Evolve Money Changes Terms for Discover Cards

There have been a lot of changes going on with Evolve Money lately. First, I wrote about how they were a great way to pay for bills or loans that you can’t normally pay for with credit or gift cards.

Then, they announced great news that we could use Discover credit cards to pay via Evolve.

Then the other day, shortly after making that Discover card announcement, Evolve dropped a bombshell.

Beginning December 18, 2014, you will no longer be able to use Discover credit cards to pay mortgages, car payments, 529 savings accounts, retail store cards, and student loans. However, you can continue to pay these bills for free using Discover, VISA and MasterCard debit cards, as well as cash packs.

You will still be able to pay ALL other bills that are not from lenders, including utilities, cable, phone, internet, insurance and more for free with your Discover credit card.

Well, that was short-lived and, frankly, kind of lame.

Now, the only use I have for Evolve is to pay my utility bill because if I pay directly on their site, I incur a credit/debit card processing fee – not so with Evolve. The uses stop there.

The “good news” from Evolve in that same email is that you will be able to use Vanilla Reload cards to pay bills come January 2015. However, for us manufactured spenders, that doesn’t mean a thing because you can no longer purchase them with a credit card.

Hopefully, the next announcement from Evolve will bring some better news.

Follow Up: Evolve Money + Discover Card

This is a follow up to my post over the weekend about Evolve Money’s newest developments.

It looks like all is well just like Evolve said!

Evolve payment posting as a purchase on Discover

Evolve payment posting as a purchase on Discover

The payment has posted to my Discover account as a regular payment & I already see the Evolve payments posting to my utility company as well as my student loan company.

This isn’t huge news but look at it as another tool in the toolbox. It’s an easy way to earn some miles from the comfort of your own home or on the go with their handy mobile apps.

Evolve Money Now Takes Discover Cards

I just received an email from Evolve Money about a new feature – they now accept Discover credit cards as payment sources!

Previously, they only accepted debit cards or gift cards as payment sources to pay bills. This opens up a nice avenue to earn some decent cashback through Discover.

Evolve Money has been a steady source of paying for things that normally aren’t able to be paid with a credit card – utility bills, student loans, mortgage, etc.

When I execute my strategy of buying gift cards from Staples with my Chase Ink Plus card to earn 5x UR points, I am obviously stuck with hundreds of dollars in gift cards. Evolve Money is one of the primary ways I liquidate these cards to ensure I don’t have too much money floating around.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of it or you need a refresher on how it works, please refer to my original Evolve post.

I just wanted  to give this quick update on a great source of miles & points. Hopefully, you can blow the dust off that Discover and earn some cashback. In fact, this quarter’s bonus is 5% on “online purchases.”

And as an added teaser from Evolve, they also mentioned this in the email:

Coming in 2015, payment by VISA and MasterCard credit cards!

Pay Bills & Earn Miles/Points with Evolve Money

In the realm of Manufacture Spend (MS), Evolve Money is a small-time but reliable service. It is basically a Bill Pay service that allows you to pay certain bills with debit or Visa/MasterCard gift cards. To be clear, you cannot pay off credit card bills with Evolve.

Obviously, you can see the value proposition here. You can buy gift cards with points-earning credit cards and use those gift cards to pay bills you normally can’t pay via credit card. This is one of the reasons I love my Chase Ink Plus card.

Getting 5x points per dollar spent to pay my mortgage is something I’ll take every time!

Things To Know

  • Sign up is free
  • $1,000 daily limit or Bill Pay (the day is based on midnight PST)
    • If paying the same payee, wait at least 10 minutes before sending a follow-up payment or it may fail, leaving you with funds in limbo for at least a week.
  • Several types of payees are available
    • Mortgage – Wells Fargo, Bank of America, PNC
    • Student loans – Sallie Mae, ACS, Mohela
    • Auto loans – Chase, Honda, TD, Acura, Mercedes Benz, Volvo
    • Gas/electric/water utilities – PSE&G, ConEd
    • Retail store credit cards – Macy’s, Gap, Kohl’s
  • Standard payments ($0 fee) are delivered in 2 business days
  • Express payments ($1.50 fee) are delivered on the same day
  • An app is available for Android & iOS

evolve-slide-02-phone

Caveats

Not every service provider is in Evolve. You’ll have to create an account and try to search for a provider. There’s no comprehensive list. If you can’t find your provider, there is a form you can fill out to let them know and they will hopefully add it.

Mortgages can be tricky with the $1,000 daily limit.

With my bank, Wells Fargo, any separate payments that don’t equal my monthly mortgage payment will be held as “Unapplied Funds.”

Two things can happen to Unapplied Funds (UF). If it’s before your monthly payment is due, UF goes directly to principal. If it’s after your monthly payment is due and you haven’t made the payment, UF will be held until it equals the amount of your monthly payment and then applied towards it.

What worked for me is as follows:

  • Mortgage due Sunday, June 1
  • Sent several payments on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday from Joann’s & my Evolve account totaling our monthly payment, adhering to the $1k daily limit
    • Remember, make sure payments arrive AFTER your usual due date
    • Note: Wells Fargo has a 15 day grace period before they will hit you with a late fee
  • Payments arrived on both Monday June 2 and Tuesday June 3
  • Once the last of the payments posted on June 3 totaling our monthly payment, they were all applied to the monthly payment and everything posted as normal.
Multiple Evolve Payments

Multiple Evolve Payments

Wrap Up

Evolve Money is a great addition to any MSer’s portfolio. With the death of Vanilla Reloads, I find it harder to reload my Bluebird account and pay bills that way. This way is much less effort, albeit less scalable at only $1k a day and limited payees.

I find it very handy to pay bills that can’t be paid for free with a credit card – my student loan, my gas/electric bill, and my mortgage. As long as you have a good source of gift cards (hopefully at 5x), this can be a long lasting points generator.