Would you pay $1.90 for 240 MRs?

Old Jun 21, 18, 8:01 pm
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Would you pay $1.90 for 240 MRs?

I'm curious....

I always pay my electric bill from my bank, because there's a fixed $1.90 fee for using credit. As I start to think about maximizing MRs, and my electric bill being $240 this month (yay Arizona summer + a Tesla to charge at night), would you pay the surcharge to earn the MRs? What's your break even point? Do you go by the flat > 1% rule? Do you use TPG's valuation of ~1.8 cents per MR?
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Old Jun 21, 18, 8:38 pm
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I can get 2-3 cents per MR on plane tickets I'd be willing to buy with cash. If rewards are my main consideration in picking a card (as opposed to travel insurance, warranty, etc.) I plan using a 2 cents per MR value.

I also have a Schwab Platinum, so in a worst case scenario (award chart nerfs, I stop flying as much, I can't find award space) my MRs are worth 1.25 cents each.

240 MRs are worth $3 minimum to me, and probably $5 or $6. So I'd absolutely pay $1.90 for them. And I suppose you'd technically earn 242 MRs, as you'd earn rewards on the surcharge.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 8:40 pm
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My Electric utility has a flat fee for credit card payments, but you can pay up to $600 at a time. It might be worth it to consider "paying ahead" or "overpaying" and only paying every few months.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by keifernny View Post
My Electric utility has a flat fee for credit card payments, but you can pay up to $600 at a time. It might be worth it to consider "paying ahead" or "overpaying" and only paying every few months.
THIS. If it's a fixed fee, pay several months' at a time and reduce the "bite" from the fee.

But yeah, I'd pay $1.90 for 240 MR points.
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Old Jun 21, 18, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by keifernny View Post
My Electric utility has a flat fee for credit card payments, but you can pay up to $600 at a time. It might be worth it to consider "paying ahead" or "overpaying" and only paying every few months.
Oh that's a great idea! It says I can pay up to $750 which makes it a no brainer. Now if only I could convince my wife that a Blue Business Plus was worth it, then it'd be 1500 MR for $1.90

Last edited by Gig103; Jun 21, 18 at 10:43 pm
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Old Jun 21, 18, 10:47 pm
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Yup. I pay my electric company $996.65 about once a year. With the fee it's $1000 even. If there's a payment maximum, I don't know about it. Worth doing at least a couple months at a time if you have the cash handy.

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Old Jun 21, 18, 11:51 pm
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Absent a promotion, I'd have to spend $240 to get 240 points on my card, so I'd leap at $1.90 instead.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 12:28 am
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Even better, pay $0 for 240 MR by using Arcadia Power https://www.arcadiapower.com/.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
Absent a promotion, I'd have to spend $240 to get 240 points on my card, so I'd leap at $1.90 instead.
No, no, no. You pay $240 to get $240 worth of goods and services AND 240 MR points. This is paying $1.90 just for 240 MR. Big difference.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
I'm curious....

I always pay my electric bill from my bank, because there's a fixed $1.90 fee for using credit. As I start to think about maximizing MRs, and my electric bill being $240 this month (yay Arizona summer + a Tesla to charge at night), would you pay the surcharge to earn the MRs? What's your break even point? Do you go by the flat > 1% rule? Do you use TPG's valuation of ~1.8 cents per MR?
If you are willing to branch out to earning cash back, the US Bank Cash+ card allows you to choose utilities as one of your 5% back categories. It looks like your utility bills are high enough that it might be worth considering. The utilities category also includes natural gas service, water, and trash pick-up companies.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by flyershmlyer View Post
No, no, no. You pay $240 to get $240 worth of goods and services AND 240 MR points. This is paying $1.90 just for 240 MR. Big difference.
OP has the choice : pay $240 and earn 0 MR or pay 241.9$ and earn 240~242 MR.

So he will get $240 worth of goods and services

He won't just pay $1.9 and get 240 MR
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Old Jun 22, 18, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by thibderoc View Post
OP has the choice : pay $240 and earn 0 MR or pay 241.9$ and earn 240~242 MR.

So he will get $240 worth of goods and services

He won't just pay $1.9 and get 240 MR
Sorry, I'm not seeing what you're saying is different from mine.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by flyershmlyer View Post
Sorry, I'm not seeing what you're saying is different from mine.
The two of you appear to be in violent agreement.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by cloudybw View Post
Even better, pay $0 for 240 MR by using Arcadia Power https://www.arcadiapower.com/.
At least for my area it says you still pay you local utility and then just pay a $0.015/kWh surcharge. So he would have to use less then 126kWh a month to break even, if he used more then the credit card processing fee would be cheaper.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 8:35 pm
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If you haven't yet, check to make sure the utility accepts Amex.

I have two utilities that accept credit card payments somehow (one directly, one through a separate site). One of them explains how to find the 4-digit security code on the front of an Amex, but then neither of them actually takes Amex, only Visa/MC. (I actually tried an Amex on the site that gave the 4-digit Amex security code explanation, but it said card type not accepted.)

Whether you'd earn Membership Rewards is not a consideration if the utility doesn't actually support paying with Amex.
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