Fold Debit Card - 1% back on mortgage and credit card payments

Credit goes to @scripta on finding this one.

I am not sure how many of you are familiar with PayPal Bill Pay. We had a discussion about it in the Alliant thread earlier this year. Essentially PayPal will let you use their bill payer to pay bills like a bank would, with no transaction fees. This method allows me to pay my property taxes with a credit card for no fee. You can pay many bills with a credit card, but mortgages and credit cards are limited to bank accounts and debit cards.

This is where the Fold debit card comes in. This is a prepaid debit card that has a program called Fold+ which allows you to get 1% back in bitcoin for all debit card purchases. PayPal Bill Pay is such a qualifying purchase. In fact, they encourage it. This 1% bonus is accessible 30 days after the charge.

You fund the account using traditional ACH transfers. I have found that pulls originated at Fold are slow as sin. However, pushes at Alliant are overnight, and Fidelity processes them as same-day ACH. With Fidelity, the money shows up a few hours later.

Once you have money on the card, you use PayPal Bill Pay to pay your mortgage, credit card, or any other bill on there that doesn’t accept a credit card. Just select the Fold debit card as the payment method.

Once the payment posts on Fold, you get spins on their bonus wheel - one spin per $10 spent - to earn additional bitcoin. This averages out to about another .1% back. Bitcoin earned with bonus spins may be withdrawn immediately, as long as you have the minimum amount of bitcoin to withdraw.

Fold+ costs $10/mo, but they allow you to spend up to $25,000 per month. Do the math on your particular situation.

In my experience, PayPal Bill Pay has been reliable. My mortgage payment posted effective the next business day after submitting the PPBP payment. Heck, a Chase credit card payment even posted on a Monday after I submitted a payment on Sunday afternoon.

Happy to answer any questions, and if anyone is interested in a referral just let me know.

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Discover bank has 1% cashback. Limit is $3000/person = $6000/couple. Isn’t that more straightforward?

(2) Can you use this card to buy money order?

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I guess the main/only benefit of Fold is that it isn’t tied to your bank account.

Too me, having to go through Paypal is a bridge too far, but I can see how it might be beneficial for monthly CC/mortgage payments that total well over $1000.

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Unfortunately, data points indicate that the Discover debit card doesn’t work with PayPal bill pay - no cash back is returned.

I haven’t tried a money order, that might be an interesting thing to try. But other people mention that Fold isn’t afraid to use the ban hammer… so I’ve thus far stuck to PPBP.

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#1 - GREAT post!! Thank you. This is the type of post/info that made me love Fat Wallet Finance (RIP).

#2 - I had read some posts on Doctor of Credit about using Paypal Billpay, but they seemed to have mixed experiences with occasional really long delays or lost payments - so I didn’t bother with it, but I may revisit the thread again based on your success. (I’m mainly looking at it for estimated and property tax payments.)

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I’ve been using PPBP for a few months now. I recently found a biller that wasn’t there a few months ago, so that’s good. Another good thing is when PP is a 5% category, PPBP triggers it. The bad is that there were some glitches, like you couldn’t schedule multiple payments for the same amount and the same biller – the amounts must be different, else PP will just treat them as duplicates and will cancel them, keeping only one. Also the payment card selection is glitchy in my experience, and payments scheduled for the same day cannot be canceled, so I’ve used the wrong card more than once already.

Circling back on the topic of Alliant, a word of caution – I paid my Alliant CC with PPBP & Discover Debit and the payment amount showed up in my Alliant savings account before it disappeared the next day to pay the CC. It’s so odd that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was done manually, and I suspect doing it all the time could become an issue.

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if it works on money order, paypal is not required.

A couple updates on this that are relevant.

Fold announced that, due to Visa making adverse changes to interchange rates, that they will only be paying out 0.5% on PPBP payments. They claim to be advocating on our behalf, and I actually believe it in this case because I suspect they earn quite a bit on these transactions. This is definitely a bummer.

I’ve been paying my credit cards for a month now through PPBP, and everything has been posting as expected. I have cards with Chase, AMEX, and BoA - all three have had no issues. No issues with my mortgage, either. Thus far, including bonus spins and the $20 referral bonus, I’m up to $126 in earnings for just paying my CC bills and mortgage for a month. Not too bad. Although going forward, that’ll be closer to $40 after paying for Fold+ and losing half the sats on PPBP purchases.

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bad news. With 0.5%, do we need to compare with the float? You have put pull money from 5% saving account to this card with 0% interest. Then you have to pay earlier than ACH pulling from biller’s website, because the unreliability of the PPBP. Possibly the lost interest may be 0.3%?

Eh, this is less of a concern for me as I follow Argyll’s rule (which I have been told should really be Scripta’s rule) and pay my credit card bill off before the closing date. I also pay my mortgage on the first of the month, so the grace period of 15-ish days is good enough for me to sort out any issues.

