Tag Archives: credit cards

Do You Pay Student Loans Bills With a Credit Card?

I love using my credit card for gas (3% cash back) when I can, but there are certain situations where you simply can’t use a credit card to pay your bills. I would love to get 1% cash back on my rent, but of course the property management company I rent through ads on lots of fees if you pay via credit card, so I send in a check each month.

Now that Lauren and I are married, I’ve taken a look at our financial situation and wanted to take action on a couple of important matters.

The first was paying off some of her student loans. I’ve paid off most of mine, but we can’t say the same for her (yet).There are a lot of them, and while the large number is a little scary, I’m not expecting to pay them all off this year. That being said, I want to tackle the high interest rate loans as soon as possible. At 7.25%, I’d love to lock in that rate (I look at paying off debt the same as earning that interest rate) for the foreseeable future.

The only question was how to pay it off. I love doing things online because it’s super fast and convenient, but I’ve had trouble in the past with paying off student loans online because by default, the payments are applied to all loans (both principal and interest) instead of paying off just the principal of the loan I wanted. I wanted to save money on the student loans, I didn’t want to make payments on the loans with lower interest rates!

So we called in together to find out how we could pay just the expensive loan, and were surprised to hear that we could pay it off over the phone, using our credit card. Um, score! I was planning on paying off $7,000, and to know that I’d be getting 1% back means I got $70 for paying via my credit card (which never carries a balance from month-to-month).

Readers, Does your student loan company let you pay via your credit card? Does this encourage you to pay off your balance sooner?

What Happened to Envaulted?

I’ve discussed Envaulted just once before on this site, when my brother asked if he should sign up for a service that gives 1% cash back on all credit card purchases just for giving them access to your purchase information on certain credit cards.

At the time, I said no because I thought there were a few actions that would have a much bigger effect on his finances. Why try and make about $2 a month when you can make changes that will make you $50 or more?

After signing up for Lending Club and opening an IRA account, he decided to try out Envaulted. Why turn down free money? It’s hard to argue with that logic.

My brother received a cool $100 from Envaulted over the past year, which is pretty sweet. But this past week, the site went down. I won’t even link to Envaulted.com because the site doesn’t even load.

There is no way to request payment anymore, let alone log in. People have connected their bank information, and there is no way to delete it. If I were a customer, I’d be worried. There’s no response from customer service, either. The only public communication was a single tweet from the Envaulted Twitter account, which has elicited plenty of responses, such as this one:

Envaulted

There is also this forum about Envaulted on FatWallet that discusses the issue. Alex, the COO, mentions that information is safe, but doesn’t say anything else to help people out. The mystery continues.

People want to know what happened, if their information is safe, and if there’s any way to get the payments they deserve.

This is just another reminder to choose the companies you do business with wisely, especially when it comes to secure financial information. I think the smart thing to do now is to change the passwords to any financial institutions that you had connected to Envaulted.

Activate Your Bank of America 3% Cash Back on Gas

Consumerism Commentary posted last week about Bank of America’s 3-2-1 cash back promotion for their credit cards. Here’s how it works:

One their cash back cards, you get 3% cash back on gas, 2% cashback on groceries, and 1% cashback on everything else.

Currently, I have a Bank Americard Cash Rewards credit card, and I have been getting 1% on everything, so an additional 1-2% sounds fantastic to me!

To top if off, if you deposit the cashback to one of your Bank of America accounts, they’ll give you a 10% bonus. For example, if you’ve got $100 in rewards coming to you, they’ll add another $10!

This is only valid for the first $1,500 in eligible grocery and gas purchases each quarter, but that’s a lot more than I typically spend in a quarter, so I won’t come close to hitting those limits.

It sounds too good to be true, so I called and asked why everyone wasn’t converted over immediately. The only drawback I found was that with my current card, when I reached $300, I could cash out for a 25% bonus ($75 extra on top of my $300 in rewards).

I’m not at that level, and I won’t be for many months and possibly years, so I decided now was the right time to activate the feature and start saving on gas!

One thing I didn’t like was that I had to find out about this promotion via another blogger’s post instead of receiving an email from Bank of America letting me know this is an option. So for all of you who have Bank of America credit cards, call up and ask to opt in!