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The largest month-to-month expense for many households is the rent. The average rent in the United States is approximately $1,200 per month, so the usage of a credit card to make your rent payment may presumably theoretically mean getting a nice chunk of cash back or travel rewards each month.
Unfortunately, you typically can’t swipe your credit card to pay your rent, at least now not with out being charged a charge that offsets most if now not all of the value of any rewards you’d earn. But there are actually a few ways to use your credit card to pay your rent that make sense — one among these strategies doesn’t even charge a charge, whereas various alternatives have costs that can be price paying below some circumstances.
So establish your checkbook aside and take into account whether or now not you should pay your rent the usage of a credit card to earn rewards by the usage of one among these four strategies.
Bilt Mastercard is a relatively unusual no-annual-charge credit card with one main center of attention — it’s designed as a way to pay rent with out a charge. In fact, it’s at the second the suitable credit card that provides renters the alternative to pay for their largest month-to-month expense at no payment and tranquil earn rewards. Handiest of all, any landlord can be paid with a Bilt Mastercard, even though they don’t accept credit cards — and also for no charge.
The Bilt card was originally launched back in June, however the company impartial lately announced several changes to the way its card holders earn rewards. You’ll earn 3 substances for each dollar you employ on eating (including meals supply products and companies), 2 substances per dollar on travel when booked immediately with an airline, lodge, car rental or cruise company and 1 level per dollar on all various purchases, including up to $50,000 in rent payments per year.
Even better, for the primary 30 days that you’re a card holder, you’ll earn 2 substances for each dollar you employ in the non-bonus categories, which is double the normal amount. That is essentially the card’s signal-up bonus, as it doesn’t have a typical large welcome bonus for brand unusual card holders.
The one major caveat to the Bilt card is that you should have a minimum of 5 transactions per statement length in uncover to earn any rewards. So if you’re attempting to primarily use this card to pay your rent, you’ll need to make definite to swipe it at least a few various times for the duration of the month on additional purchases as successfully.
When it comes to redeeming Bilt substances (which are called Bilt Rewards), the easiest option is to use them toward your rent itself — 1 Bilt level is price 0.55 cents when redeemed that way. That may now not sound cherish a ton, however if you’re paying $1,200 per month in rent, it adds up to nearly $80 back in your pocket each year.
Or, if you’re planning to assume a home of your contain sooner or later, you can hang on to your Bilt substances for now and use them toward a down payment when you’re ready to make the purchase. You can potentially gain a lot extra value for your Bilt substances this way — up to 1.5 cents per level.
Nonetheless, if you want to use your substances now and you’re moving to discontinue a minute extra work, you can transfer your substances to any of Bilt’s 9 airline and lodge partners, which embody American Airlines, Air Canada, Air France/KLM, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership and the lodge chains IHG and Hyatt. Bilt substances transfer to all of these travel partners at a 1-to-1 ratio, meaning for each 1,000 Bilt substances you transfer, you’ll gain 1,000 substances or miles in the airline or lodge program.
Once you transfer substances to a travel partner, you’ll need to e-book your flight or lodge the usage of that partner’s award method, which means finding available award space and potentially being flexible with your travel dates. Nonetheless it also means you can gain outsized value for your substances, since it’s now not unusual to accept redemptions that are price as remarkable as 1.5 to 1.7 cents per level, and generally remarkable extra.
The Bilt Mastercard provides several various engaging advantages, such as cell cellular phone insurance, purchase safety, rental car insurance, day shuttle cancellation and delay coverage, up to $60 per year in Lyft credits, up to $120 per year in DoorDash credits and Mastercard World Elite Concierge products and companies.
Plus, the company also has its contain elite status program, with your status level based on the quantity of substances you earn in a calendar year. Here are the four Bilt elite status ranges with the perks you’ll have access to at each level and the quantity of substances you need to earn within a calendar year to gain status.
Of particular interest is the alternative to actually earn interest on your Bilt substances. For these with Silver, Gold or Platinum elite status, Bilt will pay interest in the gain of substances to a member’s Bilt Rewards account each month, based on their average daily substances balance for each 30-day length and the usage of the National Deposit Rate for savings revealed by the FDIC. You can learn extra about this and the various status advantages immediately on the Bilt Rewards web site.
