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The City of Berwyn just got an American Express card, and they plan on using it for the points.
A plan introduced by the city’s finance director John Wysocki would have the city charge payments to the City of Chicago for their incoming water and Waste Management for garbage disposal every month and then pay it off before interest is charged.
The city council passed the measure unanimously at a council meeting Tuesday night.
Those payments total more than $600,000 a month on average, and Wysocki estimates that the points will total up to $39,000 a year. That money will be funneled directly back into the city’s general fund.
The city already faces penalties if they don’t pay those bills on time, and believes they can avoid ever paying interest or fees on the card.
“We’re keeping it simple and only using it with a couple of the very largest bills,” Wysocki said.
It will be interesting to see if other municipalities follow suit with the strategy, and whether or not billers and card issuers determine at some point that they might need to restrict the practice in any way.