Updates to Paying Bills With Gift Cards via Evolve Money

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For the last several months I have successfully been paying some of our recurring monthly bills via Evolve Money with gift cards that I purchased using rewards earning credit cards.  I usually buy these gift cards at office supply stores, grocery stores, or even gas stations.  I do this mainly to hit minimum spending requirements on cards that would otherwise be tough for me to hit, though also to occasionally take advantage of category bonuses or rebates/discounts that some stores occasionally offer on gift cards.  I have written about Evolve Money a few times, such as in this post, so head there for a more generic overview.

Earn More Points By Paying More Everyday Bills:

I’m not big into the game some like to call “manufacture spending” where you essentially “manufacture” expenses (usually involving buying gift cards and then finding a way to “cash them out” to rack up more points on your credit cards), but I am a big fan of making sure that I use my rewards earning credit card for as many of my real everyday expenses as possible and Evolve Money helps with that goal.

You can’t pay every bill in the world via Evolve Money, but you can pay lots of different bills to tons of different companies big and small.  This can range from local storage facilities, to utility payments, to car payments and more.  There are some limits on payments such as up to $1,000.00 in bill payments in a calendar day and a max of four (4) payments to the same biller account number per calendar month.

Payments Failing with Gift Cards:

Over the weekend I scheduled payments to pay my J Crew Card, Pottery Barn Card, and our local electricity provider.  I have paid all of these bills via gift cards on Evolve Money many times, but this time the payments to the J Crew card and Pottery Barn cards failed while the electricity payment went through just fine.  Yes, I really use a J Crew and Pottery Barn card – don’t judge!

The error message I got emailed for the two failed payments said that “there was a problem with your card.”  I was trying to pay with $200 Vanilla Visa gift cards, so at first I was worried something was actually wrong with using those cards now.  A little more digging on this Flyertalk thread and looking closer at the Evolve Money site showed that this problem is not localized to my cards or accounts.  Since the last time I used the site, they had introduced the ability to schedule payments a month and a half in advance, but the downside to that is that when you are paying with a gift card and one time use pre-paid debit cards you cannot make payments more than 1-2 business days in advance.

I didn’t want to schedule my card payments for future dates, but the system was forcing me to pick a date that was a few days out.  Ultimately I think this is what led to the payments failing since I was paying with a gift card.  The Flyertalk thread I referenced pointed to more problems with these sort of payments on the weekends than weekdays, so I have rescheduled the payments on a weekday and we will see what happens.  They look good to go at this point, but I will dig deeper and update if they fail again.

Recommendations when using Evolve Money:

  • Make payments on weekdays instead of weekends as they seem to process faster, which is key for gift card success
  • Try to not schedule payments into the future when paying with gift cards or similar as they are more likely to fail outside 1-2 days
  • Do not throw away the gift cards until you know for sure the payment has gone through
  • Pay attention to the texts/emails they send you that alert you as to whether the payment has succeeded or failed

I’m pretty confident the payments will go through as they are already showing as processing when I look at my gift card balance online.  I just think that over the weekend the system didn’t process the payment in time and the payment ultimately failed.

Evolve Money

Payment from this morning pending on gift card

Have you noticed any changes when paying bills via Evolve Money recently?  Is this a part of your family’s points earning strategy?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I


    Evolve Money!

  2. No luck here too. I am glad you brought this up. For immediate payment they are charging $1.50. Next day is free and then it will be declined because of prepaid visa gift card purchased from staples. I do not see any way out unless you are ready to pay $1.50 which I have not tried yet

    • caveman, interesting – I haven’t seen the $1.50 option on mine yet. Maybe the company you are trying to pay plays into it? So weird that 1/3 of mine worked over the weekend. We will see how these I scheduled today go. I have strong hopes for them since it is a weekday, but we will see.

  3. Are you still using a Bluebird account? Do you prefer Evolve over Bluebird? Alot of my sources for gc’s to load my bluebird have dried up. Ofcourse CVS was a great source but all they have is vanilla gift certificates. I found a local grocery store chain that would sell the $500 gc no problem. Now that is drying up. I am down to one store. I think they must have gotten burned by somebody. All the gas stations and stores want to sell them for cash only. It was good while it lasted.

  4. Kathy, I’m a light BlueBird user. I prefer getting gift cards and paying bills directly online with them without going to Walmart for sure.
    Choi, it would have the same problem with not being able to schedule payments in advance or failing if Evolve doesn’t process the payment quickly (such as on the weekend).
    Chrissy, lucky you! Truthfully though Evolve has been super simple. This may just be a new wrinkle that is easy to overcome.

  5. Safeway the other day, saw a sign on the giftcard rack. Read roughly “Buy MasterCard giftcard, get $10 off your next shopping trip.” You can bet I grabbed one for $500. Limit one per household.

  6. Hi MP,
    First time post here. Throughly enjoy your blog. Thanks for the education. Question is can I pay my Chase Ink credit card m ,y citibank AAdvantage card bills using evolve. If so how do I do it. My question is I do not see those biller accounts i.e. chase card services or citibank card services

  7. Thank you so much for your statement: “I’m not big into the game some like to call “manufacture spending” where you essentially “manufacture” expenses (usually involving buying gift cards and then finding a way to “cash them out” to rack up more points on your credit cards) …”

    I believe many folks unintentionally fall into the cycle of greed and unfortunately create future closing of goal spending (eg Vanilla Reloads). Your statement demonstrates using what is needed and I applaud you. Follow you daily, thank you for your contributions!

  8. I also had the problem with paying a charity over the weekend. Trying again tonight so hopefully no issues.

    @Raghu Narayanan Evolve does not allow you to pay credit cards currently but most other bills including mortgage.

  9. Tried it today for the first time and paid my mortgage (I think). Used a gift card. Their email says that the delivery date is 7-31. Will they send a follow-up email after the transaction is fully completed?

  10. I think this now may be dead when using a gift card. I tried a couple times over the weekend and during the week. All transactions denied. I guess unless you want to pay the $1.50 for the immediate posting this look like this option has now closed. At least for me anyway. I was using a MetaBank gift card that I have used in the past without any issues,

  11. I was able to actually use a credit card last month to pay through Evolve. This month that was not an option. I’m going to use a prepaid card this month to pay our health insurance premiums. That amount is our largest expenses and I spent significant time and thought trying to find a way to get points for the premium. The insurer does not take credit card payments. Evolve payments are not completely free since I have to buy the prepaid card, but the fee I’m paying for the prepaid card is low enough to be acceptable to generate a significant amount of points monthly by paying the health insurance premium.

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