I still haven’t tried money orders, that might be a workaround for this new limitation.

i think you got bad advice about paying credit card bill earlier. It won’t really impact the credit score if your credit profile is strong enough. Paying mortgage on 1st of month is even worse as it makes zero sense.

BTW I found a new 1% everything checking account’: Rewards Checking Plus - Up to 2% Cash Back | Upgrade

Rewards Checking Plus customers who set up monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more earn 2% cash back on common everyday expenses at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants and bars - including deliveries - and gas stations, as well as recurring payments on utilities and monthly subscriptions including phone, cable, TV and other streaming services, and 1% cash back on all other debit card purchases. 2% cash back is limited to $500 in rewards per calendar year; after $500, customers earn 1% cash back on all eligible debit card purchases for the remainder of the year. Rewards Checking Plus accounts with less than $1,000 in monthly direct deposits 60 days after account opening will earn 1% cash back on common everyday expenses and 0.50% cash back on all other eligible debit card purchases. Some limitations apply. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information.

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It’s not bad advice, it is correct advice. The impact on the score depends on both, credit usage and credit profile. There’s another factor though – when applying for loans like mortgages, they count the minimum monthly payment toward your total DTI ratio, and if you’re trying to borrow as much as possible, you do not want those debts and minimum required payments on your report.

It makes perfect sense – it’s not early, it’s not late, and it allows 2 weeks to correct any problems. I usually pay between 6th and 8th, does that also make zero sense?

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The other thing I will add - this definitely impacts your insurance score as well. If you pay early, your DTI is lower, and thus your risk to insurers is perceived to be lower.

I have Amica, and I don’t think I have ever qualified for their lowest auto rate despite having a FICO of between 820 and 840. They expect you to be 0/24, to use Chase lingo, before they will give you their lowest rate. I love Amica on the claims side, but they are extremely conservative with their rating system.

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I always forget about this since insurers are not allowed to use credit history in California :slight_smile:.

However… you don’t pay insurance monthly, right? It’d make sense to lower the DTI in the months when they actually pull the reports…

Of course not. But my months are not in-sync, and I have no idea when they actually pull the report.

My auto renews in April/October, but I believe reports are pulled 2 months before when they offer policy renewal, which would be February and August. My homeowners renews in November, so that’s September. Umbrella renews in September, so that would be July.

So I guess I need to worry about February, July, August, and September? Too complicated for me to remember/follow. I also have no idea if they look at the balance pattern per month, or just at the latest month’s data.

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Disagree.

Looks like credit score has become e-dick for people to brag about. Why do you have to keep a highest score possible? The impact of credit usage to the score, if your profile is strong, is very minimal so as be ignored. I have a balance transfer to 90% on 1 card. My Fico is still over 800.

I was not talking about mortgage application. If you are actively hunting for a loan, of coz you would be careful. But still even for this case:

(1) the hunting period would only be 2-3 months normally. Credit profile doesn’t care about your past. As long as you pay off for 2-3 months, you will be fine. The general advice to always pay off CC before statement date is misguided.

(2) in term of credit score, it still depends on your profile. A credit score of 830 and 790 have no difference to the mortgage rate. Same applies to your monthly payments, which depends on your income level. A 1% increase of monthly payment may not have an impact if you are well qualified any way.

That’s rather uncalled for.

When you have hundreds of thousands of available credit, it doesnt take much for card issuers to get skittish and decide that maybe you shouldnt have that much available credit at your fingertips. And a lot of us would have significant 4-5 figure balances on multiple cards if they were not strategically paid off before the statements cycle.

There’s also issuers that still give small balance credits. I get an extra $24/year from Discover for paying my balance down pre-statement, and I need to pay it down ASAP anyways since I need to recycle the available credit.

For most people, there are lots of “rules” that dont make a damn bit of difference. Being a lingering FatWalletFinance crowd, most of us arent “most people”. The only people trying to wag their e-dicks are those insisting that it’s ‘bad advice’.

The only bad advice here is that it is “argyl’s rule” or “scripta’s rule”. It’s a technique that dates back 15+ years to SuckIsStaples and the AOR heyday on FWF.

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The opposite. If you don’t use your credit limit by keeping your balance at $0, you are more likely to have your credit limit taking away.

Paying off CC may make sense in 0% rate environment. Not any more. Your example of small balance credit actually can prove my point:

Say I spent $1500 this month on my discover card for their 5% offer. If I don’t pay off, I will make 1500 x 21 / 365 x 5% =$4.31 extra interest. That’s more than 2X of your $1.99 small balance credit.

Why do you need to keep your credit score the highest possible, again? Doesn’t credit score exist for us to use?