Over the last year or so Evolve Money has become a favorite tool for people either looking for either a simple way to pay their monthly bills in one place, use up the remaining balance on their prepaid gift cards, or do a bit of manufactured spending by purchasing prepaid gift cards and paying their bills through Evolve Money.
On February 18, 2015 Evolve Money sent an email stating that debit cards from some small banks, credit cards, and prepaid gift cards would incur a 3% processing fee. This news was largely expected as I surely can’t see how they were making any profit, or revenue for that matter by allowing people to send money using a debit or credit card for free, while knowing that the transaction costs for these payments is usually 1-3%.
After the new broke, the Manufactured Spend community was in an uproar and proclaimed that Evolve Money was “dead to me.” I must admit that charging a flat 3% fee seems like it would negate any incentive to pay bills using a debit or credit card. Especially when you can often simply log into your account with a cable TV, cell phone, or insurance provider and pay your bill for free using a credit card. It still doesn’t make sense paying your mortgage with a debit card because the funds are still coming out of your checking account. In this case you are paying a 3% fee for a service you could easily get for free by simply writing a check, or paying though an electronic system like ACH.
Evolve Money Still Allowing Prepaid Mastercard Payments for Free
Now that we have that all cleared up, I logged into my Evolve Money account yesterday and noticed that some of the prepaid debit cards that I had loaded in my account showed the 3% fee, but some did not! I thought this was quite peculiar and might be a mistake, but after re-reading the email it says “debit cards from some small banks,” would incur a 3% fee. That means that the Mastercard gift cards could still be purchased at a store and used to pay my mortgage through Evolve Money! Sure enough, I tested this out yesterday and the payment went through without a 3% fee being tacked on. I also tested a payment with the Vanilla Visa card that displayed a 3% fee in my account, and that payment did incur the 3% fee when I submitted the payment.
What Does This Mean?
This is great news. It means that not all debit cards will be assessed a 3% fee and certain ones are free (at least for now). I’m very excited about this as I have been using Evolve Money for bill payments for at least the last 8 months and I am very satisfied with their payment platform. It is very simple and easy to use, and if I can use a prepaid Mastercard to make my mortgage payment, that is a huge plus. It might not be a lot of miles, but every bit counts in this game.