Update 6/12/2017: It was fun while it lasted. It appears that Chase Sapphire Reserve is no longer coding as 3x points when making payments through Plastiq.

When it comes to earning points and miles, sometimes you have to spend a little to make a little. What I mean by that is a small out-of-pocket expense could help you get the points you need to make a valuable redemption. I started off by keeping my out-of-pocket expenses as low as possible but I’m starting to see why it’s worth using services like Plastiq to earn some extra points.

Plastiq LogoIn case you aren’t familiar with it, Plastiq is a bill pay service that allows you to pay virtually any bill with a credit card. Making a big monthly payment like rent with a credit card can be a quick way to meet a spending requirement or pocket some extra points. Of course, there’s a trade-off. Plastiq charges a 2.5% fee on all credit card transactions. So when I pay my $3,000 rent with Plastiq, I’m forking over $75 that I don’t really need to be spending.

I did this for the first time last month when trying to hit the spending requirement on the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business card. In this case, I felt like it was worth my $75 to prevent myself from spending $3,000 on things I didn’t need. Note, this bonus required a total spend of $8,000 so Plastiq really came in handy here.

Since then, it’s been discovered that rent payments through Plastiq charged on a Chase Sapphire Reserve are coding as travel and earning 3x points! Since you are paying a fee of 2.5% and earning 3% back in the form of points, you can easily profit off of this.

Plastiq Payment
For 3x the points, I’ll take the 2.5% fee!

Factoring in the fact that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth a minimum of 1.5x when used on Chase’s travel portal (and worth more if transferred to travel partners), this is pretty exciting.

As always, things like this can change quickly or may not work for all rent payments. For example, RadPad, a similar service with a higher fee, use to also code as travel when using CSR through Apple Pay. However, there are recent reports of this no longer working.

Final Thoughts

If this Plastiq thing keeps working, I can earn 9,225 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each month for the cost of the $75 fee. In 3 months with a $225 out-of-pocket expense, I’d almost have enough points for a night at the Park Hyatt New York which retails for close to $800. Five months and $375 later, I’d have enough for a business class ticket from Singapore to Dubai on Singapore Airlines worth over $2,000. If this keeps working, I’d say it’s definitely worth it!

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