Update: You can no longer load a Vanilla Visa to your Bluebird.
Update: Evolve Money has shut down its service.
That’s because we want to get miles & points for our expenses. And also to complete the minimum spending needed to get a sign-up bonus on a credit card.
Because CVS stopped allowing Vanilla Reload purchases with a credit card, folks are turning to buying PIN-enabled gift cards (i.e. Visa and MasterCard gift cards) with a credit card to fund their Bluebird accounts. Gift cards with PINs can be loaded onto Bluebird at Walmart. But it’s become more inconvenient with the extra step of going to Walmart several times a month to load your Bluebird.
But did you know there’s another way to use gift cards to pay bills? Evolve Money lets you pay bills online with a Visa or MasterCard debit or gift card (NOT American Express gift cards) – no trips to Walmart needed! And you can buy a Visa or MasterCard gift card at CVS, drug stores, grocery stores etc.
What’s Evolve Money?
Link: Evolve Money
Evolve Money is an online bill payment service that allows you to pay bills from your computer or mobile device. It doesn’t cost anything to sign-up and standard bill payments are free.
You can pay bills using Reloadit packs (which can sometimes be purchased with a credit card) or debit cards. This includes Visa and Mastercard gift cards with a PIN! I usually prefer Vanilla Visa gift cards from CVS, because you can just use a random 4 digit number as the PIN (if you need a PIN)
You can purchase gift cards with PINs to earn points with your credit card. And you can even earn category bonuses at places like office supply stores and gas stations if you use the right credit card.
You can pay bills like rent, mortgages, student loans, car loans, utilities, and store credit cards with Evolve Money. You can’t currently pay credit card bills, but that’s coming soon (however, they will charge a fee).
They say they have over 10,000 payees in their system and are continually adding more.
And until April 21, you can use promotion code “SAVE5April” to get $5 off a single bill payment.
I decided to check it out for myself.
How Do You Sign-Up?
Enter your email address, mobile phone number, and zip code along with a security question and password.
Then I received an email and text message welcoming me to Evolve Money. You can add information to your profile (full name, address, etc.) but you’re not required to do so.
How Do You Pay Bills?
1. Add Bills
On the main screen after you log in, click “Add New Bill.”
Search for the name of your payee. I looked for Sallie Mae to see if I could pay 1 of our loans.
Fill in your account number and personal details, then click “Save Bill.”
Now you’ll see Sallie Mae as a bill payment option on the main screen.
2. Pay Bills
Enter the bill amount in the box under the payee name. In this case, I paid $132 to Sallie Mae.
Then click “Submit Payments.”
You’ll be asked to add a payment method. I used a Visa gift card I bought with a credit card. Enter the card details and your information.
Then click “Submit Payment.”
You’ll get a confirmation screen like this if the payment goes through. It worked! Evolve Money also sent me a text and email confirming the payment.
I might use this service to pay bills often now. It beats driving to Walmart to load my Bluebird.
Instead, I can buy a Visa gift card at a grocery store or office supply store with a credit card which earns a category bonus. Or buy a Vanilla Visa card at CVS with a credit card. Then I’ll load it into my Evolve Money account to pay my Sallie Mae loans and electric bill.
Are There Limits or Drawbacks?
While Evolve Money says they have over 10,000 payees in their system, folks on FlyerTalk report that it can be difficult to find the right payee. Not all utilities, banks, etc. are listed (but you can ask to add your payee by sending an email).
You can NOT pay your credit card bill with Evolve Money! However, they do list many retail store credit cards, like Macy’s, Kohl’s, and JCPenney.
Regular bill payments are free, but same-day payments cost $1.50. They’re probably counting on making money off folks who leave things until the last minute!
You can only pay up to $1,000 per day. So if you have a large bill (like a tax, mortgage, or rent payment) you might have to split it into 2 or 3 payments.
Note: If you’re paying the same amount twice to the same payee, wait at least 5 minutes before submitting the 2nd payment. Otherwise, the system thinks it’s a duplicate.
And with mortgage payments, make sure the amount is applied to the current payment due and not just the principal. Sometimes, payments less than the full amount will be applied as an extra principal payment.
Evolve Money is an online bill payment service that lets you use a gift card with a PIN to pay bills you wouldn’t be able to pay with a credit card.
While many folks use Bluebird for this purpose, it’s become more inconvenient to load Bluebird accounts since CVS stopped selling Vanilla Reloads with a credit card. So Evolve Money might be an easier option if you don’t want to make the drive to Walmart!
You can NOT pay credit card bills with Evolve Money. And you can only pay up to $1,000 a day to payees in their system. But it is a great way to pay student loans, taxes, etc. indirectly with a credit card and earn points!
I’ll be using Evolve Money to pay some of my bills because it’s free, convenient, and lets me use gift cards I bought with a miles and points earning credit card.