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Can You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?


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If you’re among the 44 million American households renting their homes, rent is likely one of your biggest monthly expenses. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pay rent with a credit card to earn rewards?

Not so fast. While you can almost certainly make a rent payment with a credit card, the methods to do so will vary by landlord. Some property owners or rental companies make it easy to pay rent via an online portal, whereas others may let you pay through a third-party service or some type of workaround. Depending on what you’re looking to accomplish by paying rent with your credit card — rewards, convenience or short-term financing until your next paycheck arrives — some methods may make more financial sense than others. 

We’ll explain all the different ways you can pay rent with a credit card below. 

Ways to pay rent with a credit card

While paying your rent with a credit card is an option, there may be costs and hassle involved depending on the method you use. Here’s an overview of the ways you may be able to cover rent with a credit card, how they work and what they might cost.

Directly through your landlord (if they accept credit card payments)

Some landlords and rental companies may let you pay rent with a credit card using an online portal that accepts credit cards as payment, or through a tool like Square. That said, there are typically additional costs for doing so, and the landlord will likely pass those on to you during the transaction. 

For example, Square charges processing fees between 2.6% (plus 10 cents) to 3.5% (plus 10 cents) depending on whether a transaction is completed in person or online, or manually entered.

Rent payments made directly to your landlord through an online payment portal generally count as “purchases” for the sake of credit card rewards and 0% introductory APR offers, though your credit card issuer may have different rules. Even so, the processing fees involved often outweigh any rewards you earn on the transaction, unless you’re able to reach a minimum spending requirement to receive a welcome bonus

Through a third-party service

You can also use a third-party company to pay rent with a credit card, although many services require the landlord to opt in and pay a fee for rental management services. On your own, you can use a service called Plastiq to pay your rent with a credit card without needing your landlord’s cooperation. This company has you enter your landlord’s payment address and information before charging your card. From there, your landlord can be paid via ACH transfer or a paper check sent by mail. 

Plastiq charges a 2.9% fee for card payments, which will be tacked on to your charge upfront. Also be aware that Plastic recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, although it is still operating and servicing customers. The website remains up and working as of June 28, 2023, but the future of the company is uncertain. 

Plastiq payments typically earn credit card rewards and count toward the minimum spend requirement for a welcome bonus, although there may be limitations on what types of bills you can pay through the service, depending on your credit card type

Use a specialty credit card

A unique rewards credit card called the Bilt Mastercard® lets you earn rewards on purchases, including rent payments. Cardholders can pay rent with the Bilt Mastercard with no added fees provided their landlord accepts ACH payments or checks. The card gives you a unique routing number and account number to pay rent through a landlord’s online payment portal as if you were paying from a bank account. (Most landlords will waive processing fees for ACH payments from a bank account.) Alternatively, you can opt to have Bilt mail a check directly to your landlord. You can also turn on the BiltProtect feature to have the rent charge paid off immediately from a connected bank account, so the “purchase” doesn’t cut into your available credit. 

This credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and cardholders earn 1X points on rent payments (up to 100,000 points per calendar year), 2X points on eligible travel purchases and 3X points on dining. You’ll have to make at least five non-rent purchases on the card each billing cycle to earn rewards. Rewards can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, payments toward rent or a future home down payment and more. 

With a cash advance or convenience check

You could also take out a cash advance on your credit card or write out a credit card convenience check (which is considered a cash advance) to yourself, then turn around and use that money to pay rent. Or you could write out a convenience check directly to your landlord if they accept checks. However, using a cash advance (or equivalent) to pay your rent is a costly strategy with little benefit, and should only be used as a last resort.

Cash advances typically don’t earn rewards or count toward the spending requirement for a welcome bonus, making it a nonstarter if you’re hoping for credit card rewards. They also won’t qualify for most introductory APR offers, which typically only apply to new purchases, balance transfers or both. 

In addition, cash advances typically incur an upfront cash advance fee and a higher cash advance APR. And they don’t have a grace period, which means interest accrues on the amount from day 1.

The only reason to use a cash advance is if you can’t afford to pay rent for the month and need to finance the charge through a credit card. Still, you’re better off paying your rent directly through an online portal or a third-party service and coughing up the additional fees. 

If you can’t afford rent, financing it through a credit card shouldn’t be your go-to strategy in the first place. Instead try talking to your landlord to work out an arrangement or seek out rental assistance options

Considerations when paying rent with a credit card

Before you pay rent with a credit card, you’ll want to consider all the potential impacts to your overall finances — from the benefits to the consequences — as well as the effect on your credit score. 

  • Credit limit: Your ability to charge rent to a credit card may depend on your card’s credit limit. Even if you have room in your credit limit to cover rent with ease, charging a large rent payment will increase your credit utilization ratio, which is the percentage of credit you’re currently using in relation to the total available. Having too high of a credit utilization ratio could hurt your credit score. 
  • Transaction fees: Even if your landlord allows rent payments with credit directly, you’ll almost always be saddled with additional fees. This means your rent will cost more when you pay with a credit card.
  • Ability to pay: Charging rent to a credit card can become costly if you don’t have the cash to pay your balance in full, since then you’ll be saddled with high interest rates. The average credit card interest rate as of June 21, 2023, is 20.51%, according to Bankrate.
  • Rewards: If you’re pursuing a generous credit card sign-up bonus with a minimum spending requirement, it could make sense to pay rent with a credit card for a few months. However, when it comes to ongoing rewards, the extra fees you’ll pay to cover rent with a credit card almost always exceed the value of the rewards you’ll earn.
  • Convenience: Paying rent with a credit card can be convenient, especially if your landlord accepts credit card payments through an online portal. However, having that payment come directly from your bank account is just as easy, and it requires fewer fees (or none at all). If your landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments through an online portal, using another method like a third-party service might be less convenient in the end.
  • Your credit score: Using a credit card to make regular purchases and paying your bill on time and in full each month is a great way to build credit — but you’ll get the same benefits regardless of whether those purchases are rent, groceries, travel or anything else. Putting large expenses like rent on your credit card could raise your credit utilization ratio or increase the likelihood of missing payments or carrying a balance, both of which could hurt your score. If you want to build credit, services like Experian Boost let you report your rent payments to the credit bureau Experian without putting your rent payment on your credit card. 

Bottom line

You definitely can pay rent with a credit card if you’re willing to jump through enough hoops, but that doesn’t mean you should. Due to the added costs often involved in doing so, you’ll typically be better off paying rent with a check or an ACH transfer directly from your bank account.


As with any financial decision, weigh the pros and cons. Paying rent with a credit card might be worthwhile if you can earn enough rewards, but first calculate how much you’ll pay in fees. And only put rent on your credit card if you’re confident you can pay off the full balance before the due date. Otherwise you could easily rack up credit card debt and hefty interest charges.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.


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