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How to Use Credit Card to Pay Utilities?

August 27th, 2011 at 09:19 am

In the interest of racking up rewards points, how does one use a credit card to pay utility bills? I know that some people do it successfully, but how?

Looking at my particular utility companies, I see they will accept them but there is always a fee associated. Or you can use a third party processor, which is very expensive.

I just cannot see a way to do it without the fees outweighing the benefits.

Help?

6 Responses to “How to Use Credit Card to Pay Utilities?”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    It just depends on the utility company - and keep checking regularly.

    I don't find that many charge fees these days, though they did a couple of years ago. (Generally, only government agencies charge fees. Even the DMV stopped charging fees for paying by credit though - last year or two).

    The sewer bill to the county I have to pay by check (same for property taxes). & PG&E. Ironically, PG&E does not make it easy to pay by credit card (but the city utilities - electricity and water - let us pay by credit card with no fees).

    Maybe we are just lucky that our city isn't so cheap with the credit charges. In addition, phone bills, internet, cable, etc. we pay with credit cards no problem.

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    I have found that AT&T will take my credit card at no additional cost to me. So, I will start doing that next month.

    My local electric company will take it, but charge me a $3.50 processing fee which they state goes to Western Union. I would not earn enough rewards to cover that $3.50, so that is unappealing.

    I read on PG & E's website that they will take a credit card payment but charge a $1.45 fee. My PG & E bills are typically $20 - $30, so I am not going to come out ahead on that one either.

    I am still checking on my water, sewer, garbage bill. Their automatic payment page has been down for maintenance. I hope I can start paying that one via credit card.

    Every little rewards point helps!

    I've been reading your older blog posts during the past month or so, Monkey Mama. I am envious of your tiny little utility bills!

    I will keep checking back periodically, thank you for your input!

  3. frugalgirl Says:

    Sometimes if you sign up for the automatic monthly electronic payment you can choose to use a credit card as your account and not your checking account. If it is an ongoing payment contract, they may not charge you any fees for using a credit card.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    Just to be clear - I don't pay by credit card if I have to pay 1 cent in fees. Big Grin Then I just use online bill pay - which is free. Which is what I do for PG&E and payments to county utilities.

    I check at least once every year to see if fees are removed or more credit options are available. 2-3 years ago I probably paid nothing by credit card because of all the fees...

  5. Jerry Says:

    I was also going to suggest checking in periodically for changes... and it also can't hurt to ask someone at the utility management to consider making the credit card option no-fee. If enough people ask maybe it will lead them to change policy and offer their customers some insurance of different options for payment. Good luck!
    Jerry

  6. patientsaver Says:

    I just checked with my electric company and they charge you $2.50 to pay with a credit card.

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