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Can you pay rent with a credit card? More importantly, is it a good idea?
Relax. We’ve got you covered.
Although paying rent with a credit card isn’t a great move for everybody, in some situations, it actually does make sense. This is especially true if you want to take advantage of credit card rewards and earn a sign up bonus.
With that said, there are some major (and I mean MAJOR) financial pitfalls to avoid if you’re even thinking about doing this. Before we look at those, however, let’s discuss several ways to pay rent with a credit card.
5 Ways to Pay Rent with a Credit Card
Thankfully, there are a lot more options for paying rent with a credit card than there are for paying your mortgage with a credit card. Keep in mind, though, it’s going to take a few extra steps to make this work.
When it comes to paying your rent with a credit card, there is a slim chance that you may be able to pay your landlord directly. Because of the fees, however, most landlords won’t accept credit cards as a form of payment. If they do, you’re golden. If not, it’s time to look elsewhere.
So, if you really want to pay your rent with a credit card, chances are good that you’ll need to use a third party to do it. Listed below are five payment platforms you can consider. Remember, these options are for rent payments and may not work for other items like mortgages, bills, and more.
(Editor’s Note: Again, paying rent with a credit card comes with some huge risks, some of which we’ll talk about later in the piece. It goes without saying, but any decisions you make come at your own risk.)
Plastiq is a third-party payment system that allows you to pay rent with a credit card. Although they offer occasional promotions where they reduce their fees, Plastiq typically charges a flat fee of 2.5% on each transaction. So, if you’re trying to earn extra credit card rewards, using Plastiq only makes sense when you’re attempting to earn a signup bonus.
While this platform places restricts which cards you can use to pay your mortgage, when it comes to paying rent with a credit card, those restrictions are lifted. Feel free to use Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and more. After completing your transaction, the actual payment to your landlord is made either by check or ACH transfer.
Plastiq is our go-to site for using credit cards with merchants who normally don’t accept them. While it’s not always the cheapest option, it is the most convenient for us.
If you’re interested, you can get $500 in fee-free transactions by using our referral code “671741” when you sign up here.
Radpad is another slick option for paying rent with a credit card. In fact, it’s the only thing Radpad allows you to pay!
Unlike some of the other options, your landlord does not have to sign off on receiving payment. The company charges a 2.99% fee for using credit cards. Using a debit card costs $4.95 for payments under $5,000 and $9.95 for payments above $5,000. ACH payments are free. Remember, however, you won’t earn points with a debit card or ACH transfer!
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Apple Pay are all accepted.
With RentMoola, you can pay your rent with a credit card for a 2.99%-3.99% fee, depending on the card. In addition to earning rewards on your credit card, you’ll also earn MoolaPerks which provide discounts on things like travel and shopping.
RentMoola accepts payments using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Paypal, and eCheck. Before paying your rent with a credit card, however, RentMoola does require your landlord to give approval.
Venmo provides an easy way to pay rent with a credit card, provided your landlord has a Venmo account. Simply log into your account, find the person you wish to pay, and hit the pay button.
Again, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express cards are all accepted. There is a 3.0% fee to pay with a credit card, however, paying with a debit card or prepaid card is free.
If your landlord has a Paypal account, they may also let you pay with that. Since Paypal allows you to use credit cards, you’re golden.
Of course, does charge a fee for using credit cards. In the United States, that is typically 2.9% of the transaction plus $.30. All major credit cards are accepted.
|Radpad||Credit Card: 2.99%
Debit Card: $4.95
|Venmo||Credit Card: 3.0%
Debit or Prepaid: Free
|Paypal||2.9% + $.30|
2 Excellent Credit Cards for Paying Rent
If you’re going to pay your rent with a credit card, you might as well get some points for it, right?!? Here are two credit cards with great welcome bonus offers you should consider:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 80,000 point signup bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months you have the card. These points are worth $1,000 in travel redemptions through the Chase portal – or, you can transfer them to over a dozen loyalty program partners to get even more value. If you’re new to earning points and miles, this is almost always the first card we recommend. Trust me, you won’t be sorry. Learn how to apply.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card – The Capital One Venture Rewards Card earns 2x miles on every purchase yo make. Best of all, you’ll receive 100,000 bonus miles (a $1,000 value toward travel) after you spend $20,000 in the first twelve months, or 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Since your miles are not subject to airline or hotel blackout dates, you can use them at any time. This is a really great card with some very versatile rewards. I definitely recommend it! Learn how to apply.
How to Pay Rent with a Credit Card
Now that we’ve covered the various payment platforms available and which cards to consider, let’s take a look at how to pay rent with a credit card the right way. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Pick your card – Choose a rewards card that offers a great signup bonus. Compare our favorite cards here.
- Select your payment option – Use the list of payment options above to find the third-party payment system that’s best for you.
- Contact your landlord – If needed, contact your landlord and inform them of your plans.
- Pay your rent – A few weeks before your payment is due, use your third-party account to pay your rent – especially if you choose a “pay by check” option. Depending on the provider, you may be able to set up automatic payments.
