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.

How does billhop work

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).

How does Billhop work

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.

Comments (49)

  • Tom says:

    Expensive way to get Avios etc.

    I appreciate that Billhop has paid for the advert, but you ought to give an honest opinion as to the cost.

    • Nick_C says:

      The article is absolutely clear about the cost of using Billhop – its just under 3%.

      I have used Billhop in the past to pay my Council Tax. Its a very useful service. Whether or not it provides value for you is a personal decision.

      HFP is a free resource, paid for through advertising and commission. Other travel blogs are available. If you don’t like it…

    • Peter K says:

      I find it too expensive for everyday use, but to hit a target it can be invaluable.

    • Lee says:

      We are all intelligent enough to understand the cost, it’s set out very clearly. I’ve just signed up as it will help me get the next 241. Good value despite the cost, which I am fully aware

  • FJS says:

    Why pay 2.95% to Billhop when paying your cancel tax bill, when you can use your Amex card to pay it at a PayPoint for 0%?

    • JP_MCO says:

      Didn’t know this! Thanks for sharing.

      • Nick_C says:

        We are learnimg so much about you. An honest person would return the £200 to the retailer.

        I hope the sales assistant had not been sacked for their mistake.

      • Shoestring says:

        I’ll do the right thing. In September. No chance earlier as this was the day before I escaped plague island and needed to check Amex a/c online

      • Pinocchio says:

        Yep, his story changes from day to day, completely full of it. As they said ‘No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar’.

      • memesweeper says:

        My council don’t use paypoint, nor do they accept Amex directly.

    • Nick_C says:

      Why queue up at the Co-op to pay your Council Tax, increasing your risk of exposure to a deadly virus, when you can pay with Billhop from the safety of your own home?

      What price do you put on your life?

      • Shoestring says:

        3%

        • Noggins says:

          Does that amount to an ‘honest’ answer!?
          (how about a call to that store to say you’ve checked your account and can see you owe them some cash…?)

        • mvcvz says:

          Where do you live which requires you to stand in a queue to pay household bills? 1953?

        • david says:

          jajajaja @shoestring

      • FJS says:

        We’re lucky enough to have a PayPoint at our fuel station so no queue. Granted not all the attendants know how to process it though. I do get your point though – in current circumstances 3% is worth it – but will go back to our normal route afterwards.

      • Simon says:

        I pay Council Tax and TV License at Co-op using AMEX. If you’re worried about going in currently, ask your local authority to defer Apr’20 and May’20 Council Tax payments to Feb’21 and Mar’21. Our local authority is allowing this.

      • callum says:

        That person gave their opinion and knowledge free of charge. Other forums are available, if you don’t like it…

        • Simon says:

          Love this forum and read it all the time. Took out a BAPP c.7 years ago after finding Head for Points. Been on many flights using avios. I was just offering an alternative (AMEX @ Co-op) to Billhop which some readers may find useful. Personal/Business I spend £30k a year on Council Taxes and TV Licenses all off which I pay at the Co-op which generates 45k avios per annum. If I was to switch to Billhop it would cost c.£900 commission a year. I’d certainly consider using it to hit a spend target or a 241

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Not all councils issue the card or put the bar code on the annual bill to pay at Pay point. Mine takes credit card payments online but not Amex or PayPal.

      • Polly says:

        Ours doesn’t, but l use curve attached to my hsbc card, so we get something..but PP for all others with an Amex, at our Co,op or Tesco expressly

    • Rob says:

      This will only work at a Co-Op, because they don’t train their staff properly. All other retailers should have banned the use of Amex with PayPoint.

  • Noggins says:

    I appreciate the avios focus but I’m surprised not to see mention of the ability to pay your council tax with your Virgin credit card. I have been spreading my bets since the new Virgin cards were launched. (Doesn’t mean I won’t lose both my virgin miles and my avios by the end of this!)

  • Team Plat says:

    My council only take Payzone not PayPoint. Stores that process Payzone that accept Amex are veeeery limited. The local co-op that used to accept Payzone now don’t. Even the Sainsbury’s I’ve used in the past near MK stopped accepting Payzone too. Cannot find anywhere else that’ll let me pay council tax with my Amex 🙁 One local petrol station said they only accept Payzone payments with cash!

    Does anyone know of anywhere in the MK/East Anglia region that’d accept Payzone payments with an Amex? Tia

    • PJJ says:

      What about using the Post Office they took AMEX for car tax about a couple of months ago ?

      • Team Plat says:

        I tried at the post office around 10 days ago, and they refused saying debit cards only.

    • mark2 says:

      If you get a Monese card you can pay in using PayPoint then use to pay Council Tax etc.
      Plan and so cost can be varied from month to month. Also other benefits.

      • Nick_C says:

        You can. But Monese will quickly close your account!

        • Boi says:

          Monese worked really well for our household since joining in Nov: spent £45K over 3 accounts. Slowed down due to lockdown plus hubby shut down. Surprisingly I spent more on mine.

        • mark2 says:

          Since Jul 19 I was using £500 at PO and 2X£249 at PayPoint many days each week until PO ended and still PayPoint. No sign of being closed yet.

  • Qwertyknowsbest says:

    I don’t think expensive to use Billhop transactions to ‘buy’ Avios is a good idea at the moment, given some concerns about what will happen with Avios going forward.

    • memesweeper says:

      I don’t think anyone does. But if you are looking to quickly get over the line for a bonus, or to just avoid a punitive interest or overdraft charge elsewhere, it can make sense. I’ve got a card with 0% on spend for 18 months— another possible candidate for Billhop if it avoids a higher interest charge on another source of money.

      It’s not for everyone and it’s not cheap. The article makes that clear.

    • Lee says:

      You also wouldn’t invest in the stocks right now either I imagine, given some concerns about the world ending.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Sunderland is never Sunny?

  • Bentoni says:

    Tried to register, but it couldn’t register my address .. oh well

  • Richard M says:

    I think this is a simple case of save pounds not points