Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Earn miles and trigger credit card bonuses when you use Billhop to pay council tax and other bills

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This article has been sponsored by Billhop

Annual council tax bills have been coming through the post over the last couple of weeks, so we thought it would be a good time to remind readers how they can still earn miles or points on their council tax payments and many other expenditures with Billhop.

And, whilst it is the season for annual council tax bills, essentially all bills can be paid with a credit card with Billhop – both personal and company invoices.

We have covered Billhop before, as it’s an easy way of running up credit and charge card spending by paying your day-to-day bills via your Amex card. Only around 5% of household invoices (or business supplier invoices come to that) accept credit cards. However if you use Billhop, they can all be paid via a credit card.

How much does Billhop cost?

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.

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

Why use Billhop?

Billhop is particularly useful if you are struggling to hit the ‘£3,000 spend in 90 days for 20,000 bonus points’ target on a new American Express Gold card for example, or need to increase your spending towards your next British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

In the current lockdown climate, where many of us are either cutting back or simply spending less as we’re not leaving the house, using Billhop to pay a council tax bill could be helpful for triggering those bonuses.

There are also some clear benefits for SMEs. Whilst one of the main reasons individuals pay through Billhop is to achieve various credit card rewards, business owners are using the platform to help with active liquidity management

They find that incoming payments from customers might be delayed and sometimes suppliers require payment before releasing purchased goods.  Using Billhop means that any credit card can be used to pay any invoice. The service broadens the choice available to SMEs in today’s market where often traditional credit might not be available.

A bit 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 in 2017.

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 from the fee.

How Billhop works

You need to create an online account on the Billhop website here.

Once you are signed up, you can pay your council tax bill using your American Express card. Simply give Billhop the bank account details for your council, and your payment reference, and they will make the payment on your behalf.

We need to mention that you cannot use Billhop to pay private individuals unless you have an invoice from that person for a service provided, such as music lessons.  With an invoice, Billhop is happy to make the payment via Visa or Mastercard.

American Express cannot be used to pay private individuals under any scenario, even if you have an invoice. You are perfectly fine to use American Express with Billhop for paying companies, HMRC, your council tax etc.

How to set up your Billhop account

Click ‘Get Started’ on the homepage and you will be taken to a page explaining how to use Billhop. Click the ‘register your account now’ button.

On the next page you can choose whether you’d like to register as a company (with company number) or as an individual (with your date of birth).

To create a personal account you need to fill out your details including email and postal address. You can transfer up to £250 without providing any verified ID, but for money laundering reasons Billhop will need a picture of your passport before you can make larger payments.

On the dashboard you can see your past bills and scheduled bills and pay new bills.

When paying with a Mastercard or Visa, the recipient will receive their money within 2 days. For American Express, it takes 4 days. When we tested the service previously using an American Express, the money actually arrived after 4 business days. You receive an email when the money has been sent.

In conclusion

Few of us are going to be making the big-ticket purchases such as holidays at the moment.  It’s definitely worth considering using Billhop for everyday bills and invoices to help hit targets for credit card welcome bonuses and BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers.  The Billhop fee may well be a price worth paying if it means you don’t miss out.

The Billhop homepage is here if you want to sign up.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Marco says:

    I just use my CURVE MasterCard to pay bill. It’s debit card, easy and free.

  • Roy says:

    What exactly is the limitation on paying private individuals through Billhop using an Amex? Does that mean I can’t pay invoices from sole traders, only limited companies? Or is it more subtle than that? Does it make a difference if the sole trader is VAT registered?

    I’m struggling to find mention of this on the Billhop web site…

    • Roy says:

      Ah, nm, found it:

      “And following the guidelines of American Express you can not make payments to financial institutions or payments to a private account with an Amex card.”

  • Dubious says:

    Whats my best route for paying down my mortgage when they accept Debit Card payments?
    I know my Tesco Debit Card won’t give me any benefit…and Curve seems to have closed down that route too. Any other alternatives?

  • Andrew Cadwallender says:

    Can I use bill hop to pay car pcp via Amex
    Any help appreciated

    • Rob says:

      If there is some sort of bill you can send to Billhop then, yes, it should be ok. It wouldn’t be automatic though, you would need to manually submit an invoice each month.

  • Nigel says:

    Used Billhop for the first time last week to pay for Council Tax via Amex. I can’t say I’m too thrilled with them. Whilst they kept the bank information correct, they’ve somehow done the magical thing of getting the recipient’s (council’s name) completely wrong. Hopefully shouldn’t affect the payment who knew Stevenage Borough Council is similar to London Wandsworth Borough Council!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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