Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Exclusive Billhop discount for HfP readers – pay (almost) any bill with your Amex card

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Back in September we first wrote about Billhop, a Swedish company that lets you pay almost ANY bill with a credit or charge card – including American Express cards.

You can probably imagine how this situation could be useful in your points collecting ….

If you were interested in the Billhop concept but didn’t give it a go yet, Billhop has offered Head for Points readers an exclusive discount on their transaction charge.

About Billhop

Billhop was founded in Stockholm in 2012 – where it has proven very popular with the frequent flyer community – and launched in the UK earlier this year with plans to extend further in Europe.

The company is fully regulated in Sweden (which, under EU passporting rules, means they are regulated here as well).  In any event, your money is fully protected because all payments are handled by an established bank.  Billhop never has access to your funds, apart from the fee.

The most interesting part about Billhop is that you can pay almost any bill or invoice with any Amex, Visa or Mastercard card, have it treated as a purchase and earn reward points.

More importantly to HfP readers, payments made via Billhop will also count towards spend targets on American Express cards, either for a sign-up bonus or a spending bonus such as the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

Registration with Billhop is freesee here – so you have nothing to lose by signing up and seeing how it works.

The only major exception is that you cannot use Billhop to pay instalments on loans, mortgages or credit card bills, ie anything paid to a financial services business.  Tax paments to HMRC are OK.

Payments to private individuals are not permitted unless you are invoicing for a service – see below for more on this.

Too good to be true?

If this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch – the service is not free.  There is a 2.95% charge on every payment you make, i.e. if you pay a bill of £100, you will pay £102.95 in total.

As you will see below, there is currently a special discounted fee available to Head for Points readers.

This means that, unless you also want the cashflow benefits of putting your bills onto a credit or charge card, this is an expensive way of earning miles or points.  It is something that you may find useful if you are struggling to hit the ‘£2000 spend in 90 days for 20000 bonus points’ target on a new American Express Gold card for example.

Remember that if you run your own business and are paying company expenses, the Billhop fee is fully tax deductible.

How it works

If you’ve never used Billhop before, you need to create an online account on the Billhop website here.

Once you are signed up, you can pay almost any bill using any credit or charge card.

I explained the whole process of signing up and transferring money in this article.

In the example I transferred money into Rob’s account as neither one of us had any bills to pay at that time.  Billhop has, however, changed its rules when it comes to paying a private person.  You can now only send money to an individual if there is an invoice provided for a service rendered – so it would be OK if I was teaching his kids German and sent him a bill afterwards.

Exclusive HfP offer

For a short period Billhop is offering Head for Points readers a discount on their transaction fee. Instead of 2.95% you will only pay 2.25%.

This offer is for both existing and new customers.  We didn’t want anyone who signed up after our earlier article to lose out.

Existing customers can enter the promo code H4P2017 under ‘Settings’ whilst new customers can enter the same promo code in the registration process under the ‘How did you find out about Billhop’ section.

This offer is valid until 14th January 2018.

You can sign up for Billhop, and find out more about how they operate, on their website here.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our October 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will end soon:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (65)

  • Helen says:

    I use PayPal when it’s an option to pay online which is becoming more frequent, as I have my AMEX cards as my payment choice. Works a treat & no extra charges!!

    • Polly says:

      Same here, using PayPal more and more, plus pay point when poss. So all utilities covered apart from council tax. Guess Billhop are in opposition to to mc and visa, for folks here looking for an alternative to Amex, so they fill a gap. Smart people!

  • tony says:

    I used this service last year. Just be aware that it’s a fair bit slower than paying directly with a credit card – my transaction triggered an AML check so they needed a copy of some ID, and then the settlement was done as a BACS transfer IIRC, so that took another few days. All told it was about a week from making the instruction to seeing the money arrive.

  • Ian says:

    I’ve been using BillHop for about 6 weeks now. It’s been good. The only annoying thing is the length of time it takes for the invoices to be paid.

