Credit cards can be used for just about anything nowadays. If you’re building credit or interested in gaining rewards like airline miles or cash back, it can be a good idea to use your credit card for most purchases. But is it wise – and even possible – to pay your rent with a credit card?
Can you pay rent with a credit card?
It is possible to pay your rent with a credit card even if your landlord only accepts checks. A number of websites and payment apps now offer rent payment services that allow you to pay your rent online with a credit card. These websites process your credit card payment and then send a check to your landlord on your behalf. Of course, processing credit card payments isn’t free, so these services all charge a fee.
The benefits of paying rent with a credit card
Even with fees taken into account, there are some good reasons to consider paying your rent with a credit card.
- Rewards. If your credit card offers a rewards program, putting large bills and purchases on it will help you accumulate points or cash back more quickly. Keep in mind that you’d have to receive a pretty significant rewards rate in order for it to exceed the cost you end up paying in fees. If you’re paying a 3% fee, for example, your cash back rate should be more than 3%.
- Meeting minimum spending requirements. Some rewards credit cards offer big sign-up bonuses for new cardholders, but they require you to spend a certain amount within the first few months. If you’re falling short of the requirement, paying rent with your credit card to hit it is almost always worth the fee, as many credit card sign-up bonuses are worth over $500.
- Covering financial gaps. While spending extra money in fees to pay your rent with a credit card isn’t a good idea if you have the money to pay rent, it does offer you a little extra flexibility if you fall short on rent one month. Just be sure to reserve it for extenuating circumstance rather than making it a regular habit.
The drawbacks of paying your rent with a credit card
There are several benefits to paying your rent with a credit card, but they don’t come without cost.