For most people, the most significant monthly expense they are responsible for is rent. This recurring payment can be daunting — particularly if you are working through a challenging financial situation. This may beg the question, “can you pay rent with a credit card?”
You can pay rent with a credit card, though you will likely have to rely on a third-party service. Many landlords will not accept a credit payment, pushing renters to rely on online providers that enable them to do so. Unfortunately, these providers can charge high service fees and interest rates.
If you need to utilize your credit for a rental payment — or if you are considering ways to maximize your credit rewards — keep reading to learn how to do so. Paying rent on a credit card is possible, but it should not be done without careful consideration. The following guide will outline what to consider before moving forward.
How To Pay Rent With A Credit Card
If you want to pay rent with a credit card, the first step is to ask your landlord or property manager if this is allowed. In some cases, they will accept a credit payment, though this is rare. Property managers who accept credit card rental payments will typically charge a fee as part of the transaction. This fee can range between two and three percent of the monthly rent. Keep this up charge in mind before committing to paying your rent with a credit card through your landlord.
For those who cannot work something out with their landlords, you can also utilize a cash advance or balance transfer. With a cash advance, you can take your credit card to an ATM and access funds for rent. Cash advance fees typically start at five percent, depending on the card. A balance transfer involves moving other recurring expenses onto your credit card to free up more cash for rent. For example, you could transfer your power bill or month-to-month car insurance onto a credit card and use your available cash to cover rent before paying the credit balance.
Another option for paying rent with a credit card is to use a third-party provider. Some companies allow users to link their credit (and sometimes debit) cards to pay expenses that may not accept these payment methods otherwise. These services can help users rely on their credit cards for rent, though it does come at the price of a service fee. These fees can range from one to three percent, plus interest, depending on when the balance is paid. There are a few providers to choose from when considering this option.
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A popular provider for making rental payments with a credit card is Plastiq. The standard transaction fee is set at 2.85%, and you can set up recurring or one-time payments. The biggest benefit of using Plastiq is that it does not require your landlord or property manager to have the platform. Instead, your funds will be sent using an electronic transfer or check.
PlacePay is a platform used by both landlords and tenants to exchange rent payments. Tenants can connect a credit card, debit card, or bank account to the platform to pay their rent. The service fee for a credit card is 2.99 percent. Landlords must also use the platform and accept payments through direct deposit. PlacePay is an attractive option because it allows roommates to split the rent cost and use different payment methods.
Another platform for paying rent with a credit card is RentTrack. Users are charged a 2.95% fee for each transaction. RentTrack does not require landlords to use the service and instead sends rent payments as physical checks. What is unique about RentTrack is that it reports to the three major credit bureaus, allowing this information to be included in your credit score. While some landlords may already report this information, this feature can be attractive for those who don’t.
More Apps To Pay Rent With A Credit Card
There are a few other options for paying rent with a credit card. Each platform will have its own fees associated. It is always important to gather all of the information before selecting the right platform for your needs. Here are just some of the apps you can use to pay your rent with a credit card:
RadPad: RadPad is another platform that does not require landlords to use the software as well. It mails a physical check of your rental payment and charges a 2.99% transaction fee.
Cozy: This service is used by both landlords and tenants, and charges a 2.75% fee on credit card payments.
Rent Track: Rent Track may be used by your landlord and gives them the option to cover the associated fees. Rent Track typically charges 2.95% for a credit card payment if they do not cover the costs. There are also subscription-based options starting at $9.95 a month.
Venmo: In some cases, you will be able to use Venmo for your rental payments, though your landlord will need an account as well. There is typically a 2.9 to 3% fee charged when using a credit card.
Rentler: Rentler allows tenants to pay rent, application fees, and other expenses through the platform. It must be used by the landlord as well, and they can opt to cover the user fees. Otherwise, there is a 2.9 percent fee charged when paying rent with a credit card.
What To Consider Before Paying Rent With Credit
There are some cases where paying rent with a credit card is your best option — but this is not always the case. As mentioned above, there are fees associated with almost every method of paying rent with a credit card. It is crucial to keep all of the pros and cons in mind before making this decision.
Pros Of Paying Rent With A Credit Card
Have you ever considered paying your rent with a credit card? There are a few different reasons why someone might want to use this option. Here are just a few of the benefits associated with paying rent this way:
Credit Card Rewards: With all of the credit card rewards programs available today, it can be tempting to rack up your purchases. Many individuals are tempted to use a credit card for rent because it is such a large expense and can allow you to reach your rewards benefits faster. This can also help users qualify for bonuses; however, it is crucial to make sure the associated fees don’t outweigh the rewards perks.
Reliability: Some of the third-party platforms listed above allow users to set up recurring monthly payments. This can give renters a sense of peace knowing that their rent will always be submitted on time. In some cases, the platforms used will even guarantee the coverage of any late fees or costs incurred if the rent is late or missing.
Convenience: Most of the above options are handled entirely online, thus eliminating the need to drive across town and deliver a check to your landlord. For some renters, such as those who travel frequently or have busy schedules, the associated fees are entirely worth it in terms of the convenience they provide.
Cons Of Paying Rent With A Credit Card
There are some cons associated with using a credit card to pay rent. Before you rely on this payment method, even if it is just for one month, make sure you know the potential downsides. Listed below are a few disadvantages of using a credit card for rent:
Transaction Fees: The biggest thing to look out for when paying rent with a credit card is the transaction fees. Depending on the method or platform used, these can be as steep as five percent of your monthly rent. In many cases, the fee percentages are higher than the rewards you may generate by using the card.
Interest Costs: If you are unable to pay your credit balance by the end of the month, there will be additional interest costs incurred from paying your rent this way. These costs can add up quickly and cause you to accumulate expensive debt in only a few short months. Always review your card’s interest fees and your monthly budget before paying your rent on a credit card.
Limited Credit: Depending on your credit score, your rent may take up a large portion of your available credit. If you typically use your credit card for emergency expenses, this can be a risky move. Further, if you are consistently using the majority of your available credit, it can hurt your credit score over time.
Should You Pay Rent With A Credit Card?
You should only pay rent with a credit card if you have carefully evaluated the potential financial impact. There are a few situations where doing so might make the most sense. For example, if you are short on funds one month and have considered all other options. In these cases, accepting the transaction fees and paying the balance when you can might be the best route to avoid making a late rent payment.
If your landlord uses a credit-card friendly platform, it may also be beneficial to pay your rent this way. Some of the above providers allow landlords to handle the fees on behalf of tenants. In these cases, using your credit card might allow you both flexibility and convenience when paying rent. Just remember, you should only pay rent with a credit card if you are aware of the potential outcomes.
Alternatives Ways to Pay
If you are interested in the flexibility that paying rent with a credit card offers, but want to avoid some of the costs — there are alternative options. There are several ways you can pay rent each month, as long as you have the approval of your landlord. These options may provide more confidence than the traditional route of dropping off a physical check. Here are some other options for paying rent each month:
Use a platform with recurring ACH transfers
Connect your debit card to one of the above providers
Submit a money order
Pay cash directly to your landlord
Wire transfer from your bank account
The answer to the question, “can you pay rent with a credit card?” is yes. There are a few ways to go about this process: using a cash advance, balance transfer, or a third-party provider. For the most part, a third-party provider will be the most cost-efficient option, though there are still some risks associated with this choice. If you are considering paying rent with a credit card, take time to think through all of the financial implications. There are some cases where this is the best option — but you will have to decide that for yourself.
Have you ever used a credit card to pay rent? Or, if you are a landlord, do you accept credit card rental payments? Share your experience in the comments below.
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