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Paying your bills with a credit card

Want to use BPAY with a credit card, or earn points for your bills? Here's what you need to know.

Your options for paying a bill with your credit card depend on the type of bill, the payment choices you're given and even your credit card provider. In most cases, there will be a way to pay by credit card but there could be restrictions around earning points or using BPAY.

You might also pay extra for using your card thanks to fees and interest. Let's take a look at the key details you need to know before deciding whether to pay your bills on plastic.

BPAY payments with a credit card

BPAY gives you a way to make bill payments from your chosen bank account or credit card account (although credit cards aren't always accepted). It's a common payment option for many billers and is processed through the BPAY network.

How to make a BPAY payment with a credit card

The steps to make a BPAY payment can vary depending on your provider and whether you're on a mobile or Internet banking platform, but usually they follow this path:

  1. Log in to your credit card account.
  2. Choose the bill payment option, then select BPAY.
  3. Enter the biller code, reference number and account. You'll find these in the payment section of your bill.
  4. Follow the prompts to confirm the payment.

What are the key factors to consider when using a credit card to make BPAY payments?

  • BPAY credit card restrictions. Not all credit cards give you a way to make BPAY payments. When that's the case, you won't see a BPAY option for your credit card account – even if it's there for any other accounts you have with the same bank. If you want to check, all your bank or credit card provider to see if it's possible to make a BPAY payment to another biller.
  • BPAY credit card acceptance. Not all BPAY billers accept credit card payments. If that's the case, your BPAY credit card payment won't go through. But you can make a BPAY payment from regular transaction accounts and many savings accounts.
  • Cash advance transactions. Many credit card providers put BPAY payments into the same category as cash advance transactions, which attract a cash advance free and cash advance interest charges.
  • Reward points. Usually, you won't earn points for making BPAY payments with a credit card, especially if they are processed as cash advance transactions. You can check the reward program terms and conditions to see if BPAY payments are eligible to earn points, or contact your credit card company.

Ways to make a BPAY payment and earn points

If your credit card rewards program doesn't offer points per $1 for BPAY payments, you could still be able to earn points by making the payment through another platform. Here are some key options to consider:

  • B2BPay

Designed for small business owners, this service gives you a way to pay billers and earn points for using your credit card. You just need to enter the biller's details, and the payment will be made through an EFT (electronic funds transfer) or BPAY.

BPAY card processing fees cost 1.2% for standard Mastercard and Visa cards, 1.55% for premium or corporate Mastercard and Visa cards. Just keep in mind that you need an ABN to use B2BPay as it's meant for businesses.

  • Citi PayAll

If you have a Citi credit card, you can pay bills and earn points through Citi PayAll. This service offers one-off or recurring payments and can be used for most bills or even your rent. It earns 1 point per $1 for cards enrolled in the Citi Rewards program and 0.5 points per $1 for cards that earn Emirates Skywards Miles or Qantas Points.

There is a standard 0.95% fee for Citi PayAll payments.

  • Sniip

This is free mobile app that gives you a way to make payments from any credit card or debit card to any BPAY biller. It has its own payment platform to process the payments and is an authorised BPAY Payer Institution Member (PIM), which means your payments are processed as purchases and you can earn points per $1 spent.

It charges a 1.5% fee for paying with an Australian credit card (Amex, Mastercard or Visa) and a 3% fee for international credit cards. (There's no fee if you use a debit card instead).

  • Other platforms

As well as these platforms, you may be able to pay some bills directly through BPAY if your biller is set up to accept credit card payments. Whether or not you'll earn points depends on the reward program terms and conditions, though.

Alternatively, you can see if there are other ways to pay the bill that could earn points, such as an only card payment portal or PayPal.

One-off bill payments with a credit card

As well as BPAY, there are other types of one-off payments that let you pay as you go. For example, you might choose to use your credit card to make a one-off payment on your tax bill through the Australian Taxation Office's payment portal. Or, visit an Australia Post Office to use the Bank@Post option for your bills.

These types of payment options are handy for bills that don't always cost the same amount or are less regular. Usually, you can make them in the same way you’d make a regular credit card payment:

OnlineIn person
Choose "Card" as your payment option and enter your details.Swipe, insert or tap your card and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.

What are the key factors to consider when using one-off credit card payments to pay bills?

  • Card acceptance. Not all billers accept credit card payments, and some may limit the type of cards that they accept.
  • Credit card surcharges and fees. Some billers charge a small percentage fee of your bill for paying with credit card, so this is something you should pay attention to as well.
  • Type of transaction. If your biller accepts credit card payments, the transaction will often be treated as any other purchase on your card. But if the bill payment is treated as a cash advance transaction, it will attract a cash advance fee and interest charges.
  • Rewards. Not all bill payments earn rewards. For example, many credit card providers don't offer points for government charges, such as paying the Australian Taxation Office, or for payments through Australia Post's Bank@Post service. (We have a section in this guide that goes into more details about rewards).

