[update 2/6/14: please see my post on Upromise Investments]
I'm happy to report that my first wave of Evolve Money payments made at the end of last week have all posted successfully to my online accounts. I added all the legitimate payees I could think of, as well as a few experiments along the lines of my "3 Insane Ways." Here are my results:
I was successfully able to make a payment to my Blue Cross Blue Shield dental insurance policy. Evolve Money promised to deliver it on January 21, but it apparently got there a little early:
I was also able to make an early payment to my gas provider, National Grid. Since same-day payments are free until February 16, I chose the "express" version of the payee – this is a different payee in the search function. Evolve Money claims to have delivered the payment on January 20 (a federal holiday), while National Grid posted the payment on the 21st:
I also made a student loan payment to "Federal Student Loans – All Servicers." Evolve Money claims to have delivered the money on January 21, and sure enough, there it is right on time:
529 College Savings Plans
Finally, I made 2 contributions to 529 College Savings Plans: one to my "real" 529 plan, with the Utah Educational Savings Program, and the second to a new account created with USAA. Both contributions posted right on schedule.
I haven't yet been able to determine whether the USAA plan will allow me to make electronic withdrawals from the 529 savings account like my UESP account does. It may take some trial and error to find an account that is compatible with Evolve Money and allows easy online withdrawals.
In short, my first salvo of Evolve Money payments was an unqualified success. I also learned a few useful tips to make sure payments are processed correctly:
- For payees with multiple addresses, use the billing address on your bill. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it was relevant in the cases of my student loan and utility bill payments. I was given a number of options for which address to send the payments to, and I selected the payee with the same mailing address, even though the biller name did not match. In the case of my student loans, my loan servicer is "FedLoan Servicing" They apparently share an address with another student loan servicer, and I made my (successful) payment to that servicer instead. Even though the names didn't match, the addresses did.
- For all the payees I used, I was able to add the bill successfully by deleting any dashes or spaces in my account numbers.
My remaining unanswered question is whether the transactions I funded using my PayPal Business Debit MasterCard will earn 1% cash back. I'm extremely confident they will, since they are processed as signature transactions, but PayPal has not yet updated my pending cash back so I can't say so with certainty yet. Whether or not that 1% cash back option exists will determine what is the best funding source for these payments: PayPal, reloadable prepaid debit cards like Visa Buxx or MyVanilla Debit cards, or one-off gift cards purchased at drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations, or office supply stores with cards that bonus purchases at those merchants.
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