Can apartment rent be paid with a credit card? If your rental community accepts it and your credit card company permits it, then yes; however, paying rent with a credit card is usually accompanied by higher processing fees generally paid for by you (the renter). Also, keep in mind: paying rent online with a credit card is different than with a debit card or paying online through your checking account (ACH) which generally has lower fees. Before jumping into paying rent with a credit card, consider these factors:
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Are you allowed to pay rent with a credit card?
This will depend on your real estate agent, landlord, or property manager. If they allow it and have the option to enable these types of payments, then the answer is yes. If you are not sure, you’ll need to contact them to find out because not everyone will offer this option. Check with your credit card company as well to make sure that is permitted as well as what your maximum amounts are.
What are the fees associated with credit card payments?
It’s important to understand that while some landlords and agents may allow credit card payments, this can cost you a little more because credit card companies have ‘payment processing fees’ that you will need to pay, which can range from 2.9% to 4%.
For example, if your rent is $1,500, then this could mean that you will need to shell out an additional payment of $60 every time you pay your rent. After one year, that is $720 or almost half a month’s rent, just in fees. On top of this, if your payment card is ever declined, there can also be non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees from the landlord and processing company which you will be responsible for.
What are the advantages of paying rent through your credit card?
Despite the higher fees associated with credit card payments, there are potentially some advantages to using them
- You can potentially build your credit rating if you pay your bills on time, every time.
- You can potentially get reward points and/or cash-back depending on the terms of your card.
- You can potentially pay back the cost in installments (subject to any penalties and interest the card may charge).
Though there may be some advantages of paying your rent via credit card, it is highly unlikely that such advantages will offset the cost associated with paying rent online via credit card in the first place. If you are paying a 3% processing fee and getting 1% cash back, it’s tough to argue there is a financial advantage to paying rent through a credit card. Everything is situation-specific so perhaps it works for you.
What to ask if you are considering credit card payments?
If you’re considering credit card payments permanently or temporarily to pay your rent, ask these questions –
- Confirm with the credit card company that this is okay?
- Confirm with credit card company the limits on your credit card so that you do not get the card declined when shopping elsewhere?
- Confirm with credit card company the penalties if payments are missed?
- Confirm with the landlord that they allow credit card payments?
- Ask the landlord if you can pay some months’ rent via credit card and some through other means?
- Ask the landlord what are the fees associated with the credit card?
- Ask the landlord what are the fees if my credit card is declined?
At the end of the day, the most common payment methods tend to be cash, check, or ACH online. Not everyone chooses to pay rent by credit card so it is not as common but there are options for some renters who prefer to pay that way. It never hurts to ask!