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Pay Rent With Credit Card in Canada

Updated: Mar 2


pay rent with Credit Card in Canada

Have you ever wondered if you could put your rent on your credit card?

You are already putting most of your other expenses on a credit card and getting rewards, so why not also put your most considerable monthly expense on it?


In this post, we will discuss how to use your credit to pay rent, when doing so makes sense, and when you should try to avoid it. Also, when discussing Chexy as a payment processor, we will introduce a hacky way to save hundreds of dollars in cashback per year by putting your rent on your credit card!


Table of contents:


Can you use a credit card to pay rent?


The short answer is yes, but there's a catch.


There are ways to pay rent with a credit card for Canadian residents. However, most landlords or property managers don't accept this method.

In these scenarios, a third-party bill payment service such as Chexy, Paytm, Plastiq, or RentMoola should be used. These services facilitate paying your rent using a credit card, even when your landlord does not directly accept such payment methods.


Keep in mind that there's often a fee associated with them but there's a way to come out net positive with the right credit card.


Cost of paying your rent with credit cards


Using a credit card to pay your rent will likely involve additional charges. You might be subject to credit card fees ranging from 1% to 2.5% when using a third-party payment service.


If your landlord accepts credit cards directly, that doesn't mean that there is no fee. Banks usually have a 3% transaction fee for these types of transactions. Double-check with your landlord and see who has to pay that fee. Most of the time, you will be the one who has to pay the fee.


As a rough guide, if your monthly rent is $1,000 and you opt to pay via a credit card, you could be faced with an extra charge of between $10 and $30.


Can you pay rent with credit card in Canada for free?


Regrettably, the reality is that using a credit card to pay rent is rarely without additional charges. Most third-party services impose a fee, and if your landlord accepts credit card payments directly, they may relay the transaction fee to you.


Is it worth it to pay your rent with credit card in Canada?

Now that we discussed what fees will happen when you use credit cards, let's see in which scenarios it makes sense to pay your rent with them.


1. Rewards outweigh the costs.

Let's imagine one of the third-party services reduces its fee to 2%, and your card rewards give 2.5% cashback on all your purchases. You can put the extra 0.5% in your pocket by putting your rent on your card.


You could use Finly's calculator to find the best credit card specifically for you and then make the comparison.


In short, When the reward rate of your card is higher than the fees for paying the rent, it makes sense to pay with your card. But as mentioned, finding such a deal is challenging. When discussing Chexy as a payment processor, we will introduce a few cards that you can potentially save hundreds of dollars each year by putting your rent on those cards.


2. Qualify for a signup bonus


Example of a Signup bonus offer
Example of a Signup bonus offer

Let's approach this with an example. You aim to qualify for a massive signup bonus of $1K for a card that requires $6K spent on the card in 3 months, but your expenses are only $1K monthly, meaning you will be $3K short.


By putting $3K of your rent on your credit card, you will pay approximately $90 in fees but now qualify for a $1K signup bonus.


In summary, if you are attempting to reach a minimum spend threshold for a credit card signup bonus or if your credit card offers rewards that outweigh the associated fees, then it will be worth it.


3. Emergency coverage

In a financial emergency where you're short on funds, a credit card can help.


BUT USE THIS WITH A LOT OF CAUTION!


Putting a considerable balance on your credit card and creating a larger credit card debt can create a huge monthly interest payment, which might put you in additional trouble, so you must have a solid plan to pay off the amount.


In these situations, it might also be worth talking with your landlord, informing them that you can make the payment right now and see if you can devise an alternative plan.


When should you not pay rent with your credit card?

Here are some scenarios where it makes sense to avoid paying your rent with your credit card.

  1. If you're considering using your credit card to defer a payment, it's best to reconsider. This approach can lead to a debt cycle that could be difficult to break.

  2. It's also not advisable if the associated fees outweigh the convenience.

  3. If you're trying to maintain a low credit utilization ratio to get a better credit score, paying rent with your credit card will increase your credit utilization rate.

  4. When the rewards you get are not significant. Setting up rent payments on your credit card requires many additional steps which might not be worth your time.

  5. You need a high credit score to have a credit card with enough limit to pay rent. Typically, Credit cards with a low credit score requirement have a very low limit, meaning you can't put the total amount of rent on them.


How do you put rent on a credit card?

There are two primary ways to pay rent with a credit card:

Directly paying the landlord if they accept credit card transactions or use a third-party service.


1. Chexy

Chexy landing page

Chexy is our recommended choice for rent payment with a credit card. The other services we recommend further down in the list aren't specifically designed for rental payments with credit cards, so you will have a much better experience with Chexy.


With Chexy, you can pay your rent using any major Canadian card, allowing you to earn rewards and build credit on your rent payments. Chexy charges rent from your card 4 days before it's due and sends an INTERAC e-Transfer to your landlord on the rent due date. The process remains the same for you, but now you can earn rewards and build credit on your rent.


It's important to check if your landlord would accept e-transfers instead of the usual cheques.


The charge for using your credit card for payment is 1.75%, which is very reasonable when compared to the other methods. One important feature of Chexy is Chexy's Credit Builder, where you can have your largest monthly expense (rent) contribute to building your credit for a monthly fee of $9.99.

A great thing about Chexy is that they recently partnered with a new payment processor to categorize rental payments as recurring payments on credit cards! This gives you an opportunity to get more rewards than what you pay in processing fees if you use a card with a very high base cashback rate or increased rewards on recurring payments.


