[As I explained Sunday, this week I'm re-running 5 "classic" Free-quent Flyer Blog posts. One of the most exciting new developments this year in the world of manufactured spend was Evolve Money, an online bill payment service that, when launched, allowed tens of thousands of dollars in monthly online bill payments to a variety of merchants, which could be funded with prepaid debit cards. When the service first launched, payments could even be funded with credit cards, something my PayPal subscribers learned about all the way back in February, 2014. Unfortunately, that loophole was closed soon after a mainstream blogger publicized it. Much of the original research into Evolve Money took place on this blog, and can be accessed through my "Evolve Money" tag. This is the post that began it all. It originally ran on January 16, 2014 — see that original post for comments.]
HOW EVOLVE MONEY WORKS
Evolve Money is a service that allows you to pay your bills online – for free – using a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover debit card, REloadit packs (available at some grocery stores), or a product called "Evolve Pay Bucks."
You can create an account to store your payees, or use the service as a guest and input your bill information each time you pay a bill.
After searching their database of payees, you select the biller you want to pay, enter your account information, then choose your payment method.
That's it. It took me a few seconds to set up an account, add my MasterCard debit card, and make a number of experimental bill payments. I'll keep my readers updated with those results.
WHAT PAYEES ARE AVAILABLE?
There's good news and bad news on this front.
First, the bad news: as far as I can tell no bank's credit card division is listed as an eligible payee.
The good news is there are a lot of payees that are potentially lucrative. The list is incredibly long (it's free to search, so go check it out for yourself), but here are some highlights I found:
- Mortgages: Bank of America Mortgage, JP Morgan Chase Mortgage, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Countrywide Home Loans, etc.;
- Student Loans: Federal Student Loans - All Servicers, Discover Private Student Loans, Citibank Loan/Private Student Loan/Line of Credit, Acs Educational Services, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, etc.;
- Savings Accounts: Utah Educational Savings Plan, TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, Schwab 529 College Savings Plan, etc.;
- Insurance Premiums: Blue Cross Blue Shield (every state);
- Tax Payments: hundreds and hundreds of city and county revenue departments are listed.
WHICH DEBIT CARDS WORK?
I can confirm that the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard does work for bill payments, and these transactions are processed as signature purchases which should earn 1% cash back. My regular readers know what that means: you can load your PayPal account using PayPal My Cash cards purchased with a rewards-earning credit card, then earn 1% cash back liquidating those funds paying bills you wouldn't ordinarily be able to pay with a credit card. You'll be earning your credit card rewards – and a small profit – for transactions that wouldn't otherwise earn rewards.
If you are currently paying a mortgage or student loan using withdrawals from your bank account, take a look at the list of available payees and decide whether you can take advantage of this service instead and earn rewards on those payments.