Plastiq is out today with a targeted promotion that has the potential to be extremely valuable. The promotion is targeted, and Plastiq says that “Eligible customers for this promotion have been notified through email.” Philly and I both received the promotion emails, so we’re both eligible. If you have a Plastiq account, be sure to check your email for this promotion.
As you may know, Plastiq is a service that allows you to make payments by credit card, where credit cards are not usually accepted. You can even use Plastiq to pay your taxes. For example, to make a rent payment using Plastiq,
- You request that Plastiq send a check to your landlord
- You tell Plastiq to charge a credit card that you’ve associated with your Plastiq account
- Plastiq mails your landlord a check
- The normal Plastiq fee is 2.5% of the payment when you use a credit card (although sometimes Plastiq has promotions to reduce the fee; and you can also earn Fee Free Dollars (FFDs) that can be applied to reduce the fee)
Using Plastiq can be an excellent way to earn credit card rewards, such as by using it to meet minimum spend requirements for sign-up bonuses.
If you have not used Plastiq before, you can receive a sign-up bonus by using a referral code when you sign up. If you sign up at Plastiq.com using our referral code, 487070, you will receive 500 Fee-Free Dollars (FFDs) after you make one or more payments totaling $500. You can use the FFDs later to make up to $500 in payments without paying any additional fees. We will also earn FFDs if you use our referral code. We appreciate the support.
Details of the Plastiq Promotion
Here are the rules of the promotion:
- Make a payment through Plastiq using a MasterCard credit card
- Pay the full Plastiq fee of 2.5% (that is, you can’t use any existing FFDs or any other promo to reduce the fee on this first payment)
- Set up the payment so that the processing date is on or before October 31, 2018 (note that most payments process same-day unless you set the payment for a later date; also, payments requested at night may process next-day)
- You will receive one FFD for every dollar you spend through Plastiq that meets the conditions above
- The promotional FFDs will be credited to your account on Thursday, November 1, 2018
Analysis of This Plastiq Promotion
This has the potential to be a very valuable promotion. To best illustrate its potential value, let’s use an example. We pay rent for one of our college-age kids that is about $1,000 per month. We’ll have to make a rent payment in October while the promotion is running, and again in November when we can use the FFDs we earn through this promotion.
For the first (October) payment, we’ll use a Citi MasterCard like the Prestige or Premier card that earns 1 ThankYou Point (TYP) per dollar. Our baseline value for TYPs is 1.25 cents per point. (This analysis works the same if you use a Barclays or Citi American Airlines card that earns 1 mile per dollar, as our baseline value for AA miles is also 1.25 cents per point.)
Next, for the second (November) payment, we’ll use our Amex Blue Business Plus card that earns 2 Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar.
The October payment will cost us $25 in Plastiq fees at 2.5%. The November payment will not cost us anything since we’ll use the FFDs we earned through the promotion.
Here’s our breakdown of costs and earnings:
- Cost of first/Oct payment: $25
- Earnings from first/Oct payment: 1,025 TYPs, worth $12.81 at 1.25 cents per TYP
- Cost of second/Nov payment: $0
- Earnings from second/Nov payment: 2,000 MR points, worth $30.00 at 1.5 cents per MR point
- TOTAL COST: $25
- TOTAL VALUE OF RETURN: $42.81
This math also works in our favor with a number of different card combinations. We already mentioned that you could use a MasterCard that earns AA miles, with roughly the same calculations. Even better, using a Citi DoubleCash card would allow you to earn 2% on the first/Oct payment, increase the value of your return, and get most of your original outlay back in cash.
For the second payment, if you don’t have an Amex Blue Business Plus card available, you might use a Chase Ink Unlimited business Visa card. With the Ink Unlimited, you could earn 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points per dollar on the second/Nov payment. (Be careful about using personal Visa card with Plastiq as it may code as a cash advance and not earn any rewards.) Another option, if your second/Nov payment is large, would be to use an Amex Business Platinum card, which would earn 1.5 Amex MR points per dollar if your payment is $5,000 or more.
There are also other considerations that could further increase the value of this promotion:
- If you’re using a Barclays AA Aviator Red or Silver MasterCard, or a Citi AA Executive MasterCard, you could use this spend to help you reach thresholds to earn EQMs or EQDs toward elite status
- If you have any MasterCard (for the first/Oct payment), or any type of Plastiq-eligible card at all (for the second/Nov payment), you can use this spend to help you meet the minimum spend requirement for a sign-up bonus, or any other spending threshold
- Also, putting more spend on various cards during this year may help you qualify for a retention bonus offer when your next annual fee comes due, or help you get a better retention bonus offer
We love this promotion, and at Middle Age Miles we intend to take maximum advantage of it to help us earn valuable points and miles that will help us travel the world for less very soon!
At Middle Age Miles, we’ll always try to help you maximize your points- and miles-earning to get great travel value, such as by participating in the Plastiq promotion we’ve analyzed here. To get all of our tips on maximizing your points and miles to travel in style for less, please Like and Follow us on social media at:
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