- Pay off your card – It is extremely important to pay off your credit card every month! Not doing so could completely wipe out the benefits you may earn and could send you thousands of dollars into debt.
When to Pay Rent with a Credit Card
Look, at heart, this is still a personal finance website. I’m somebody who despises debt and wants you to make the most of the money you already have.
If you’re trying to pay your rent with a credit card because you don’t have the money, all you’re doing is kicking the can down the road. Trust me, this isn’t going to work out well. If this is you, I feel like it’s my duty to tell you this: DON’T DO IT!!!
Seriously. This is potentially a very dangerous game and should only be utilized under the right circumstances. Consider yourself warned.
So, what are the “right” circumstances? Is it ever smart to pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card? I’m glad you asked.
For paying your rent with a credit card to make sense, the following three things must apply:
1) You want to earn additional points and miles.
In my mind, the only reason you should consider paying your rent with a credit card is to earn extra credit card rewards. I mean, that’s really the whole point, right? Your rent or mortgage is a big-ticket item that could potentially earn you a boatload of points!
While a cash back card doesn’t usually provide enough return to make it worth your while, cards with travel benefits (and unlimited potential for earning on purchases) may be worth it. We’ve used points and miles to travel the world for pennies on the dollar. You can too, provided you do this the right way.
To get even more specific, unless you can avoid paying a fee, snagging a signup bonus is the main reason you should attempt to pay your rent with a credit card. Many of the best rewards cards offer gigantic bonuses once you meet certain spending requirements. Using a credit card to pay your rent or mortgage is the perfect way to take advantage of these ridiculous point hauls.
Here’s how it works: Let’s assume you’re shooting for a welcome bonus that is worth $750 in free travel or gift cards. By using a credit card to pay your rent through Plastiq, you’ll be charged a 2.5% fee on your transactions. So, if you charge $3,000 in rent, you’ve paid $75 in fees to help earn $750 in free stuff. That means you’re ahead $675. Pretty cool, huh?
Just remember to proceed with caution.
2) You can pay off your card immediately with cash.
As I’ve mentioned before, paying rent with a credit card is a very dangerous game. The only way this works in your favor is if you pay it off immediately with cash. If not, you’ll end up paying a service fee, interest on your credit card, and – in the case of a mortgage – interest on the loan. That’s why it is super important that you learn how to create a budget and stick to your monthly plan.
Again, this strategy makes the most sense if you are chasing a signup bonus – unless, of course, you can avoid paying a fee to a third party. (Hint: Plastiq will give you $500 in fee-free transactions when you use the link provided and our referral code “67174.”)
3) You have no consumer debt.
Ideally, the only way you should try this is if you have no consumer debt. Zero. Zilch. None.
That means no credit card debt. No car payment. No financed furniture. Nada.
Use the debt snowball method to get out of debt first. Then, worry about earning extra travel rewards later.
Who Should Avoid Paying Rent with a Credit Card?
As outlined above, this strategy isn’t for everybody. Stay away, very far away, if you fall into any of the following categories:
- You don’t have the cash to pay your rent.
- You have a history of struggling with credit card debt.
- You are not attempting to earn a signup bonus on a rewards card.
- You have trouble sticking to a budget.
- You feel the least bit uncomfortable doing this.
Final Thoughts: Can You Pay Rent with a Credit Card?
So, can you pay rent with a credit card? Yes, you can. Is it a good idea? Well, that depends.
While I wouldn’t recommend it to most people, paying rent with a credit card has some obvious advantages. However, this method of earning points and miles is pretty dangerous and should only be used under certain circumstances.
Let me repeat: This strategy should never be used as a way to buy time to scrounge up cash. Doing so could put you in severe financial peril.
However, if you’re in need of hitting a spending requirement for a signup bonus and have the discipline to pay off the card immediately, this strategy could definitely work for you. We’ve used it ourselves (on our mortgage) and have seen it work for others, as well.
Whatever you decide, be sure that you’re comfortable with your decision. Be careful. Be smart. Be disciplined. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying far more for those rewards than what they’re actually worth.
What do you think? Have you ever tried paying your rent with a credit card to earn points? Let us know below!
Yes. Although many landlords prefer a check, there are plenty of ways to pay rent with a credit card that landlords may accept. Keep in mind, your landlord may require you to absorb any credit card processing fees.
Is it smart to pay rent with a credit card?
That depends on why you’re doing it. If you can’t afford to pay your rent in cash, you should avoid using a credit card to pay rent. However, if you have the cash to pay your card and want to earn extra points and miles, it may be worth it. Just make sure that a) the points you earn are worth more than the fees you’re paying to use a card, and b) you pay your bill in-full every month.
Can I earn miles by paying rent with a credit card?
Yes. Earning points and miles is the primary reason to consider using a credit card to pay rent. Keep in mind that you may pay more in fees than you’ll gain in value. That is why it’s best to use this strategy sparingly – like when you’re pursuing a welcome bonus.