Have you ever wondered if you can pay rent with a credit card? Is it even possible? More importantly, is it a good idea?
Relax. We’ve got you covered.
While paying your rent with a credit card isn’t the right move for everybody, in some situations, it actually does make sense. This is particularly true if you want to take advantage of credit card rewards.
With that said, there are some major (and I mean MAJOR) financial pitfalls you must avoid if you’re even thinking about doing this. But, before we look at those, let’s discuss several different ways to pay rent with a credit card.
5 Options to Pay Rent with a Credit Card
Thankfully, there are a lot more options to pay rent with a credit card than there are to pay 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 different options you should consider. Remember, these options are for rent payments and may not work for other items like mortgages, bills, and more.
(It’s also important to note that 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. They charge a 2.5% fee to use the service, so – if you’re trying to earn extra credit card rewards – it only makes sense to use Plastiq if you’re attempting to earn a signup bonus. (They also offer occasional promotions where you can pay less.) While there are some restrictions on paying 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. Then, payments to your landlord are made either with a check or ACH transfer.
For us, Plastiq is our go-to site for using a credit card with a merchant who normally doesn’t accept them. While it’s not necessarily the cheapest option, it is the most convenient for us. You can also 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 will allow 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 and $4.95 if you use a debit card. (Remember, you won’t earn points with a debit card!) Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover, and Apple Pay are all accepted.
With RentMoola, you can pay rent with a credit card for a 2.99% fee. 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, and eCheck. Before paying your rent with a credit card, however, RentMoola does require your landlord to give approval.
Urbanr is a relative newcomer to this space, and boy have they come in swinging. With a current fee of just 1.5%, this company offers the lowest rate we can find. Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are all acceptable forms of payment. Additionally, they offer some pretty cool options – like using up to 3 different cards to pay your rent or splitting the fee with your property manager (with permission, of course).
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.
|Radpad||Credit Card: 2.99%
Debit Card: $4.95
|Venmo||Credit Card: 3.0%
Debit or Prepaid: Free
2 Excellent Credit Cards for Paying Rent
If you’re going to pay rent with a credit card, you might as well get some points for it, right?!? Here a two credit cards with great signup bonus offers you should consider:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 50,000 point signup bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months you have the card. These points are worth $625 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 more here.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card – The Capital One Venture Rewards Card earns 10x miles on thousands of hotels and 2x miles on all other spending. Best of all, you’ll receive 50,000 bonus miles (a $500 value toward travel) after 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 more here.
How to Pay Your Rent with a Credit Card
Now that we’ve covered how to pay rent with a credit card and which cards to consider, let’s take a look at the steps for doing this the right way.
- 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 is it a Good Idea 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 then? Is it ever smart to pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card? I’m glad you asked.
In order 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 really 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. Just remember to proceed with caution.
#2) You can pay off your card immediately with cash.
As I’ve mentioned before, paying your 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.
Additionally, 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!