How to pay rent with a credit card

Could you manage your finances without a credit card?

Fewer Australians are able to manage their finances without a credit card in 2023. According to our consumer sentiment tracker, in April 2023, a record high 30% of people surveyed said they couldn't manage their budget without a credit card, a 12% increase compared to the same time last year.

Direct debit credit card payments for bills

Bills that are charged regularly can usually be set up as direct debits from your credit card account. This could include your mortgage repayments, insurance premiums, home utility services, gym membership, Internet and other subscriptions for entertainment services like Netflix or Foxtel. Very often, all you need to do is call your service provider.

How do you set up a direct debit with your credit card?

The specific details will vary depending on the financial institution, but the steps generally include:

  1. Ask the biller for a direct debit payment option.
  2. Provide your chosen credit card account details (i.e. credit card number, expiry date and three-digit card verification code).
  3. Confirm the details and authorise the direct debit agreement.

What are the key factors to consider when using a direct debit to pay bills?

  • Direct debit fees. Some service providers may charge a fee for direct debits from a credit card. This could be 1-3% of the total transaction cost, although this charge is becoming less common. Most service providers prefer that you set up a direct debit payment with them, and as such have made this a fee-free mode of payment alternative to BPAY, cheques or mail orders, etc.
  • Declined payment/dishonour fees. If a payment is declined due to your card being over its credit limit, for instance, you could be charged dishonour fees twice – once by the service provider and once by your credit card provider.
  • Overdraft fees. In some cases, the card provider might choose to honour the direct debit even when your account is over its credit limit. They will then charge you an overdraft fee and default interest.
  • Interest charges. As with any transaction, the direct debit will be subject to interest fees if you carry a balance or if there is no interest-free period on your card. This is something you should always be conscious of when managing your credit card repayments.
  • Cancelled subscriptions. If you cancel a direct debit subscription, you'll have to make sure no more charges come off your card. If you wish to stop the direct debit payments, you'll have to contact both your bank and service provider to ensure there is no misunderstanding and you don't get charged any dishonour fees.

When will you earn points for paying your bills with a credit card?

Unless you're using a payment platform that is designed to let you earn points for bills – such as Citi PayAll or Sniip – it can be hard to tell if you will or won't earn points for a particular bill payment.

Often, it comes down to what your credit card company classifies as an "eligible purchase" – and BPAY payments, government transactions and utilities are often excluded from earning points.

But it does vary, so it's worth checking your reward terms and conditions or asking your provider before you pay your bills to earn points.

Table: When you won't earn points on a credit card

Here you'll find details of which transactions are not eligible for earning points and whether or not BPAY payments are excluded for reward programs from different credit card providers.

Providers Exclusions for earning points

American Express

Excludes any charges prior to your enrolment date in the program, cash advances, travellers cheques, charges for dishonoured payments, interest charges, fees and charges associated with your American Express credit card, late payment charges, "pay plus points" transactions, promotional offers and balance transfers.

Bankwest

Excludes cash advance and gambling transactions, interest charges, credit card and other banking fees and charges, fraudulent transactions, foreign exchange purchases and government charges.

HSBC

Ineligible transactions for earning points includes balance transfers, cash advances, interest free transactions and HSBC's special promotions, business expenses, fees or charges (including government), any value charged to your card in association with a "points-plus-pay" redemption, a transaction which HSBC decides is fraudulent or involves the abuse of a card, a disputed debit transaction and BPAY transactions.

Macquarie Bank

You won't earn points for GST and government charges (including ATO payments), BPAY payments, interest and other bank fees and charges, cash advance transactions, special promotions such as balance transfers, transactions made in operating a business or in connection with business expenditure, refunded transactions and payments for credit card protection insurance.

Woolworths

You cannot earn points on GST and government charges. Other exclusions are interest and other bank fees, cash advances, special promotions, business transactions, refunded transactions, gambling transactions and payments for credit card protection insurance.

ANZ

Bill payments from your ANZ credit card can be processed as either a purchase or a cash advance, depending on how the biller is set up with the BPAY billing service. If the payment is treated as a cash advance, you will be charged a cash advance fee and won't earn points. Other reward exclusions are interest charges, government charges, bank fees, ATO payments and balance transfers.

Bank of Melbourne

Excludes cash advance transactions, government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn points), interest and other bank fees and charges, cash advances, balance transfers and BPAY payments.

BankSA

You will not be able to earn reward points if your bill issuer charges the payment as a cash advance and you don't use BPAY to pay the bill. Other exclusions are government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn points), interest and other bank fees and charges and balance transfers.

Citi

You will not be able to earn points on bills if it is processed as a cash advance or if the payment is made via BPAY. Other exclusions are cash balance transfers, special promotions, bank fees, government charges, ATO payments, business transactions and insurance charges.

