Learn 2 easy ways to pay your bills with a credit card | finder.com
paying bills with a credit card

Want to pay your bills with a credit card?

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Weigh the pros and cons of using a credit card for bill payments.

There are plenty of reasons to consider using your credit card for bills, including convenience, easy cash flow management and the ability to earn points and rewards. However, it doesn’t come without its costs.

Here’s everything you need to know before deciding whether to pay your bills on plastic.

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How to pay your bills with a credit card

There are two main ways you can use your credit card to pay bills: autopay and one-time payments.

1. Autopay

Bills that are charged at a set time each week, month or year can usually be set up as an autopay from your credit card account. This could include your mortgage payments, insurance premiums, home utility services, gym membership, Internet and other subscriptions for entertainment services like Netflix.

How do you set up an autopay with your credit card?

  1. Find out if there is an autopay option through your service provider.
  2. Provide your chosen credit card account details.
  3. Confirm the details and authorize the autopay agreement.

What are the key factors to consider when using autopay to pay bills?

  • Autopay fees. Some service providers may charge a fee, but most prefer that you set up autopayment and have made this a fee-free mode of payment.
  • Declined payment. You could be charged fees twice – once by the service provider and once by your credit card provider.
  • Overdraft fees. The card provider might choose to honor the autopayment and may charge you an overdraft fee and default interest.
  • Interest charges. The autopayment will be subject to interest fees if you carry a balance or if there is no interest-free period on your card.
  • Cancelled subscriptions. If you cancel a subscription or wish to stop the autopayments, you’ll have to contact both your bank and service provider to ensure that you don’t get charged any fees.

2. One-time payments

One-time bill payments allow you to pay as you go and can be convenient for charges that vary in amounts or are less regular. You might choose to use your credit card to make a one-time payment on your tax bill or for paying off your car repairs in the same way you’d make a regular credit card payment.

What are the key factors to consider when using one-time credit card payments to pay bills?

  • Card acceptance. Some businesses may limit the type of cards that they accept or prefer cold hard cash.
  • Cash advance transactions. Some bill payments may be treated as cash advances if the business you are trying to pay isn’t setup to accept credit card payments. Your card provider will process the payment as a cash advance and charge you the cash advance interest rate and a cash advance fee.
  • Credit card surcharges. Service providers may charge a small percentage fee of your bill for paying with your credit card.
  • Interest charges. If the business accepts credit card payments, the transaction will be typically treated as purchase. This means you can enjoy an interest-free period as per all purchase transactions.
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Earning rewards for paying your bills with a credit card

When it comes to the perks of paying your bills with a credit card, we find that it’s usually more about the rewards points than anything else. The restricting and limiting of points can vary significantly between credit cards, so refer to your credit card’s terms and conditions or contact your issuer before making a payment to earn rewards.

is the purchase eligible for points?

Most of the time, the relevant clause pertains to “eligible transactions”, where they state whether or not such a transaction is eligible for earning rewards points. Note that this is not usually the case for other types of bills, such as subscriptions to the gym.

What are the credit cards that earn points for utility payments?

On the bright side, there are a few credit cards that do let you earn points on such payments. One option is:

This card earns two reward points for every dollar spent on these types of transactions.

Earning credit card rewards while making bill payments

paying-with-credit-card

Let’s look at Annie’s monthly expenses and how she can earn rewards for her regular bill payments:

  • Entertainment streaming service: $9.99 per month ($119.88 per year)
  • Gym membership: $80 per month ($960 per year)
  • Health insurance: $400 per month ($4,800 per year)
  • Telecommunications: $200 per month ($2,400 per year)
  • Electricity: $500 per quarter ($2,000 per year)

She decides to get the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card, which earns two points per dollar spent on gas, utilities and groceries and one point on everything else. After checking and learning that there are no fees involved, Annie sets up all her above payments as an autopayment from this account.

Over a year, Annie earns:

  • Entertainment streaming service: 119 points
  • Gym membership: 960 points
  • Health insurance: 4,800 points
  • Telecommunications: 4,400 points
  • Electricity: 4,000 points

Total: 14,279 points per year

Annie can exchange these points for gift cards, merchandise or a cash credit.

While autopayments can be a cost-effective and convenient way to schedule and manage cash flow, be sure to check for hidden and potential fees that may bite you later on. Using your credit card to pay for regular expenses can also be an efficient way to maximize rewards earnings.

Learn more about earning rewards points with your credit card

To make sure it’s the right option for you, you should do your research and weigh up the costs and benefits before deciding if this is your best option.

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Compare rewards credit cards

Updated May 21st, 2019
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee
$150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
3% cash back bonus on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5%
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on travel and dining. 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
$150 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases
$0
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit. 1x points on all other purchases
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on flights booked directly or flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
N/A
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
$0 to $99
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases.
35,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on airfare booked directly with airlines; 4x points at US restaurants; 4x points at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (then 1x points)
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & fees
25,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 4 months
2x points on gas, groceries and airlines, whichever you spend the most on each month, 2x points on cell phone services and charities and 1x points on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter)
Earn 25,000 enrollment FlexPoints worth $375 in travel after spending $2,000 in the first 4 months. Rates & Fees
30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
10,000 miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months
2x miles at US restaurants and on purchases made directly with Delta and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
$250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
6% at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 annually, then 1%), 6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit, at US gas stations and 1% on all other purchases
$95
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
70,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days
2x miles on all purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
$150 after spending $500 in the first 90 days
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore
$0 to $99
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore.
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare or cash back
$995
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
125,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees

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