Use ChargeSmart to Meet Minimum Spending Only

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Million Mile Secrets reader Steve commented:

Do you still advocate the use of ChargeSmart to pay down loans using a credit card for those companies that don’t accept credit card payments?

About to close out a lease and buy the car, but want to meet minimum spend requirements and use the card to pay.

Use ChargeSmart To Meet Minimum Spending Only

Steve Should Only Use ChargeSmart to Meet Minimum Spending

Steve plans to buy a new car and wants to know if he should use ChargeSmart to meet minimum spending requirements.  He should only use ChargeSmart to meet minimum spending requirements on big sign-up bonuses like the 50,000 United Airlines miles offer on the Chase United Explorer card.

I’ll explain why!


Link:   ChargeSmart

Similar to Evolve Money, Steve can use a credit or debit card on ChargeSmart, an online bill payment service.

But there is a BIG difference with Evolve Money vs. Chargesmart.  Steve can’t use a credit card directly with Evolve Money, he has to buy gift cards which is a hassle for some folks.  Chargesmart is MUCH easier to use!

Steve can use ChargeSmart to pay his:

  • Mortgage
  • Auto loan
  • Utility bill
  • Cable bill
  • Student loan
  • Department store credit card
  • Credit card payment

Why Steve Should Use ChargeSmart to Meet Minimum Spending Only

ChargeSmart is easier and faster than Evolve Money or Bluebird to meet minimum spending.  It’s well worth the ~2.5% to 3% fee just to meet the minimum spending quickly.

But I wouldn’t use it regularly (outside of the sign-up bonuses) to earn miles and points outside of the minimum spending.

However, unlike Evolve Money, Steve would pay a fee to use ChargeSmart.

So Steve will pay either a flat rate fee or a “blended” fee which includes a percentage charged by the biller.  Steve won’t know the exact amount of the fee until he Clicks on “Make a Payment.”

Use ChargeSmart To Meet Minimum Spending Only

Steve Will Pay a Fee to Use ChargeSmart to Pay His Bills Online

Steve pays the fee each time he uses ChargeSmart.  Because the fees add up, Steve should only use ChargeSmart to meet minimum spending requirements and not on a regular basis.

And Steve pays a higher fee when he uses a credit card vs. his debit card.

A.   Car Loan paid with credit card

If Steve financed his new car through American Honda Finance Corporation and uses his credit card to pay his $356 monthly payment, he would pay a fee of ~$11 each time he uses ChargeSmart.

Use ChargeSmart To Meet Minimum Spending Only

Steve Would Pay ~$11 When He Uses His Credit Card on ChargeSmart to Pay His Car Loan

B.   Car loan paid with debit card

If Steve pays with his debit card, he would pay a fee of ~$9 each time he uses ChargeSmart to pay his car loan.

Use ChargeSmart To Meet Minimum Spending Only

Steve Pays a ~$9 Fee to Use His Debit Card With ChargeSmart

Although Steve has to pay a fee to use ChargeSmart, it makes sense if he has a lot of minimum spending to meet.

Steve could buy a Simon Mall gift card for ~$3 and load it to his Bluebird card at Walmart, and then pay his car loan.  But Steve might not have a Simon Mall or Walmart nearby.

It takes time to drive to buy PIN-enable gift cards and load them to Bluebird.  And Steve can only load $5,000 a month on Bluebird.

Although Steve pays ~$8 more (~$11 fee to use a credit card on ChargeSmart – ~$3 fee for gift card) to use ChargeSmart, Steve saves time and gas.

Bottom Line

Steve can use his credit card or debit card on ChargeSmart to pay his auto loan.  But Steve should only use ChargeSmart to help meet minimum spending requirements to get large sign-up bonuses.

But unlike Evolve Money, Steve pays a flat rate or blended percentage fee to use ChargeSmart.  And Steve pays a higher fee if he uses a credit card instead of a debit card.

ChargeSmart is MUCH easier to use than Evolve money and some folks could prefer paying the fee for the sign-up bonus.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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18 responses to “Use ChargeSmart to Meet Minimum Spending Only

  1. What is the best way to pay my mortgage so that I get points?

  2. As always, will the credit card that I use charge any Cash Advance fees on Charge Smart transactions?

  3. Hi,

    I tried paying my electric bill through evolve using a staples GC and got a transaction code 05 twice, which means do not honor. Is there a reason for this error? Have you experienced it before? Should I call the bank and ask why? I dont want to kill the deal, using GCs for bill pay.


  4. i have tried to use charge smart recently with gift cards, credit cards, it doesn’t work

  5. Don’t quite get why the italics at the top state that Amex is an advertising partner when Chargesmart doesn’t accept Amex…

  6. Hi, I have started using Evolve, which is relatively easy and not expensive… $5.95 for each $500 gift card at Vons. Hope this helps ..

  7. Has anyone noticed if Citibank cards (AA or HHonors) applies its cash advance fees to Chargesmart? After reading your site, it appears that it is possible that if I go the gift card or the straight payment route that Citi is going to apply the cash advance fee? Any insight?

  8. Sorry for the confusion, I bought a 200 visa GC at staples but I got that transaction response on the giftcardmall site. It wasn’t a staples GC. Should I call metabank?

  9. @MillionMileSecrets YAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! One mortgage payment +$50 + a vacation! = #awesomeness

  10. Thanks for the responses MM, I did register the card. This is the first time it’s happened to me, I’ve been doing it almost every month…not sure what it could be.

  11. Pingback: Best of Million Mile Secrets - August 2014 | Million Mile Secrets

  12. With a payment of only $356, why doesn’t Steve use Serve? Load $1000 per month from your cc ($1500 if you use ISIS) with NO FEES. Combine this with amazon payments, and/or other spend that doesn’t get you big rewards with your existing cards, and Steve should be well on his way to most minimum spend requirements.

  13. Is it possible to use my Citi AA card via Chargesmart to pay my Barclay Arrival+ card? Looks like there is only a debit option to pay Barclays but wondering if you have ever tried entering a credit card in the debit card details.

  14. I need to meet a minimum spend using a Delta Plat Amex but didn’t realize Chargesmart didn’t take Amex. Is there a good workaround (gift cards?).

    The original plan was 1 mortgage payment using CS and the rest coud be just normal spend on the card.

  15. DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE. Research their many complaints about not applying your payments on time or ever. They are a RIP OFF and scam. I was trying to pay online 6 days before my due date and typed something in wrong and was directed to make a payment with them. They did not apply my payment they deducted from my account and was going to receive late fees. My account representative stated they never hear of Charge Smart. I had to go ahead and make a payment to avoid a late fee, and I’m never late. I can not get Charge Smart to return my call.

  16. Does ChargeSmart charge cash advance fees for using a Chase card (Marriott Rewards card)?