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I have been using RadPad to pay my too large NYC area rent bill for a year.
The service is simple: enter a landlord and payment details, and the service mails a check each month. Anyone can be a landlord, and for instance Harlan uses it for the AirBNB rentals he owns.
Debit card payments are free, though mileage earning/cash back debit card options are few. A popular method that requires work is PayPal MyCash cards with PayPal Business Debit Cards with 1% cashback. That is capped on the PayPal end at $4,000/month and due to some term changes it is possible the 1% may go away soon. PayPal is not the easiest company to deal with if something goes wrong.
Now RadPad will charge 1.99% for MasterCard credit card payments, effective February 1, 2016. This is at the lower end of the higher fees kind of MS that becomes worth consideration with cheaper and more tedious methods drying up.
1.99% is hard to justify for non-bonused earning. Where the math may work is cases such as credit card minimum spend to earn a sign-up bonus or some annual big spend bonuses.
I had in my jetlagged head that the United Explorer card is MasterCard, it is not, as readers noted. I was thinking of the old Continental cards.
Those chasing AA status may make the numbers work for them with the Barclaycard Aviator Silver or Citi AA Executive. Both offer 10,000 bonues elite-qualifying miles after $40,000 spend (Aviator Silver can go halfway: 5,000 EQMs for $20,000 spend). $796 in fees get 40,000 miles + 10,000 bonus. If combined with a sign-up bonus on the Executive card which runs 50,000, and has been as high as 75k – 100k, a case can be made.
Take the Chase MileagePlus Explorer. $25,000 annual spend will earn 25,000 miles + 10,000 mile bonus and the PQD spend waiver for United status up to Platinum. For my Star Alliance travels around Africa and the Pacific, I can get value from 35,000 miles to justify the $497.50 cost if I am going for elite status and need the waiver.
I like lazy MS options, those that can be done in a few moments without putting on pants.
I do not have confirmed cases of pushing RadPad to the limits. 1.99% is hopefully enough of a sustainable fee that RadPad won’t cut off people.