Bill Pay 101
One way that we can do a lot of MS is by simply paying bills. With this method instead of paying from your checking account, transferring funds, obtaining money orders, or adding funds to reloadable gift cards, you will be going to the same money center where you are also purchasing money orders and you are doing bill pay.
You are paying back the credit cards that were used to purchase the gift cards in the first place with the gift cards in a bit of a circle. This method used to work at Walmart payment services but now works best in other bill payment locations.
This process takes between one to two business days and the fee to make these payments is usually around $1.50. You can use this process with Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. American Express has a higher fee to pay the bill and therefore you don’t want to use it to pay your AMEX bills.
PRO-TIP: make sure that the fee is below $2.00. If it is above that then it is usually not worthwhile to do this method. I have had tellers mention to me it was going to be $4.99 and I informed them that they have always charged $1.50 and they will update the fees, so be aware this is an option sometimes. Also, this is a good method for most Visa cards, Capital One, and Discover, but be aware that Bank of America and Chase don’t really like this method much, and you can get more attention on your account plus risk having accounts shut down paying those cards with this method. It’s better safe than sorry.
Note, that there is a 30-day cycle for the bill pay. Usually, the fee that is charged is less than the money order fee so this can provide you a better return than you are paying out. The bill pay we are going to do is at least $2,000.
There are some rules and regulations within this method so let me break it down for you.
It is not a calendar month, but it is a 30-day cycle for each card you pay. So you can potentially do this method multiple times in the 30 days.
There is also a max limit of $8,000 that you can pay with this method per card per month in the 30-day span (all vendors have different limits, so be aware of what they are, and test/try everything). It is important to keep track of this information with your organizer spreadsheet so that you don’t have problems.
You will start by giving the person behind the counter your credit card and telling them you want to make a bill payment on the card.
You then tell them the amount you want to pay on the card.
They can put the card in their file under the name visa OR the name of the bank. Let’s say that it is a Capital One and a Visa Card. You can do $8,000 a month under Visa, and you can do an additional $8,000 under Capital One for the same card. It can be treated as a totally different account. You can potentially be doing this with dozens of cards. The key factor behind this is the account number.
Be aware that some authorized users have an entirely different account number, and you can therefore do it two times for each of those authorized user cards too; multiplying your potential.
If you get full on a card and you want to try this, you can call in and tell the issuer that you have lost the card, and that you are requesting a new card with a new number. This can double your returns possible in those 30 days.
Make sure that you understand the numbers behind everything so that you are not hitting your max and being denied multiple transactions.
With most payment centers, you can do up to 4 total payment method swipes, but this does vary depending on the payment service, so be aware of these requirements.
Each of these swipes will be a maximum of $1,000 for your Visa debit gift cards, and make sure the total paid is their maximum limit minus the fees. So if you pay a $1.50 fee and the maximum is $2,500, you’ll want to bill-pay $2498.50.
If you have $500 gift cards, be aware that you are limited to the total number of swipes you can do per transaction; again usually 4 swipes max.
To put these numbers into perspective, I have done over $100,000 in liquidation with this method in a single day multiple times. Because you can potentially do this six times on each card every 30-day cycle.
PRO TIP: As a common courtesy, if you are doing this at a busy location, make sure that you only do two bill pays and then get into the back of the line so that people you are in front of don’t get annoyed and the teller’s line is not getting endlessly long, causing them to become annoyed with you and the others. We are trying to build strong long-term relationships with the person that is helping you do this.