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Paying Rent With a Credit Card: Can and Should You Do It?

Guide to Paying Rent With a Credit Card
Jason Steele
Jason SteeleUpdated March 25, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you pay rent, you may have wondered: ‘Can you pay rent with a credit card?’ Perhaps you want to take advantage of earning credit card rewards on your rent payment, which is one of most people’s largest budget items. Or, maybe you need extra time to pay off your rent over a few months. While you can pay rent with a credit card, it’s not always easy, and it’s rarely free. Read on to learn the pros and cons of paying rent with a credit card, as well as how to do it.

Can You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?

It is possible to pay your rent with a credit card. Doing so may take a few extra steps though.Most — but not all — landlords do not accept credit cards as a form of payment due to credit card fees. However, there are third-party services that can allow you to pay your rent with a credit card, but they will charge you a fee.You’ll need to weigh the costs and benefits and make sure you fully understand how credit card payments work to decide if it makes sense in your situation to pay your rent with a credit card. While it could save you in a pinch, it’s not necessarily going to help you long-term, like tackling debt through credit card consolidation would, for instance. 

How to Pay Rent With a Credit Card

If you want to pay your rent with a credit card, you can do so through your landlord’s system if they accept credit cards. If your landlord does not accept credit card payments, you’ll need to pay through a third-party system. One option to consider if you’d like to be able to pay rent with a credit card is the Bilt Rewards Mastercard, which makes payments directly to landlords without incurring a fee. Bilt does this through a special arrangement with Mastercard and many large property management companies. And even if you aren’t renting from one of the property management companies they’re partnered with, Bilt will actually mail the landlord a check. Either way, you won’t incur any fees on paying rent with your credit card with this option.

Paying Through Your Landlord’s System

Some large property management companies may accept credit cards as a form of rent payment. Landlords who accept direct credit card payments have to pay merchant processing fees in order to do so, given how credit cards operate.Due to these fees, landlords will often pass those merchant processing fees onto the renters, on top of their rent. The convenience fee for paying rent with a credit card can range from 2.5% to nearly 3% of the rent payment amount. 

Paying Through a Third-Party System

If your landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments directly, you’ll need to use a third-party system to make the payment. There are various third-party systems that will accept and process rent payments by credit card. Do your research on the options to compare the pros and cons of each.If you pay rent through a third party system, always review your credit card statement to make sure that the amount charged was correct and that your payment went through. 

Pros and Cons of Paying Rent With A Credit Card

If you’re thinking about paying your rent with a credit card, you should weigh the pros and cons to decide if it makes sense for you. Also consider your own financial situation and what type of credit card you have. For instance, if you have a top rewards credit card, then paying rent with your card could pay off. On the other hand, if you have a secured credit card because you’ve struggled with credit in the past, you may want to consider whether putting rent on your card is a smart move.

What Happens to Your Credit When You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?

Paying rent with a credit card can affect your credit score, depending on a few factors. This includes how much your rent is, how high of a credit limit you have, and whether you pay off the balance before it is due. Depending on these factors, paying rent with a credit card could either harm or help improve your credit score.

Will Paying Rent Through a Credit Card Affect Your Credit Score?

If your rent is a large enough percentage of your credit limit, your credit utilization ratio will increase. Your credit utilization ratio — an important credit card term to know — is how much credit you use compared to how much you have available, and it’s an important aspect of determining your credit score. So, if your rent is more than 30% of your credit limit — the percentage recommended by experts — then putting your rent on your credit card could negatively affect your credit score. Even if your rent is less than 30% of your credit limit, if you put other charges on your card, you may easily push your credit utilization ratio above 30% in a month.

Need a Credit Card to Pay Your Rent? Compare Offers With Lantern

It is possible to pay rent with your credit card, but whether you should depends on how the pros and cons stack up in your financial situation. For example, if you could earn lucrative rewards that could offset the processing fee you’ll incur, and you won’t drive up your credit utilization, it could be worth considering. Just make sure you can pay off your balance before putting your rent on your credit card — otherwise, you’ll end up paying interest on top of your steep rent.If you want to pay your rent with a credit card, but are looking for a new one, compare credit card offers with Lantern by SoFi. We make it easy to see what options you might qualify for based on your credit.
Photo credit: iStock/Moyo Studio
*To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website on credit (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/credit-and-loans)SOLC1221099

Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards and award travel since 2008. One of the nation's leading experts in this field, he has contributed to dozens of personal finance and travel outlets and has been widely quoted in the mainstream media.
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