Bilt at the second has a waiting list to gain its card, however applicants who use the code EABILT921 can be able to skip the waitlist and apply immediately. Prance to biltrewards.com/waitlist and enter your email and contact data to be part of the waitlist, then use the code when you’re triggered for an early access code. Reveal that this code is proscribed to the primary 100 applicants who use it, so you’ll need to lag rapid if you want a Bilt card now.
Plastiq is an on-line invoice payment web site that allows you to use a credit card to pay many various styles of merchants that typically don’t accept cards, such as rent. Whereas Plastiq is one among the least pricey invoice payment alternatives, unfortunately it’s now not free — and with a standard charge of 2.85%, many times it’s now not price the payment.
The ideally suited reason to use this service is that if you’re getting extra than 2.85% in value from the rewards you’re earning by the usage of a credit card, or if you’re attempting to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn a mountainous signal-up bonus on a card you impartial lately opened.
For example, one among our favorite travel credit cards for novices is the Chase Sapphire Most neatly-appreciated Card, which at the second has a relate-excessive 100,000-level bonus provide for brand unusual card holders. Nonetheless, to earn that bonus, you need to employ $4,000 on the card for the duration of the primary three months after opening the account.
Let’s say you typically employ around $950 a month on your credit card — after three months, you’ll have spent a total of $2,850 on your everyday purchases. But if your rent is $1,200, you can also pay one month’s rent via Plastiq to make it to the $4,000 total. Whereas you’ll employ $34 in costs to make that payment, the 100,000 substances you’ll earn from the signal-up bonus are price at least $1,250 toward travel.
There are also instances the place it can make sense to use Plastiq on a card you already have. The Leer It® Miles card earns 1.5% cash back on every little thing you assume, however your rewards are doubled at the discontinue of the primary year you have the card. This means you’re earning 3% cash back on all purchases, including rent paid via Plastiq — a 0.15% gain over the costs you’d pay. Again, it doesn’t sound cherish remarkable, however over the direction of a year, it may presumably add up to a whole lot of dollars relying on your rent.
Or take into account our benchmark credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card. It earns 2% cash back on every little thing you assume — 1% when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay it off. Whereas that’s successfully beneath the costs you’d pay for the usage of Plastiq, there’s a way to increase the value of your rewards.
If you also have a Citi Premier® Card, you can convert your Double Cash rewards to Citi ThankYou substances and then transfer them to any of Citi’s 16 airline partners. And when you redeem Citi substances this way, you can gain a lot extra value for them than you would by suitable taking cash back. In fact, frequent flyer web web site The Parts Man values Citi ThankYou substances at 1.7 cents apiece, which means you’d successfully be earning a 3.4% return on your rent purchase when the usage of the Citi Double Cash card — which beats the 2.85% Plastiq charge by a decent amount.
You can use a credit card if you pay your landlord the usage of Venmo, however you’ll pay a substantial charge.
Venmo is a popular charge-free app for sending money to chums, and many landlords already accept rent payments via Venmo. But instead of having Venmo withdraw money from your bank account when you ship it, you also have the option to use a credit or debit card. The bad information is that Venmo charges a 3% charge for the usage of a credit card, making it an remarkable costlier option than Plastiq.
Nonetheless, there’s actually no charge for the usage of a debit card on Venmo, and whereas most debit cards don’t provide remarkable when it comes to rewards, there are a few that earn small amounts of cash back, such as the Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card from SunTrust bank and the Leer Cashback Debit card.
So if you have a debit card, that is the suitable alternative to gape into its rewards program to stare if you’ll earn anything in return for paying your rent with the card.
This may sound cherish an evident option, however some apartment structures or complexes speed by large management companies allow you to pay your month-to-month rent immediately by the usage of a credit card. Nonetheless, it’s important to take a look at if your landlord charges a charge for this service. If there’s no charge, then you’re in industry, however if there is a charge, you’ll want to calculate whether or now not the rewards you’ll earn from the usage of the card are price extra than what you’re being charged.
Also, since “rent” isn’t a typical bonus category on most credit cards, you’ll want to use a card that earns a excessive return on everyday purchases. This makes credit cards such as the Citi Double Cash, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One® Project® Rewards Credit Card your handiest alternatives.
Discover which cards CNN Underscored chose as our handiest credit cards of 2021.