bills for points
February 21, 2017 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Is there a reason to not put household bills on my credit card to get points?

I pay my credit card off in full every month and while I'm not sure why I never paid bills (phone, cable, etc.) on a credit card, I'm wondering if there's a reason I shouldn't. The additional amount wouldn't approach my credit limit (so my credit won't get dinged for overutilization) and it just seems like I'm leaving points on the table by not doing this.

(Obviously this would only apply to bills that don't charge an extra fee for paying by credit card. )
posted by griphus to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have never seen any reason not to, except that a lot of my bills do charge extra (utilities). But my phone bill, internet, etc. all go on the credit card.
posted by mskyle at 8:19 AM on February 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

All mine that don't charge extra go on my credit card as well.
posted by Marinara at 8:21 AM on February 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

No reason not to, as long as you can commit yourself to actually looking at the bill each month and not just letting it run to auto-pay.
posted by praemunire at 8:21 AM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Some credit cards treat bill payment as a cash advance rather than a sale, and as such charge interest from the day of the payment (rather than giving them a float/grace period before the charges start). So check the fine print on your statement.
posted by Mchelly at 9:04 AM on February 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Works great for me.

The only tip I'd give is, I find it better to have a separate card that I use just for these kinds of recurring automatic payments. That way when one of my day-to-day cards inevitably gets leaked in a merchant breach, I don't have to go around and update every single auto-payment I have to avoid having a bill not get paid. I learned that lesson the hard way.....
posted by primethyme at 9:28 AM on February 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

I pay all the ones that don't charge a fee. Comcast yes, PECO (gas and electric) charge a fee. My mortgage company would only take a pushed check. Our local municipality charges a fee, so no. Car insurance- sure. No downside.
posted by fixedgear at 9:42 AM on February 21, 2017

We do this, and as long as you're committed to paying the credit card bill off in full each month, you're gold. Our accrued points got us round trip airfare for 3 to Paris, so...
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:38 AM on February 21, 2017

Joining the chorus - as long as they don't charge an extra fee, and as long as you're paying it off at the end of the cycle, I see no reason not to. I charge our electricity/gas, phone, internet, car insurance, but can't charge nursery school or our water bill.

One small wrinkle that tripped me up: I use Chronicle to track our bills, and realized that I was recording both the utility bills (because I want to know how they change) and the credit card bills - so I was effectively double-counting a lot of recurring expenses.

I like the idea of using a designated credit card for recurring payments, although I'm not organized enough to do so myself. Ideally, that card wouldn't be used for anything else, so that it wouldn't be as prone to merchant leaks. That would fix my bill double-counting problem, too... But do I trust our trash pickup company any more than I trust J. Random Internet Store? Eh.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:48 AM on February 21, 2017

Not to derail, but regarding this:

But do I trust our trash pickup company any more than I trust J. Random Internet Store? Eh.

I agree in principle, but in practice I've been doing this for a few years now, and while all of my day-to-day cards have been compromised at least once, the recurring one never has. Not to say that it can't, but this system has absolutely saved me at least one and probably three (based on the card I was previously using) instances of having to do the "change it everywhere" dance. Obviously YMMV, but that's my experience.
posted by primethyme at 4:13 PM on February 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

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