CODE FIXED: Earn Avios on your July tax bill with Billhop via Amex or Visa/MC + special HFP reader offer!

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EDIT:  some people had issues using the h4psummer2019 code last week.  We have now fixed the issue, sorry for the inconvenience.

When HMRC stopped accepting personal credit cards for tax payments in January last year, it was a blow for many HFP readers who used the Inland Revenue to rack up a substantial number of miles and points.

Even a relatively small business like Head for Points has a chunky liability when you factor in our VAT payments, PAYE and my own personal tax and national insurance – over 70p of every £1 HFP receives goes to the Government.

There are still a few ways to earn miles and points when paying your 31st July self-assessment tax bill or August VAT bill.  One of these is Billhop.

Billhop pay bills on a credit cardWe have covered Billhop a couple of times and a lot of readers have used it.

Basically, Billhop pays your bills for you – directly into the bank account of the recipient – and charges your credit or charge card.  The transaction goes through as a purchase.  You earn miles and points and it counts towards spend bonuses such as the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

It is an easy way of running up credit and charge card spending by paying your day-to-day bills or at this time of year paying your tax or VAT bill via your Amex card. This gives you a head start on triggering a sign-up bonus or your next British Airways American Express 241 voucher.

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

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.

This is an expensive way of earning miles or points.  It IS something that you will find useful if you are struggling to hit the ‘£3000 spend in 90 days for 10000 bonus points’ target on a new American Express Gold card for example, or need to pump up your spending towards your next 241 voucher.

This HFP article explains in step-by-step detail how to set up a Billhop account.

The company was founded in Stockholm in 2012 – where it has proven very popular with the frequent flyer community – and launched in the UK in 2016.  The company is fully regulated in Sweden (which, under EU passporting rules, means they are regulated here as well) and, 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 for the fee.

Exclusive reader offer for Mastercard and Visa transactions

Billhop is currently offering our readers a lower charge of just 2.25% when using a Mastercard or Visa when making a payment.

This special offer is for new and existing customers and runs until 31st August 2019.

This would work best if you were looking to hit the spend target on, say, the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard which gives you a free night voucher for spending £10,000.

You need to use the code h4psummer2019 in order to benefit from the lower charge. Existing customers can enter the promo code under ‘Settings’ whilst new customers can enter the same promo code during the registration process under the ‘How did you find out about Billhop’ section.

The code only works on desktop.  You cannot use it on the mobile app.

Unfortunately, there is no reader discount on American Express transactions due to the higher charges imposed on Billhop by Amex.  If you are looking to make very large payments, however, you can often negotiate a deal if you contact them directly.

Amex also insists that Billhop payments are to ‘proper’ organisations.  You cannot send Billhop a bill to pay an individual for, say, cleaning or piano lessons via Amex.  It is totally acceptable to us Amex to pay HMRC, your council tax, a car dealership etc.  There are no restrictions on who can be paid by Visa or Mastercard as long as an invoice is supplied.

What else?

If you have your own business, note that Billhop also works with companies – in fact, they see this as their core market – who can use the service to help with their working capital requirements.

If you are self employed, Billhop is even better value as their fee is obviously tax deductible.

Even if you don’t want to pay your tax bill this month, it is worth signing up so that you don’t forget about it and to receive news of special offers and other promotions.

The Billhop homepage is here if you want to sign up.  You need to move quickly if you want to pay your 31st July tax bill!

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Luthar says:

    Anyone live / lived in Hong Kong that knows of a similar service to Billhop I can use? Sign up bonuses require some hefty spend over here.

  2. Squared circle says:

    Or use curve?

  3. Is Curve and Tesco debut card good free alternative options?

    • Rooster says:

      Curve yes not worth it for Tesco debit card

      • The Urbanite says:

        The Tesco Debit card is a valuable tool in a points’ collector’s arsenal if used correctly.

  4. RussellH says:

    I have already paid my July tax bill, using Billhop. This is really far too late to be of any use for this months payments, I would have thought. Even paying by faster payment, I would not have left it until today, and even for an existing customer, it still takes a few days by Billhop.
    And I only use Billhop to help meet a spending target – in this case the £10K before the end of the year on Hilton Visa to maintain Hilton Gold status and free breakfasts.

    • Rooster says:

      Have you not heard of Curve seeing as it works with visa!

      • RussellH says:

        Yes, certainly heard of Curve – not possible not to on this site.

        But: 1. Far too many reports of it failing to work / people suddenly getting charged cash advance fees etc / this credit card or that one not working anymore.

