Monday, March 31, 2014

Evolve Money: pay your bills with a debit card

If you are an independent adult, chances are that you are responsible for paying bills on a regular basis.  Some bills we are responsible for monthly include: mortgage, water, electricity, gas, cell phone, health insurance, and others.

As you know, we try to optimize all of our spending on rewards credit cards to help us earn free flights, hotel stays, and even a free cruise vacation.  Since we earn points with every credit card purchase, I am always excited when I can pay any bill with my credit card and I always try to pay my bills as soon as I receive them.  

There are a few bills where I can’t pay with my credit card such as my mortgage, water, electricity, and gas bills.  For these bills, I regularly use my Bluebird account to make payment after I fund it with Vanilla Reload cards, Vanilla Visa gift cards, or Visa Debit gift cards

Pay your bills with Evolve Money

With Evolve Money, there is a new option for paying your bills online with a debit or prepaid card, with your computer, smartphone or tablet.  Evolve Money offers the ability to pay many of your bills from one place, with free standard payments delivered in two days or less.  They also offer same day payments for $1.50.  Payments are securely made online, so there’s no risk of losing a check in the mail.

The Evolve Money website is easy to navigate.  You simply add a bill by searching for your payee, and then entering your billing account number. 

Like many bill paying services (such as Bluebird), Evolve does not allow you to see the mailing address of your payee.  One concern of mine was whether my payment was going to go to the correct payee or not.  Turns out if you enter the incorrect account number, Evolve asks you to double check your information.  This is reassuring.           
 What is so great about Evolve Money?

If you have a PayPal Business Debit card, you can use some of the funds in your PayPal account to also pay your bills!

If you have a prepaid card such as a Visa Gift card, you can unload the cash value on the card by using it to pay your bills.  These cards can be purchased at office supply stores with your Chase Ink card for 5x Ultimate Rewards points.  You can also pick up these type of cards from your grocery store or pharmacy, and many credit cards offer bonus points for making purchases in those categories.
You do not enter your PIN code online when making a payment with Evolve Money.  Currently, the payment limit is $1,000 per day, although many users report only being able to pay up to $999.  I’ve also read that if you are making a second payment to the same payee, you need to wait at least 6 minutes between payments to avoid the system flagging your payment as a duplicate one. 

Paying bills with RELoadit Packs and EVOLVE Pay Bucks

One other option of paying your bills is using a RELoadit Pack or EVOLVE Pay Bucks.  I have never seen EVOLVE Pay Bucks before, but I have definitely seen RELoadit Packs at my local grocery store, Albertsons.  The Evolve Money website tells me you can also find RELoadit Packs at Safeway, Save Mart, Pavilions, VONS, Randalls, Tom Thumb and other locations.   
RELoadit cards can be loaded up to $950 for a $3.95 fee.  This is definitely something I want to try buying in the near future. 

What’s not so great about Evolve Money

The 3 biggest downsides of using Evolve Money:
  1. You can’t pay your credit card bill
  2. You can’t make a payment over $1,000 a day
  3. You can’t schedule a future bill payment 

Hopefully these downsides get addressed as Evolve Money continues to evolve as a new service.

My experience with Evolve Money

I’ve already paid a few bills with Evolve Money without issues using my PayPal Business Debit card.  While I don’t purchase Visa gift cards often, when CVS stops credit card purchases of Vanilla Reload cards, I may start using more Visa gift cards with Evolve Money.  I’ve read that Evolve Money is looking to increase their payment limit beyond $1,000 a day.  Once that is possible, I will consider using Evolve Money to pay our mortgage monthly.  

You can sign up for your own Evolve Money account here.  For more discussion about Evolve Money, read the threads at Flyertalk and Fatwallet

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