item check the costs and fees so I can't say if they were the same or not.
A friend of mine now pays his mortgage with his Serve card $3,000 a month,
I am getting ready to pay my property taxes with it,
I have been paying Insurance bills with the cars for quite a while.
Been running a business with CC for many years, never paid any interest...
To add to the options, you may also be able to pay your mortgage via Evolve Money, an online service. You can do it via debit card and yes VISA gift cards bought at the supermarket or 7-Eleven or Office Depot or whatever qualify. For debit payments Evolve doesn't charge a fee. You can also pay through Evolve with a credit card directly, but here they'll charge a 3% fee. If you're going to do that you should be really sure the points/miles you're getting back are worth anywhere near that much. They probably aren't. But the gift card with PIN option is probably worth looking at. You should be maxing out Bluebird or Serve first before you should consider this in general though.
I'm thinking that for the initial spend to collect the goal, the 3% might not be too bad. I think for paying every month though, doesn't make sense.
Yeah, that's probably right. If you're earning 25,000 SPG points for $5,000 in spend, then you're earning 5X which you might value at something like 10 or even 15%. Spending 3% on all or part of that spend to hit the minimum spend might be okay. In the past I paid my mortgage a couple of months via one of those services that charged a lot more than 3%. These days we have much better options. That said, its still not the greatest idea, since with a little work you can do better. Instead of using a Chase Ink card to pay your mortgage via Evolve directly, you might buy Visa Gift Cards at 7-Eleven which is often/usually coded as a gas station and thus earns 2X. So instead of 500 additional points for a $500 card you earn 1,000 points, worth another $7 or so, and you spend $4.95 or about 1% rather than 3%. So it maybe costs you more out of pocket, but the extra earnings cancel out the cost and in fact you end up with more miles. But certainly paying with a credit card directly is easier.