Earn 3X or More with Plastiq & Amex
For many, it is getting harder and harder to generate the spend needed to satisfy the requirements for bonuses on various cards. We have also seen banks such as American Express offer very lucrative spending bonuses, but they often have high requirements. For these reasons many people have turned towards fee based services like Plastiq to help out.
A Good Development
According to a data point on Reddit, Plastiq is now coding as a small business for bill payments. This is great news if it works for all bill payments, since American Express is offering 2X rewards on most of their credit card through the end of the year. For example, if this continues, you could earn 2X Starpoints on an SPG card for paying your mortgage.
But wait, there is more. Right now American Express has a couple of targeted promotions for holders of their Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards:
- SPG Business: Spend $5K and earn 5K points. Spend $5K more and earn 5K more points. Through 12/15/2016.
- SPG Personal: Spend $5 and earn 5K points. Through 12/31/2016.
I checked and found that I am eligible for the business offer. So I quickly registered my card and received a confirmation.
So now my card earns 2X at small businesses and 5K additional points after $5K spend. Assuming I will hit the $5K in spend and earn the extra 1X, I will basically be earning 3X for purchases at small businesses. That is a very good return considering Starpoints are worth around 2 cents in my experience.
(Tip: The Business Platinum card earns 1.5X on purchases over $5K. If you have a big mortgage, you could potentially earn 3.5X for your payment.)
Of course Plastiq isn’t free. While they do have a promotion where you can get a 2.25% rate to pay your mortgage if you lock in 6 payments by 10/31, let’s calculate this based on their normal 2.5% rate. For the math let’s assume the mortgage is $1,500 per month and we’ll pay November, December and even January’s payment (a bit early). I can easily get the other $500 in spend through normal purchases.
- Total Mortgage Payments: $4,500
- Total Fees: $112.50
- Total Starpoints Earned: 13,500
- Cost per point: $.0083
- Approximate value of points: $270
Of course these numbers will vary for everyone, but many people would consider that cost per point for Starpoints to be an amazing deal. Others who never want to pay for points will say it isn’t. There is no right or wrong answer and of course the actual value of the points is something you will need to determine for yourself.
The AT&T Mastercard Dilemma
Right now you can lock in a rate of 1.75% if you schedule 6 or more Mastercard mortgage/rent payments in advance through the end of October. The AT&T Access More card has been earning 3X ThankYou points for these payments. The dilemma is thus whether to pay less for 3X ThankYou points for the longer term or pay more for 3X Starpoints for the shorter term. I think the AT&T card will win out, but since I recognize all of you don’t have it, the SPG deal is still a great one.
If you have never used Plastiq before, you can earn 200 fee-free dollars after making your first payment of $25 or more. This means they won’t charge you a fee on $200 worth of bill payments. You can sign-up here. As a disclosure, if you use my link I also earn 400 fee-free dollars after you make your first payment.
The math here would be good enough for me to switch my mortgage payments to an SPG card through Plastiq if I didn’t have the AT&T Access More card. I still think being able to lock in 3X ThankYou points past December at a rate of 1.75% is slightly better, but if I didn’t have that option I would jump on this SPG deal without hesitation.
Do you have any other targeted Amex spending offers I haven’t mentioned? Do you have Plastiq data points to share? Please leave a comment!