In paying a bunch of bills, I've figured out a way to maximize my savings and returns.
Savings? Returns? This will not apply to all of you.
Wife's company offers a payroll benefit for health expenses wherein we elect to have a certain dollar amount, up to $2500 annually, deducted in equal parts from her paycheck on a PRE-TAX basis. This reduces the amount of income taxes paid.
The company who administers this program allows us to either 1) pay for the service using their credit card or 2) get reimbursed for payments we make.
I am a Costco American Express holder which gives me 1-3% cash back on all purchases. So, I pay with my AMEX, then submit the payment for reimbursement. The money is deposited directly into our checking account, so I get it before I have to pay the bill, plus reap the rewards at the end of the year.
So not only do we get the pre-tax savings, we also get money on the back end. It takes some organization, but pays off.