CommBank

As long as the transaction isn't processed as a cash advance or via BPAY, you should earn points when using your CommBank card to pay bills. Other points exclusions are ATO payments (unless made using a Business Awards card), foreign exchange purchases, credit card insurance premiums, travellers cheques, interest charges, Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct fees, bank fees, card account payments and transactions deemed as business purposes (unless you're using a Business Awards or Business Platinum Awards card).

NAB

Transactions that are processed as cash advances or made through BPAY or over the counter at a bank are ineligible for earning points. Other exclusions are card fees and charges, gambling and gaming costs, government fees and charges, business expenses, ATO payments, fraudulent transactions, refunded transactions, balance transfers and travellers cheques.

St.George

Excludes government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn points), interest and other bank fees and charges, cash advances, balance transfers and BPAY payments.

Suncorp

Excludes cash advances or payments made via BPAY, balance transfers, special promotions, fees, purchases of foreign currency and travellers cheques, foreign exchange and atm/bank charges, interest charges, finance charges, government charges, insurance charges, payments to loan accounts (mortgage etc), purchases in excess of limits on the account, transactions made in operating a business and all other transactions if the account is more than $10,000 in credit on all other transactions.

Virgin Money

Excludes cash advances or payments made via BPAY, balance transfers, special promotions, fees, BPAY payments, purchases of foreign currency and travellers cheques, foreign exchange and ATM/bank charges, interest charges, finance charges, government charges, payments to the Australian Taxation Office, insurance charges, payments to loan accounts (mortgage etc), purchases in excess of limits on the account and business transactions.

If making bill payments are considered an eligible transaction, using a credit card to cover your bills can be a rewarding way to earn points on an essential expense.

As rewards and frequent flyer credit cards usually charge high interest rates, it's only worth it if you pay your balance in full each month and won't be charged any interest on these transactions. If you do rack up interest, the debt you'll collect will quickly outweigh any perks you get from earning points.

Compare frequent flyer credit cards

1 - 15 of 56
Name Bonus points Points per $ spent Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Premier Platinum image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$349 first year ($399 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, save with a reduced first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers, with a 2% BT fee.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
90,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
Get a yearly $450 Travel Credit and up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points (70,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and 20,000 points in year 2).
ANZ Rewards Platinum - Velocity Points
ANZ Rewards Platinum - Velocity Points image
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1.5
Purchase rate p.a.
20.99%
Annual fee
$149
Go to siteMore Info
Get up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points: 70k points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months and 30k points after 15 months.
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
120,000
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$370
Go to siteMore Info
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 points when you spend $6,000 in the first 120 days & 30,000 points after the first spend in year 2).
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card image
Qantas Business Rewards
Bonus points
170,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
(ABN holders w/ $75k revenue). Earn 170,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months. Ends 25 June 2024.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card image
Westpac Altitude Rewards
Bonus points
120,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$49 first year ($175 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Up to 120,000 bonus Altitude Points (90,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days & 30,000 points after the first spend in year 2).
ANZ Qantas Business Rewards
ANZ Qantas Business Rewards image
Qantas Business Rewards
Bonus points
130,000
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
20.24%
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75k revenue. Get 130,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, a fast-track to Qantas Business Rewards Level 2.
Qantas Premier Everyday
Qantas Premier Everyday image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
8,000
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$99
Go to siteMore Info
Get 2 bonus Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in the first 4 months (up to 8,000 points), plus complimentary insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card image
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
60,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
Get 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus a return domestic flight each year.
Qantas Premier Titanium
Qantas Premier Titanium image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
150,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$1,200
Go to siteMore Info
$200k minimum income requirement. Get 150k bonus Qantas Points and $400 Qantas Luxury Holidays voucher when you spend $5k in the first 3 months. Plus 20% bonus Status Credits on eligible flights.
American Express Velocity Business Card
American Express Velocity Business Card image
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$249
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Qantas American Express Discovery Card image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$0
Go to siteMore Info
Earn uncapped Qantas Points for every $1 dollar spent, plus a $0 annual fee.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Qantas American Express Premium Card image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
20,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$249
Go to siteMore Info
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card image
Membership Rewards
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($195 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Save with a $0 annual fee in the first year. Plus, $200 Travel Credit every year.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card image
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$0
Go to siteMore Info
Save with a $0 annual fee and earn 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 on everyday purchases.
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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    LuisOctober 28, 2018

    Hi, sorry for this question for which the answer I believe is most likely to be a “no”, however, I am wondering if I can use my brand new Amex Platinum (charge card not credit card) to pay my weekly mortgage instalments. Is there any way a mortgage can be paid using a credit card or charge card? Thanks.

      AvatarFinder
      JhezelynOctober 30, 2018Finder

      Hello Luis,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, you can pay your mortgage by setting it up as direct debits from your credit card account. Please see our guide on how to set up direct debits on your credit card.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chatbox on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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