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Pay HMRC taxes with your credit card via Billhop and earn points, even with Amex

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This article has been sponsored by Billhop

If you pay self-assessment taxes you may be wondering how you can settle your 31st July tax bill – or, for small companies, your Q2 VAT bill – and still earn miles or points.

The good news is that, whilst HMRC will no longer take your personal credit card, payment processors like Billhop act as an intermediary and can turn your card payment into a bank transfer.

And, whilst it is the season for self-assessment payments, 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 or other rewards cards. 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.

This will clearly impact when you choose to use it, although if you have an SME the fee will be tax deductible.

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 three months for 40,000 bonus points’ target on a new Marriott Bonvoy American Express card for example, or if you need to increase your spending towards your next British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

There are also clear benefits for SMEs. Whilst one of the main reasons individuals pay through Billhop is to earn credit card rewards, business owners also use 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. We have been promoting it since it launched and many Head for Points readers have used it without any problems.

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. The landing page is focused on HMRC payments but the system is the same for whatever bill you want to pay.

Once you are signed up, you can pay your tax bill, council tax bill etc using your credit or charge card. Simply give Billhop the bank account details 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 cards 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 two days. For American Express, it takes four 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 worth doing the maths and considering using Billhop for everyday bills and invoices to help hit targets for credit card welcome bonuses and 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 (34)

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

  • Ancient says:

    Could I settle a PCP finance deal using Billhop?

    • Anna says:

      It depends whether the particular finance company will allow it, you could try making a small payment and seeing if it bounces back.

    • Keely says:

      I’m interested in this too…

    • Peter K says:

      I tried selling a loan early with this and it was bounced back by Amex as they don’t allow payment to financial institutions. It wasn’t a PCP, but the principle is there. Having said that, I lost nothing in trying.

  • Matthew says:

    40,000 bonus on a new Bonvoy Amex…is that the imminent deal that’s been talked about….

    • Matthew says:

      Serves me right for commenting before all the articles are live for the day!

  • Chris H says:

    You can pay your tax bills by a lot of credit cards. But they charge a fee. If your credit card is accepted then their fee may not be as much as Billhop’s fee; or if similar saves the messing around necessary with Billhop.

    • Paul says:

      Chris, that is no longer the case – HMRC no longer accept payment by any personal credit card (as I understand it precisely because they were no longer legally allowed to charge a fee to do so). Hence Billhop or Curve the few remaining options.

  • Freddy says:

    Paying over 2% fee to get around 1% back in points. Wow.

    • Erico1875 says:

      If you are using it to hit a spend target and get say 40K bonus points, then it is a lot more than 1% of points.

    • Paul says:

      To be fair, I’ve used Billhop several times and am confident it wasn’t crazy. As the article states, then if you wouldn’t otherwise meet a spend target (e.g. sign up bonus, gold annual bonus, 241) then achieving that will be worth a fair bit to you. Plus cheaper than buying miles, especially into some of the MR partner schemes who wouldn’t otherwise sell you them – with the right redemption in mind you can do OK. Obviously not right for everyone and all scenarios though, as you imply.

    • CarpalTravel says:

      It got me 100k points plus those earned on the spend, so definitely more than 1% in my case.

    • peter says:

      You deduct that from tax so the cost could be 0%. For personal use it doesn’t make sense, better to top up Amazon and let them pay 0% tax 😀

      • Chris H says:

        If you think that something that is tax deductible is free (you deduct the whole amount from tax), then think again. It does reduce the cost, but for a business it might be a 21% saving, or similar for basic rate tax payers.

  • MD says:

    I’ll never understand why, in a world where both Curve and Revolut exist, people would use Billhop.

    • L Allen says:

      Because Amex doesn’t work with Curve? Never used Revolut so am not sure what the features of that are.

    • Peter K says:

      Then maybe you need to investigate further 🙂

    • Rob says:

      One day you will find yourself £1k short of your 241 voucher with a week to go and you will change your tune :—)

      Tax shield halves the cost for most small business owners too, so you would only be paying £150 in fees (and getting £150 of Avios back) if your entire 241 spend was done via Billhop for VAT etc.

      • Freddy says:

        I’m just struggling to envision someone paying £200 for a BAPP card wanting 2 long haul business class seats and willing to pay the taxes to struggle reaching the spend requirements on a card

        • Peter K says:

          You’d be surprised. For example, if you normally spend £10k a year on amex, but then need to spend extra to hit the bonus spend on the platinum once every 2yrs then you may need an extra boost.
          Or if you wanted to hit the target on the platinum card to cancel it and could do it a month early with a £1k billhop spend, you’d be paying £30 in fees but saving £50 in platinum fees, plus freeing up £1k “real spend” for other amex cards!

          You really need to think of possibilities.

        • CarpalTravel says:

          You are assuming they keep the card for the duration. They could just take out the card, pay a chunk via Billhop then cancel the card, enjoying many months of pro-rated Amex refund.

  • L Allen says:

    It’s an expensive way to pay a bill and really only worth it to hit a spend target that gives benefits in excess of the fees. Or, if you’re a bit skint and need to spread the cost over a few months 🙂
    I tried it out years ago and have both personal and business profiles set up so it’s available for a rainy day (or excellent deal) but it’s not a go-to.

  • Andy says:

    For paying HMRC with Solihull, am I best using it to load money onto Che and do it that way? Any problems with that approach?

    What’s the daily limit for adding money to che?

    • Reney says:

      No idea for upper limit. Most people build up to higher amounts. Days like today when 2FA isn’t working the limit is much lower. In the last few months I have had problems several times.

      I guess as long as you don’t leave it last minute the problems can be waited out.

      I guess it also matters how big your tax bill is, which determines how much top ups etc.

      Solihull charges interest, so need to repay quickly to ensure it is a cheaper route than curve metal.

  • Cal says:

    Anyone used Billhop with Student loans?

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

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