        2. It does not work with a PC. I do not have an android / iOS phone, and really do not want one [Google and Apple are both firms I try to avoid having anything to do with – and so is Microsoft, but that is even harder]. Decent ones are expensive pieces of kit and I still have plenty of old handsets for making the very occasional phone call or sending / receiving SMS.

  5. Sofiane says:

    Probably a stupid question, but can billhop work for rent ? Looking for a way to do 4000 in three months for the platinum bonus …

    • If you pay Foxtons / Knight Frank etc direct, you’re probably OK. If you pay Mr Landlord direct …. probably not possible. This is due to the Amex block on using Billhop to pay into private accounts.

    • Sofiane says:

      Took a gander at their website, and it is actually possible. Could be something to think about for renters like me in london with not that much expense but who want to accumulate some points for a price !

      • Elliot says:

        At that price you’re paying 2.95p an Avios which is terrible value. Unless you can redeem at a higher level than that, it would be far cheaper just to pay for the flight out of your own pocket. Otherwise it’s costing you more to use your Avios.

        • Sofiane says:

          Indeed. Only would use it for the sign up bonuses i guess (don’t think i can hit 4000 in three months…)

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Buy some gift cards for somewhere you shop on a regular basis.

            I usually do M&S and Waitrose for the weekly shops.

  6. Chris says:

    Is this for a single payment or all payments made before 31at August?

  7. Mark2 says:

    2.25% seems like too much to me.
    I have been using Monese as described on HfP https://monese.com/ . Please tell me If I have got anything wrong (I am assuming that largish amounts are involved).
    Monese is a pre-loaded debit card which can be loaded at PayPoint (Coop) and Post Office(both of which take Amex). You can load up to £500 per day at Post Office and £250 at Paypoint; some Coop stores also have a Post Office counter.
    Loading in this way is subject to a 2% charge unless you have a Premium plan which costs £14.95 per month, but you can change plans when you have done the business. If you enter the code MARKW642 you should get £10 towards it (and I may get something).
    You then have the amount loaded in an account and can use the debit card and/or bank transfers to make payments plus the other Monese features.

    • Genghis says:

      There’s the £4.95 plan which gives £800 a month free. Better than paying 2% = £16 on the free card and works out at 0.62%. Using BAPP = avios at 0.41ppa

      • Mark2 says:

        Very true if you are looking at small amounts. Our dog is having an MRI scan which will cost close to £2000 (pay and claim back from PetPlan).
        Also IMHO the Monese card is cooler than my heavy metal Platinum as it is almost blank.

        • For clarity – you can top up Monese at a Post Office with an Amex? What’s the process? You have over your monese card and say I’d like to top this up and then put your amex in the machine?

          • Mark2 says:

            yup
            there is a post office symbol on the back

          • Prune says:

            Does the transaction come up as a purchase in the post office on the Amex statement rather than cash?

          • Mark2 says:

            Yes it comes up as PO or Coop. I suggest random amounts.

          • Tilly71 says:

            I know someone who got shut down very quickly by Monese for regular large top ups. Over 1k stuck until released 2 months later.

  8. SClimited says:

    I tried the code but it said “Code “H4PSUMMER2019″ not found”.

    • Lower case? No-one else has said it doesn’t work.

      • And it only works on desktop, not mobile. Apologies for any confusion.

        (EDIT: this might not be the full fix, leave it with us)

  9. BFT01 says:

    Billhop is too expensive and I don’t think that it is worth it.
    HMRC made us sign up to pay our VAT by direct debit last year, no idea why though.
    PAYE and Corporation Tax I can still pay using the Curve card

  10. It would be great if you could also work some magic on AMEX25OOF too please.

    • What is the benefit of the code BJ?

      Thought the friendly gov Glasgow based bank was enough to keep the points game moving?

      • That looks like the Amazon code for part pay by MR.

        What type of business do you transact with the above bank?

  11. Jonathan says:

    Although it’s a very slow way of earning, the Tesco bank DEBIT card is potentially an option, 1 point per £8 per transaction, but there’s no fees, and Tesco club card scheme is one the fastest ways of earning both Virgin air miles and BAEC Avios.

    • Rooster says:

      Why bother vs curve?

    • Aliks says:

      I reckon I spend about £6000 a year at Tesco, so that would earn the princely sum of 750 points or 1800 Avios. But that would cut into any spending bonus earned on Amex or IHG cards.

      Much better to use IHG / Curve in some combination.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Tesco spend is 1 per pound though so the best earning you’ll get.

        Personally I get 4% off gift cards via work discount site so feels like buying Clubcard points not to use that.

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