Manufactured Spending

Evolve “Accepting” Credit Cards as Payment – Does it Matter?

According to Million Mile Secrets, Evolve is now accepting credit cards as a payment option – sort of. Apparently when users enter a credit card number into the “debit card” field (which is the only option aside from “cash” aka ReloadIT packs), the payment is accepted. This is useful because as Daraius points out, you can make payments upwards of $1,000 per day without having to use multiple debit cards – which makes the mortgage payment process more efficient. Personally, I’m not excited over this discovery for several reasons:

1. Evolve doesn’t officially accept credit cards. So you’re basically gaming the system by entering your credit card number into the “debit” field. Far be it from me to play the morality police, but I don’t want this to backfire like when people got their Bluebird accounts flagged and shut down for trying to reload their accounts online with gift cards.

2. Why would you want to use a credit card? Aside from making student loan and mortgage payments (which has its own issues, something I outlined in this post), it’s really not that beneficial. Most of the payees listed on Evolve are companies you can pay directly with a credit card anyway: Phone, cable, internet. In fact, you can earn more points by paying these directly with your Ink Bold/Ink Plus card.

3. Unloading gift cards. One of my student loan companies actually accepts credit cards, while Sallie Mae does not. I’ve been using Evolve to make Sallie Mae payments with Visa gift cards, which I’ve been buying via with my Ink card and at grocery stores with American Express gift cards. These methods allow me to earn both points and cash back – which is far preferential to paying directly with mile-earning credit cards.

The same can be said of household bills, which may be payable via Evolve: By using gift cards purchased at a profit via a shopping portal, you are essentially saving on your bills – not to mention, you’ll save yourself a trip to Walmart where most folks load their Visa gift cards onto Bluebird. If you’re as excited about going to Walmart several times a week as I am, you may want to rid yourself of a gift card or two by paying your bills via Evolve. In any case, Evolve is a useful tool for unloading gift cards you’ve purchased at a profit.

The only thing that would make this new development worthwhile is if American Express gift cards could be used to make payments. This would eliminate the added step involved in liquidating them. But again, I’m going to sit back and see how many accounts get shut down before I give this a shot. As reckless as I may seem at times, I’m really not much of a risk taker and it’s served me well so far.

What are your thoughts on this new development with Evolve?

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  1. I’ll be a lot happier when Evolve lets us pay bank credit cards with gift cards on their site, which they say they are working on. Walmart will be out of the equation at that point.

    • PointChaser

      If they did add that feature, I don’t think I’d ever get off that site – it would be one never-ending manufactured spending spree.

      • traveltogo

        No kidding. And if at some point they allow amex GC or even the amex for target card…. look out.

    • They’ve previously stated that there will be fees involved, I’d imagine they are working on this with various CC companies at the moment.

  2. It certainly would be nice to be able to pay bills you otherwise wouldn’t be able to pay with a credit card with no fee online. For me that’s a car payment, 2 utilities, and legit 529 contributions.

    Paying credit card bills with a credit card would obviously be unsustainable. But the next things I’d like to see them work on are:

    1) Allowing payments greater than $1k (to make mortgage payments less prone to being applied toward principal rather than payment)
    2) Allowing payments which combine gift/debit cards for a single payment

    That said, Evolve has been a very nice way to liquidate small numbers of Visa/MC gift cards purchased opportunistically and conveniently without having to go to WalMart.

    • PointChaser

      I agree, Robert. On the up side, I like how accommodating Evolve has been with us – they are fully aware of people using gift cards to make payments and when some folks had trouble using MC gift cards, Evolve fixed it promptly.

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