Plastiq and the Manufactured Spend Nightmare Scenario

Plastiq and the Manufactured Spend Nightmare Scenario

For those of you that don’t know about Plastiq, I wrote about it a while back and how I use it to pay my mortgage and create a bunch of Membership Reward points.  It was a fine situation because I got in during the period that they had a promotion for a 2.25% transaction fee rather than the regular 2.5%.

As I had Plastiq as a preferred vendor with my American Express Gold Business Card, I was receiving 2x Membership Reward points for every dollar I was spending.  Even at a conservative estimate of 1.5c/MR, I was still ahead by about 0.75% per dollar spent.

The Email of Doom

On Friday, I received an email from Plastiq stating that I need to update my payment type because Plastiq was no longer accepting American Express.

Given that I had a payment scheduled the next day, I thought I would wait to see what would happen.  Unfortunately, I received a follow-up email the next day.

Next Step – Investigation

I knew that this situation was not going to resolve itself so I did some research and found that there were some other reports from our American counterparts detailing the same issue:

Plastiq no longer allows Amex mortgage payments

Plastiq No Longer Processing Payments with Amex Cards (Temporarily?)

The articles listed above seemed to indicate that this was perhaps a temporary issue that was going to be resolved … hopefully soon.

Contacting Plastiq

This morning I jumped on a chat with Plastiq in order to find out exactly what was happening and here’s what I found out.  There are two issues with Plastiq and American Express:

  1. American Express is no longer allowing Plastiq payments that are intended to pay mortgages.  This is in line with what Visa decided to do back in June.  HOWEVER, if you already have a scheduled reoccurring mortgage payment, AMEX will allow your charges to go through but this is completely dependent on the second issue.
  2. American Express is currently not allowing ANY payments to be processed by Plastiq.  Whether that be for car insurance, dental expenses, lease payments, etc.  The reason for this is that somehow AMEX’s systems have become overzealous and have not only blocked all mortgage payments, they have blocked ALL payments.

Issue #1 will never be resolved.  You will no longer be able to make your mortgage payment with Plastiq using an American Express card.  The only major card issuer that will allow for a mortgage payment is now MasterCard.

Issue #2 sounds like an issue that will be resolved in due time.  There is no timeline associated with the fix but from my conversations with Plastiq, it sounds like they are working feverishly to resolve it.

The Bright Side

I know that this isn’t going to help those that are looking to start Manufacturing Spend on AMEX with Plastiq but if you have already set up and put through a mortgage payment with AMEX, you will be able to continue to do so when Issue #2 is resolved.

There is nothing you need to do except wait out the problem and make your payment another way for the time being.

What To Do In the Meantime

I am personally using my MBNA World Elite Cash Back Card which returns 2% cash back for every dollar spent.  This means that I am paying about 0.5% in order to process my mortgage this way and while I wouldn’t suggest this in the long term, I am expecting that this problem resolves itself within a month so I am only out of pocket a small amount while this is worked out.

Promotion

Plastiq is currently running a promotion where you can get 1.5% for your mortgage payments when using Mastercard, for the first 3 payments.  Here are the criteria you need to meet in order to qualify:

  • Schedule 3 or more monthly mortgage payments by checking the box next to recurring.
  • Use a Mastercard.
  • Set up the first 3 payments so they are set to process between September 5, 2017 and December 31, 2017 11:59 p.m. EDT.
  • Look for a notification of eligibility on the payment review screen.

To read all the details about the promotion, visit https://www.plastiq.com/blog/2017/09/promotion-a-unique-mortgage-promotion-with-mastercard/.

If you are looking for a referral code to get $500 in Fee Free Dollars, use the following link: https://www.plastiq.com/cardholder_ui/start?referralCode=19101

Conclusion

This is certainly bad news for those that were looking to start Manufacturing Spend using Plastiq and American Express but if you have already set up reoccurring mortgage payments, you should be fine once this technical glitch rights itself.

 


Also published on Medium.

6 Comments
  1. Wondering what your advice is going forward. Are there any Mastercards that would even be feasible to use?

    1. Stacey,

      I am using the MBNA Rewards World Elite card as my current backup. It provides 2% cash back and because Plastiq charges 2.5%, I am effectively paying 0.5%. I am using this as a stopgap until AMEX comes back online.

      If you want this card, you can get it through GCR and get $60 cash back.

      I’m a fan of this card in general because unlike other cards out there, MBNA places no maximums on the cash back you can earn.

      Hope that helps. Cheers

      Jayce

  2. Is mortgage payments payable via plastiq in Canada too..? I knew it was in US ; if yes in Canada then how ? Currently ur lender withdraw from ur bank account

    1. Tom,

      Mortgage payments are allowed with Plastiq if you use a MasterCard. Payments with Visa and AMEX are not allowed any longer. The only exception to this is you had scheduled payments with an AMEX card when they made the change. You can read more about that specific situation here – http://www.pointsnerd.ca/plastiq-issue-american-express-solved/. Hope that helps.

      Cheers
      Jayce

      1. I’m asking because I don’t think that lender will let me pay via palstiq as they wana do it through bank acct… How to explain them ?

        1. Well, I’ll tell you that it isn’t the easiest thing in the world but doable. I bank with TD and I had to go in and speak with the manager and explain what I wanted to do. Essentially, I wanted to stop direct withdrawals and instead send in a cheque each month (Plastiq isn’t set up with TD for wire transfer for some reason). After explaining it, the manager gave me a form to complete which basically said that I promised to pay and to cancel my direct withdrawal.

          After that, I watched Plastiq and my mortgage account for 2 months to make sure there would be no hiccups and it’s been running smooth ever since.

          I’m not sure what other banking institutions do, but that was my experience. Hope that helps.

          Cheers
          Jayce

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