Can You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?

Is it Really the Best Idea?

Man making online payment with credit card
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Paying your rent in full and on time is the primary obligation of anyone who rents out property. There is some flexibility as to the method you choose to make this payment. Learn if a tenant can pay rent with a credit card, as well as the advantages and risks of this payment method.

Find Out What Forms of Payment Your Landlord Accepts

Not all landlords allow their tenants to pay rent with a credit card. Many landlords prefer cash, money orders or cashier’s checks. Contact your landlord to determine if a credit card is a viable payment option for you.

Will It Get There on Time?

When you hand your landlord cash, a money order or a certified check, you know that your rent is being paid on time. When you rely on a third party to make this payment, your rent could be late due to endless factors, such as incorrect credit card information, incorrect landlord contact information or additional processing time. If your provider sends a physical check to the landlord, it can take up to a week for the landlord to receive the payment after you submit an online payment with your credit card.

Online Payment Options to Consider

If your landlord is willing to accept credit card payment, there are several options to consider.

Direct to Landlord

There is the rare situation where a landlord will accept credit card payments directly. It does not hurt to ask and you may even avoid paying a processing fee.


3rd Party Options

  • Credit Card- 3% Processing Fee
  • Debit Card- Free
  • Payment- Direct to Landlord Through Venmo
  • Credit Card-2.5% Processing Fee
  • Debit Card- 1% Processing Fee
  • Payment- Check will arrive within 8 business days, Wire Transfer or ACH Transfer
  • Automatic Payments- Yes
  • Credit Card-2.99% Processing Fee
  • Debit Card- 2.99% Processing Fee
  • Payment- Direct Deposit to Landlord
  • Automatic Payments- Yes
  • Split Rent With Roommates- Yes
  • Credit Card- 2.99% Processing Fee
  • Debit Card- $4.95 under $5,000. $9.95 on $5,000 or more.
  • Payment- Mail check to landlord three days before rent is due.
  • Split Rent With Roommates- Yes
  • Credit Card-2.99% Processing Fee
  • Debit- $3.99
  • Payment- Direct Deposit to Landlord
  • Automatic Payments- Yes

Pros and Cons of Paying Rent With Credit Card

What We Like

  • Helps build credit history and improve your credit score.

  • Increases liquidity to pay rent on time if you don't have cash on hand.

  • Helps accumulate reward points on the card.

  • Helps meet the required spending amount to earn sign-up bonus.

  • You may be able to automate monthly payments.

What We Don't Like

  • Credit card companies will charge fees between 2.5% and 3%.

  • You may have to pay heavy interest if the rent increases your balance.

  • Increased credit utilization will negatively impact your score.

  • You may miss a payment if the card expires or you exceed your credit limit.

Pros of Paying Rent With Credit Card

  • Build Credit- Using your credit card to pay your rent can help build credit history for those who do not have other monthly loan payments, such as a mortgage. To improve your credit, make sure your payment is on time each month and you carry no, or a very low, balance on your card.
  • Flexibility if You Don’t Have Cash on Hand- Paying your rent with a credit card can allow you to pay your rent on time if you would not otherwise have the liquidity to make the payment. While it is reasonable to do this once in a while, you can quickly get into trouble if you begin using your credit card to meet financial obligations that you are not able to pay in full on the date they are due.
  • Rewards Points- When you use a credit card for a purchase, you accumulate points on the card. Depending on the card, you can use these points for travel, gift cards, or even cash.
  • Sign Up Bonuses for New Cards- When you open a new credit card, many companies will offer you a large reward bonus if you spend a certain amount within a certain time period. CapitalOne’s Savor Card offers a $500 bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Similarly, the Propel Card, by WellsFargo, offers 30,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card. In these situations, even if you only use your credit card to pay your rent until you meet the required spending amount, paying with a credit card can even help you make some money.
  • Automate Payments- Many online services allow you to set up automatic payments, so you do not have to worry about missing a rent due date.

Cons of Paying Rent With Credit Card

  • Additional Fees- The companies that allow you to pay your rent with a credit card will do so for a fee. This is usually between 2.5% and 3% of the rent amount.
  • Interest Rates- Most credit cards offer a 0% APR for the first year after opening a new card. After that first year, interest rates skyrocket, with a national average APR of 17.55%.
  • Interest rates fluctuate wildly, based on factors such as credit score and amount of time you have been a cardholder.
  • If you carry a balance on your credit card, you will be paying a significant amount of money in interest.
  • Therefore, if you pay your rent using your credit card and do not pay the balance in full at the end of the month, you have essentially increased your monthly rent because you will be paying the original rent amount plus this additional amount in interest. 
  • Increase Credit Utilization- A rent payment is a significant amount of money. You generally want to keep any balance on your credit card below 30% of your credit limit so that you do not negatively impact your credit score. 
  • Issues With Expiration- If you set up automatic payment using a credit card, you may be unaware that the card has expired until you receive notice of a missed payment.
  • Exceed Credit Limit- You may schedule a rent payment on your credit card, but will not be aware that you are over your limit until you receive notice, and at this point, your rent may be late.