Use ChargeSmart to Meet Minimum Spending Only
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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?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.
About to close out a lease and buy the car, but want to meet minimum spend requirements and use the card to pay.
I’ll explain why!
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:
- 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
But I wouldn’t use it regularly (outside of the sign-up bonuses) to earn miles and points outside of the minimum spending.
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.”
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.
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.
Although Steve has to pay a fee to use ChargeSmart, it makes sense if he has a lot of minimum spending to meet.
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.
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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)