How We Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards Points Paying Rent


UPDATE 6/7: Rent/Mortgage payments on Plastiq may no longer be coding as travel and earning 3x Ultimate Rewards points.

Everyone always asks me how we have so many points.  Other than sign-up bonuses, the bulk of our points come from credit card purchases.  We are always looking for ways to maximize our points earning for purchases we are going to make anyway.  That’s where Plastiq comes in.

What is Plastiq?

Plastiq is a service that allows you to pay any bill with a credit card for a fee.  The fee is a bit steep at 2.5%, but sometimes it’s worth it (more on that later). Plastiq is very easy to use and allows you to track your bill payment every step of the way.  If you have paid a bill using online bill pay from your bank, you can pay a bill with Plastiq.

How is the 2.5% fee worth it?

Currently, Plastiq rent and mortgage payments are coding as travel purchases on Chase.  This means that you can earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or 3x Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Ultimate Rewards are worth anywhere from 1 cent to 10+ cents per point depending on how you use them.  If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve you can redeem every point for a minimum of 1.5 cents towards any travel.  For example, on a $1,500 rent payment, your Plastiq fee is $37.50 and you earn 4,612 Ultimate Rewards Points.  If you just redeemed these points for airfare through the Ultimate Rewards portal, those points would be worth $69.18 towards your next adventure.  Of course, if you maximize the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, like Singapore Airlines (check out our Singapore Suites Trip Review), you can get much more value.

What else do I need to know?

First, you should never put rent on your credit card unless you can pay the bill at the end of the month.  All of the value you get from the extra points would be wasted (and then some) if you got hit with interest on that charge.

Second, Plastiq could stop coding as travel and you may only earn 1 Ultimate Reward point per dollar.  Of course, if you use your points with transfer partners  (like we do), it could still be worth it.  You could also switch to using your Citi AT&T Access Card which has historically coded Plastiq transactions as an online purchase netting you 2x Thank You points.

Finally, you have to decide if paying rent with a credit card to earn points is right for you.  How do you plan to spend your new points?


About Author

Michael Hacker, whose friends just call him Hacker, is passionate about travel, food, whiskey, wine and beer. Based in Miami, Florida, Hacker and his wife Stephanie try to travel as much as possible, using points and miles to maximize their experiences. Hacker is the co-creator of Miles for Monday.