Updated: Aug 31
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.
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 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.
BE WARNED THOUGH!
They often add a hefty fee to your rent.
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 that 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. Qualify for a signup bonus
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.
2. Rewards outweigh the costs.
Let's imagine one of the third-party services reduces its fee to 2%, and your card rewards gives 2.5% cashback on all your purchases. You can put the extra 0.5% in your pocket by putting your rent on your card.
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.
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 you should not pay rent with your credit card?
Here are some scenarios where it makes sense to avoid paying your rent with your credit card.
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.
It's also not advisable if the associated fees outweigh the convenience.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the details of a few websites to pay rent with credit card:
1. 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.
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.
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.
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 landlord.
We have a full guide dedicated to the steps here which discussed the step you need to take to make your rent payment with a credit card using Plastiq.
Paytm was 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.
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 a credit card Amex?
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. In case you don't have a credit history because you are new to Canada, the landlord may ask for a guarantor, meaning a person that guarantees to make the rent payments in case you can't make the payments.
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 pay your rent with 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.
It is possible to pay Rent With 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 charge of the rent 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.