You may not always have cash in your account when rent is due. Unexpected and hopefully temporary layoffs are becoming more frequent these days, but the eviction moratorium has ended, and you have to pay if you don't want to face eviction. Other events can happen, like a lost or stolen checkbook. Waiting a couple of weeks between when an older card expires and the new copy arrives can mess with your schedule. Whatever the reason, everyone should know how to pay rent with a credit card.
All The Ways To Pay Rent With a Credit Card
There are several different ways to pay rent with a credit card. The downside to any of these is that you will often have to pay interest or other associated fees to use these methods. Below is a list of different detailed methods to choose from.
Most credit cards will allow you to pull cash out. While this isn't ideal, you can pull paper money for rent in an emergency with some pre-planning. Regrettably, this is the worst way to pay. Between the potential ATM fees and the (typically instant) interest that accrues you end up losing money. Your card, like a debit card, may have limits on how much cash you can get at one time. You may need to stop several days in a row to get smaller amounts. At worst, this means paying multiple fees for withdrawal. Additionally, cash is easy to lose, and you have to be sure to get a receipt if you use this method. Fortunately, there are other, more innovative ways to pay rent with a credit card.
Buy a Money Order
Many places, such as convenience stores and grocery stores, offer money orders. Putting a money order on your credit card is usually possible. The upside to using a money order is that you have a receipt attached. Still, it is also easily stolen or lost,, and they are incredibly difficult, or even impossible to cancel or void if a thief gets their hands on one that is unsigned. Like ATM fees, a money order comes with a price attached. If you purchase at the post office, you'll only pay about a dollar forty-five for a money order under five hundred dollars and a dollar ninety-five for larger increments. In addition to this, you will still have to pay whatever interest or fees your card issuer requires for this service.
PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App
Most people and businesses have an online account with PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App. Especially if your landlord is an individual rather than a management company, you may be able to send them the money this way. To pay directly from your credit card, you need to select that as your payment method in the app. Venmo charges three percent for credit cards, but it is free if you have a prepaid credit card,. Cash App also charges a three percent transaction fee. Paypal charges two point nine percent plus thirty cents. The advantage of this method is that you can avoid additional fees to send money using a prepaid credit card in at least one case. However, the best news is that there's no cash or physical paper to lose, and there's a transaction record.
Using a Credit Card to Rent Money Service
Rent Moola, PlacePay, Plastique, and RadPad are all third-party services designed to allow you to pay rent with your credit card. You will need to sign up for an account, and like other methods, there's a fee for the transaction. If it's a one-time event, this isn't such a big deal, but paying an extra two to three percent on your rent every month will add up substantially over time. At just two percent, that's almost a quarter of your monthly rent in annual fees, twenty-four percent in total if you do this every month for a year. Rent Moola charges 2.99% for Visa, Mastercard, and prepaid cards. PlacePay will run you a dollar ninety-five for ACH payments or 2.99% for Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. Plastique is 2.5-2.85%, but you can use Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, or Diners Club. Finally, RadPad charges a straight 2.99% regardless of your method.
The Bilt Rewards Mastercard is relatively new, but it offers the best way to pay rent with a credit card. This is the only card that charges no additional fees for rent payments. According to The Points Guy, you can even earn rewards points by making rent payments.
Benefits of Using Your Credit Card to Pay Rent
Even without the Bilt Mastercard, there are ways to come out ahead while using a credit card to pay rent. For example, new credit cards often have a grace period where there is no interest on repayment so long as you meet or exceed the minimum each month. Those minimums can be as low as twenty dollars, so an introductory deal would allow you to have six or more months to repay that rent basically without a penalty beyond initial transaction fees. Numerous cards offer a cashback rebate if you spend a minimum in the first month or within six months. Since you typically need to spend at least a thousand dollars to get that money, rent is a sensible purchase. Crucially, the cashback is almost always more than the transaction fees, especially when combined with a low or zero interest introductory interest rate. Finally, there are points to consider. Whether you are saving for holiday gifts, frequent flier miles, or some other reward from a card, points can be worth more than fees. However, you have to do the math first to ensure you're getting a deal.
Paying the rent with your credit card is best avoided unless you happen to have a Bilt card or it's worth the points. However, most adults, most adults, everyone who has a credit card should know how to use this tactic if need it. In some cases, such as earning a cashback reward, a one-off rent payment can even be a net gain. Especially when you can pay the rent, using that money to repay the credit card debt immediately is an intelligent way to make a little extra money. Many new cards offer an interest-free period when you first open them as long as you meet your minimums each month, so there are ways to avoid making a credit card rent payment a costly mistake when you have the right information.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson