Rent is likely your biggest expense every month, but it seems like virtually every landlord prefers just one payment method: Money from your checking account via paper checks or online transfers.
With all of those miles and points you can earn for credit card rewards, you may be wondering if you can pay rent with the plastic in your wallet. Unfortunately, landlords, property managers and third-party services will likely charge a fee for paying rent with a credit card. These fees often eat into, and sometimes erase, the rewards you might be seeking.
Read on to find out how to pay rent with a credit card, and whether or not that makes sense for you.
- Pros and cons of paying rent with a credit card
- Methods to pay rent with a credit card
- Checking the math of using a credit card to pay rent
- Paying rent with your credit card is a smart move… for some
Before you learn how to pay rent with a credit card, it’s important to decide if you should pay rent with a credit card. Everyone has different habits when it comes to credit cards, and getting into debt to pay the rent can be a big personal finance mistake.
If you want to pay rent with a credit card, you need to pay off your bill every month in full and on time to avoid finance charges. This will ensure you use rent payments to improve your credit, not hurt it, and don’t end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on interest and fees.
If your history with credit cards is anything but perfect, you should seriously consider whether or not this is worthwhile for you. If there’s a chance that paying your rent with a credit card will lead to future money problems, don’t risk it. You can always revisit the strategy once your finances are on firmer ground.
|Pros and cons of using a credit card to pay rent|
|● Potential credit card rewards
● Rent payments would help build credit your credit history
● Convenient way to pay
● Erases possibility of bounced check
● Option to avoid payday loans
|● Rewards could be offset, undone by fees
● Increased credit utilization could decreased your credit score
● Having more cash in your checking account could spur spending, complicate your budget
● Risk of high-interest credit card debt if you don’t pay your monthly bill
Paying your rent with a credit card may not be as simple as paying with a check, but the rewards can be well worth your while. In general, there are two methods to pay your rent using a credit card: through your landlord’s payment center or through an online credit card bill payment platform.
Using your landlord’s payment system
If you rent from a property management company or have a landlord using an online tenant management platform, you might already be able to pay your rent with a credit card.
|Real-life example of (not) paying rent with plastic|
I live in an apartment managed by a company that operates throughout Southern California and Nevada, and they use RentPayment.
I can pay my rent directly from my bank account for $4.95, with a debit card for a 0.95% fee, or a credit card for a 2.95% fee. Going with their credit card option would leave me with nearly $70 in fees every month, but using my bank’s bill pay is free, so that’s how I pay my rent.
— Eric Rosenberg, from 2017
However, if you have access to a service that doesn’t charge fees for paying rent with a credit card, you might do it even for just a month or two to earn a card’s sign-up bonus or other benefit.
Trying a third-party service
If your landlord does not offer online rent payments or you would have to pay a high fee like the example above, there are other options available.
Companies such as PlacePay (formerly RentShare) and RentTrack give you the option to pay your rent with a credit card. When you do, the vendor will charge your card and either mail your landlord a check or direct deposit the funds to your landlord’s bank account.
facilitate rent payments
via credit card
At PlacePay, for example, you would be responsible for 2.99% of the monthly rent if you pay with a credit card. Your landlord could elect to cover the fee for you, though that would seem unlikely in most cases.
Your landlord might be willing to cover the fee if they have a merchant account on a general payment service like Paypal, Square or Venmo.
One of the most popular options for paying rent with a credit card is Plastiq. Plastiq generally charges 2.85% for credit card payments, but there are often promotions where you can pay even less.
You will need to plan ahead with this method no matter which third-party service you use. There can be a delay between the time you hand over your credit card information and when that company actually pays your landlord. Ask about this payment timeline to ensure you’re never late on your rent payment.
Like with paying student loans with a credit card, it’s certainly possible to pay rent using a credit card.
But are those 2% to 3% fees worth it? Let’s do the math and find out.
For a simple example, assume your rent is $1,000 per month. If you were to pay your rent directly to your landlord with a check, your annual cost for rent is $12,000 per year.
Using Plastiq, you would pay an additional 2.85% in fees, assuming you didn’t use a promotion. That’s $28.50 per month, or $342 per year, in fees.
If you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, one of the top cards for travel hacking, you would charge $12,342 per year for rent to your card. Assuming you get two cents per point for the card’s reward program, you would earn 12,342 points worth $247.
It’s a narrow margin, but you would be losing money by paying with a credit card in this case. It would cost you $342 to use your credit card, but you’d only earn $247 back in rewards. To break even, you have to get more value from your miles and points to make it worthwhile.
The decision to use your rewards credit card to pay your rent should be made carefully. Consider what card you want to charge rent to, study its rewards program and decide how to use your miles and points to your biggest advantage.
In some cases, you’ll get a great deal. In others, you could end up losing money paying your rent with your credit card.
Paying your rent with your credit card is not only possible, but in some cases it can make a lot of sense. Even if you would lose money paying your rent with your credit card, paying for just one or two months could be enough to help you reach a big signup bonus.
To decide what’s right for you, consider your rent amount, credit card fees and how you use your credit card rewards.
If you will pay credit card interest because of this strategy, never use your credit card to pay your rent. But if you pay your card off in full each month and have a compelling use for the miles and points, you can definitely pay your rent with a credit card.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|2.49% – 11.72%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.30%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|4.13% – 7.39%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.24% – 8.24%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.48% – 7.98%||Undergrad |
|1.74% – 7.99%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.69% – 9.92%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 6, 2022.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 09/09/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 4.13% APR – 7.39% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR – 9.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 3.99% – 8.74% APR (3.74% – 8.49% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.74% APR to 8.24% APR (2.49% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.
5 Important Disclosures for Navient.
6 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.99% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%-9.92% (3.69%-9.92% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49%-10.11% (4.49%-10.11% APR).
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.39%- 9.60% (6.39% – 9.60% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.58% – 9.79% (6.58% – 9.79% APR).
Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).
Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%- 9.09% (3.69%- 9.09% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.28% (4.49% – 9.28% APR).
Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).