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.
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.