Since I started working towards achieving FIRE, I’ve been looking for ways to increase our income, even in small increments. These add up you know! In October, I signed up for a service called PayTM Canada. I’ve been wanting to do a review of the app as it seems not many people are using it yet, but I also wanted to get a few months of usage under my belt to provide a true picture of the experience.
What is PayTM?
The company was founded in India in 2010, and expanded to the Canadian market in 2014 to get a foothold in North America. It’s described as a “digital wallet/e-commerce payment system” which allows you to pay your bills via the service and collect points which can be exchanged for gift cards. Probably the closest similar service in North America would be Plastiq.
PayTM Canada will make payments on your behalf to various types of accounts such as utilities, internet and phone, taxes, credit cards, insurance, education, loan payments, etc.
Once you hook up your bank account or credit card, paying your bills is really easy through the app. PayTM will take money from your account and send it to your payee. All of my payees were on the list as accepting PayTM!
Here are some additional details that may be of interest if you ever want to consider signing up.
There are currently several ways to collect points, including:
- paying a bill through the app. Also, there are bonuses for paying 3 or more different bills in the span of the month, 5 different bills, and the same bill for 12 months in a row.
- referring a friend
- participating in various promotions throughout the year. For example, right now (Feb 2019), there is a promotion for paying your credit card bill. You get 5 times the points up to 5000.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “T, just give us the goods. How many points have you actually collected!?” Ok then!
I started using PayTM in October. Hubs signed up for an account in November, since he also pays the bills sometimes. Here’s what we have accumulated so far including referral bonuses, promotions, and regular bill payments:
T – 44,372 points (value of $44 in gift cards)
Hubs – 31,346 points (value of $31 in gift cards)
Total accumulation: $75.
At the moment, we are paying almost every bill using the app, except for property taxes (I’d like to add that one on soon to accumulate even more monthly points). We’re also waiting for some bonus points to come in based on the recent 5x promotion, so by the end of February we should be in the $90-100 range.
Overall, I expect that by the time our year is up, we’ll have at least an extra $300 in the budget just from using the app. Not bad!
Gift card options include: Tim Hortons, Amazon.ca, Esso, Uber, Cineplex, Apple store, Best Buy, IKEA, Indigo, Westjet, Netflix, Hotels.com, Sephora, about 20 restaurants, Fairmont, Some Canadian spas, and about a bajillion others too numerous to mention.
So far, cashing them in seems pretty easy. I redeemed $10 in Esso money, went to the station, and showed the cashier the bar code on my phone to receive the credit.
- Payment Methods – To pay your bills with PayTM, you can use only the following payment methods currently:
- Canadian Bank Account or Credit Union (no fee)
- MasterCard (no fee)
- American Express (3% fee)
- PayTM Cash (you have the option to transfer money to your PayTM “wallet” which can then be used to pay bills)
Since I put literally everything on my Tangerine Cash Back MasterCard, it is my Payment method of choice. This gives me a wee extra bonus on top of PayTM points, since I can now use my credit card for utilities that don’t accept Credit Card payments (but do accept transfers from PayTM). Read: More $ back on my MC.
2. Payments take a bit longer – Especially payments from your bank account. Credit card payments take a couple of days. PayTM cash payments are very fast if you choose to use that service. The good news is, PayTM will provide you with a “fulfillment date” before you request the payment. Check this to make sure it meets your timeline to avoid a late payment charge on your bill.
3. Maximum points – you can max out on points, depending on the type of payment you are making. Currently it looks like this:
|Category||Maximum Points per Month|
|Mobile and Utility||500 Points|
|Tax and Credit Card||1,000 Points|
|All other categories||500 Points|
There is a promotion right now where you can get 5000 points for paying $1000 on your credit card bill until March 11th.
What will we do with all this extra PayTM gift card cash!?
Good question. I’m going to talk to Hubs about it. I like that I can use it for gas which I inevitably have to buy every month. Since we have a few vacations planned for this year, we could also use it to travel hack on flights or hotels. I’ll be sure to post an update on this later in the year!
If you decide you’d like to try PayTM after reading this review, please use my referral code. It will give you and me some bonus points.
T’s PayTM Referral Code: PTM9797509
I would love to hear about what other apps you might be using that make you a bit of extra cash. Please let me know in the comments!