How to gain hundreds of dollars per year in net cashback using Chexy


The math is simple. If you are paying 1.75% in fees and use a credit card that gives you much more in cashback, then you will be left with a net positive amount that you could pocket.


Using our reward calculator and only considering recurring transactions, there are two cards that are worth putting the time to pay the rent from.



Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

This card offers the highest cashback rate on recurring transactions across all credit cards in Canada, which is 4% up to $1000 in rewards and, afterwards, 1% on that category. So basically, you can put up to $25000 of your rent on this card and gain $1000 in cashback.


Once you hit that limit, it does not make sense to put the transactions on this card because you will be paying more in fees than you are earning rewards.


This card has a $120 annual fee, but the good news is that the fee is waived for the first year. Plus, if you sign up through our offer, you get an extra $105 in cash rebate.


Assuming you max out the $25,000 limit, your value for the first year would be:



That's a lot of value! Even without the rebate and the annual fee waived, you still would make around $400 in the following years using this strategy.


This card is also good for many other things. For example, for groceries, it also offers 4% in cashback so if you can't reach the $25,000 limit, you can fill out the rest with your grocery purchases.




Rogers Mastercard image

The Rogers Mastercard is another card that you gain net positive value if you pay your rent with it.


This card's reward rate is highly dependent on whether you have a qualifying Rogers, Fido or Shaw service. If you don't have one, I would not recommend going for this card because you will get very low rewards, but if you do, then it's a great option because you can earn 3% cashback on all your purchases if you use the cashback towards your Rogers, Fido or Shaw service payments.


Unlike the Scotia card, there is no annual fee, and in addition, there is no limit on the cashback you can earn. Also, this cashback is on all your purchases, making it one of the best cards in terms of rewards in Canada, which you could use for all your other purchases, too.


So, let's assume you put $30000 in rent on this card. You would earn $900 in cashback (%3) and pay $525 (%1.75) in fees, netting you $375. For the first year, you can also earn a $60 rebate if you apply through us, bumping your net value to $435 for the first year.


3. RentMoola

RentMoola, as the name suggests, caters to rent payments made with a credit card. It currently does not support mortgage payments. Fees may range from 0.99% to 3.99%, depending on the credit card used.


Always remember to weigh the associated fees and benefits before you pay your rent with a credit card.


4. Plastiq

Plastiq Logo

Plastiq is another trusted third-party bill payment service available in Canada. Plastiq allows you to pay your mortgage provider or landlord, charging a convenience fee of 2.85% or less for all types of credit cards. It can either directly transfer the payment or send a cheque as payment to the landlord.


We have a full guide dedicated to the steps here, which discusses the steps you need to take to pay rent with a credit card using Plastiq.


5. Paytm

Paytm Logo

Paytm is a popular third-party bill payment service that accepts all rent and mortgage payments.


Unfortunately, Paytm has stopped its operation in Canada, and it can no longer be used to make rent payments; therefore, the alternative methods below must be used instead.


6. Paying your rent or mortgage directly from your credit card

This option may be possible if your landlord or mortgage provider accepts credit card payments. However, this is typically rare due to the transaction fees banks charge. If your landlord does take this form of payment, you may find the transaction fee is passed onto you.


FAQ


How do Canadians pay their rent?

In Canada, there are various accepted methods of paying rent, such as cheques, electronic bank transfers, or sometimes cash. Some landlords may also accept debit or credit card payments.

Moreover, third-party services like Plastiq, RentMoola, and Get Digs to allow Canadian renters to use their credit cards for rent payments at their convenience. However, always inquire with your landlord about their preferred payment method, as not all methods may be acceptable.


Can I pay rent with an Amex credit card ?

Yes, you can use an American Express (Amex) credit card to pay rent if your landlord accepts them. If not, you can use a third-party service like Paytm to make the payment.


However, we recommend using Visa or Mastercard instead of American Express because the fees of paying rent with American Express are generally higher than those two.


Do you need credit to rent in Canada?

While many landlords and rental agencies in Canada require credit checks on potential tenants, not all rentals need one.


A strong credit score of 660 or above can give you an advantage. If you don't have a credit history because you are new to Canada, the landlord may ask for a guarantor, meaning a person who guarantees to make the rent payments in case you can't.


Is the Bilt credit card Available in Canada?

You might have heard that there is a credit card in the US called Bilt that you can use to pay your rent and earn rewards. Unfortunately, that card is not available in Canada yet, and the methods mentioned in this article must be used to pay rent.


Conclusion

It is possible to pay Rent With a Credit Card in Canada, but there is no free way of doing so. If the landlord accepts Credit card payments, then there is usually a bank fee of around 3%. If they don't, you have to use a third-party service to make the payments using your credit card, which also charges a fee of around 2-3%.


Therefore, we generally don't recommend doing this because, in addition to the fee, it can have a negative impact on your credit score because it increases your credit utilization rate. Also, it's not recommended to put the rent charge on your credit cards to differ the payments because the interest on the amount is very high on credit cards.


While keeping the drawbacks above in mind, The most likely scenario that rent payment with credit cards makes sense is when rent payments can be put on credit cards to qualify for a signup bonus when the signup bonus amount is higher than the fees associated with paying the rent with a credit card.


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