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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.

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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:

  • American Express AccessLine

If you have an Amex business card, you can use AccessLine to pay virtually any business and will earn points per $1 spent on related bills.

  • 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, 2.2% for Amex cards and 2.4% for Diners Club, although there are tax deductions available. 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 Qantas Points or Emirates Skywards Miles.

There is a standard 2% fee for Citi PayAll payments, which will be waived for payments set up between 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2022.

  • 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, Diners, 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

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), balance transfers, 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.

Diners Club

This excludes annual, joining and other account fees, liquidated damages, late payment charges, Diners Club rewards membership fees, government charges and fees, taxes and any other amounts that Diners Clubs declares.

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 15
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Citi Premier Qantas Card
80,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
0% for 6 months, reverts to 21.49%
$175 for the first year ($350 thereafter)
Get 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days and a 0% purchase rate offer. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
100,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74%
$450
Up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points (75k when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and 25k in year 2). Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
Citi Rewards Card - Velocity Points Offer
60,000
Velocity / Citi
1
21.49%
$0 for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Earn 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
180,000
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
0%
$450
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get up to 180,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months. Plus, a $450 Qantas Flight Voucher.
Qantas Premier Platinum
80,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99%
$225 for the first year ($299 thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and save with a reduced first-year annual fee.
St.George Amplify Platinum
100,000
Amplify Rewards
1
19.49%
$29 for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 100,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $450 in gift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and Kayo cashback offer.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
30,000
Membership Rewards
1
20.74%
$195
Get a $200 statement credit when you spend $200 at Amazon.com.au. Plus 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.74%
$249
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000
Membership Rewards
2
20.74%
$395
Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a $400 Travel Credit each year.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
110,000
Westpac Altitude Rewards
1
19.99%
$49 for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Get 110,000 bonus Altitude Points (worth $350 cashback) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee discount.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
N/A
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74%
$0
Earn uncapped Qantas Points for every $1 dollar spent, plus an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
N/A
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74%
$0 for the first year ($129 thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
N/A
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74%
$129
Save with 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months and earn Velocity Points per $1 spent.
American Express Velocity Business Card
150,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1
0%
$249
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Receive 150,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
N/A
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74%
$0
Get 0.75 points on your everyday purchases, uncapped, and a $0 annual fee for the life of the card.
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2 Responses

  1. 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 Customer Care
      JhezOctober 30, 2018Staff

      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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