    Shame this offer wasn’t posted a few days ago, I paid a rather large invoice. But thanks for the offer, I’ll definitely make use of it!

  • Rtid says:

    I have a relatively small self assessment fee to pay this year. May give it a go to see how it works!

    FYI although I assume you all know that HMRC will stop taking credit cards from 13 Jan.

    • Ian says:

      Yep, a sad day indeed. I’ll be getting my 4th quarter VAT return quickly in the new year to get it paid by 13th Jan! After that I’ll probably use BIllHop and pay HMRC with Starwood Amex

  • Anna says:

    They only require ID for the first transaction, after that payments seem to take 3-4 days to arrive.

    I use Billhop a couple of times a month to pay my hairdresser and cleaner who only take cash, cheques or debit cards. It’s a useful contribution to my BAPP spend.

  • Gavin says:

    Hmm – debating whether to pay a £10k corp tax bill using this – my avios bucket has taken a bit of a beating this year and could do with a boost. I’d normally just use my virgin white card for hmrc payments but as they are stopping taking personal cards altogether soon this seems a waste

    • Ian says:

      If you can pay before 13th January you can still pay HMRC with a personal CC. I don’t think it’s worth using BillHop to earn avios alone, unless you’re looking to hit 2 for 1 target then the maths are a bit different.

      I use BillHop to pay invoices for my business with the Starwood Amex which I get at least 3p per point value from, so the maths work.

      • Mr dee says:

        Agree

      • Talay says:

        I also run my own businesses and I have had quite some success in getting suppliers to either take Amex in the first place or to take it for me as a gesture of goodwill or to reduce prices because they refuse to accept Amex.

        All of these are far better net positions than paying 2.25% or 2.95% for an intermediary fee.

        The perception of Amex is that it is a high cost and it is in some areas. In my business it is 1.9% versus around 0.32% for debit cards and circa 0.5% for credit cards. Yet I do not have enough clients using Amex for it to be a deterrent, nor crucially, enough clients for me to leverage this against Amex for a discount.

        • Ian says:

          What kind of suppliers have you been able to get to accept Amex? My rate on BillHop is 2.5%. They will go lower than 2.95% for higher volume. So with the saving on tax on top the maths work out ok for me using the Starwood Amex.

        • Andrew says:

          It’s interesting the number of suppliers who will take Amex when pushed. I used to work for a nationwide Builder’s merchants who had an arrangement with a small number of clients to take Amex – as a consequence of the contract for Merchant facilities it was “all or nothing” for implementation on the terminals.

          The cashiers were all warned that they should only accept Amex for certain clients, but it’s really difficult to enforce with Chip ‘n PIN or Tap. There was also the issue if the cashier reversed the transaction it would credit wouldn’t go through on the same day as the debit. I haven’t looked at Amex Merchant Reports for a few years now, but they used to be a real nightmare for reconciliation with variable length fields detailing the commission and fees.

        • RussellH says:

          How often do your merchant fees get ‘adjusted’?

          2013/2014 Amex were charging me 1.5%, while for Visa/MC it was 1.75% and UK debit cards were 0.25%.

          I did get the occasional question as to whether my sales materials were correct when they said that I prefered payment by Amex

        • Mr Dee says:

          If my suppliers didn’t accept Amex then I would be lucky to fly CE once a year, thankfully this is not the case and now availability is more the issue.

  • Mr dee says:

    Well at least you know that the fee your paying is the cost of your points.

  • Paul says:

    Apart from triggering a Avios card bonus I am struggling to see any circumstances where I would want to pay 2.25% (minus tax ) to buy Avios.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Agree, however it is an option for people who are very low spenders and stuck on what to spend their money on to meet these targets.

      There are big spenders who might spend 10k in a day but on the other hand 5k in a year Amex spend might be a lot to ask for other people.

      • the real harry1 says:

        Billhop holds zero interest for me, in my current situation – might work for others, though

        the 2.95% charge can easily be beaten (in terms of acquiring points) without having to try & get cheap Avios by selling stuff on Ebay

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