This post is was originally published on The College Investor
If you’ve cashed in on the rewards provided with credit card points, no doubt you look for every way possible to pay for every single expense with a credit card. That’s why we’re thinking about how you can pay rent with a credit card.
When using your credit card as your debit card, you rack up a lot of points for expenses you have to make anyway. Things such as gas, groceries and dining out could be paid with a credit card and your rewards just pile up!
Well that’s fine and dandy, but what about your larger expenses, such as rent? Being able to pay larger expenses with a credit card would definitely give your points balance a boost!
Most landlords don’t accept credit cards as a form of payment, so that pretty much throws that idea out the window right? Not so fast! There is a workaround to being able to pay bills with a credit card, that normally do not accept credit cards as payment.
How To Pay Rent With A Credit Card
Many companies have come and gone that allow you to use credit cards to pay bills, but not all have withstood the test of time. Plastiq is a popular site that allows you to pay just about any bill with your credit card, for a fee.
Using Plastiq is easy. Just set up an account, enter your bill recipient’s information and pay them via Plastiq. Plastiq then sends them a check for the amount you requested. This opens up a whole new list of opportunities to earn more points. You’re able to pay bills such as your rent, mortgage, taxes, tuition, utilities, insurance, contractors and the list goes on and on. As you can see, your point earning ability has grown exponentially.
Plastiq accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover for bill payments. There are some restrictions when paying mortgages where you’re not allowed to pay with Visa or American Express. If you’re paying rent though, you should be ok with whatever your preferred card is.
One downside to be aware of are the fees associated with Plastiq. The standard credit card fee is 2.5% of your total payment. If paying your rent this could be a substantial fee. However, there are a few ways to reduce or eliminate the fees. Plastiq will often times run promotions to lower your fees when paying bills in certain categories. Taking advantage of these promotions can significantly reduce the fees you pay.
Not paying a fee seems more exciting to me and there is a way to achieve this. Plastiq has a generous referral program to where you and the person you refer could earn “Fee Free Dollars”. The amount of Fee Free Dollars you earn has changed over time for each referral, but the more people you refer, the more Fee Free Dollars you earn to pay your bills for “free”.
What To Consider When Choosing A Credit Card
Here’s where it gets interesting. The card you choose to pay your bills ultimately depends on you and your future goals with your credit card rewards. Some people prefer travel rewards while others prefer cash back.
Regardless of which points you collect, there are a couple of things to consider. Both of these things go hand in hand when making your decision. One thing to consider is if the points you earn will offset the fees from Plastiq. If you don’t pay fees on your bill payment then it’s a no-brainer, but if you pay a full or reduced fee, make sure to crunch the numbers to make sure that you’re coming out ahead.
Another thing to think about is how many points will you earn with your rent payment? Depending on your card’s earning structure, you could earn multiple points per dollar spent. Some cards offer a flat rate of points earned on each dollar spent, while other cards offer bonus categories where you could earn more than the base rate per dollar spent. The more points you earn helps offset those fees!
My Picks For Best Cards To Use To Pay Rent
With that said, here are a few cards that I like when paying bills on Plastiq. First is the American Express Blue Business Plus card. This card earns 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar in all categories on your first $50,000 spent per year. That is an excellent earning rate on a credit card with no annual fee. If you pay rent for your small business, this is a great way to amass a lot of Membership Rewards points. As mentioned in a previous article, Membership Rewards points are extremely valuable and can save you tons of money on travel. Learn more about this card here.
Another strong contender that could earn you a lot of miles is the Discover IT Miles card. This card has an earning rate of 1.5 miles per dollar. The miles earned on this card could be used to erase travel expenses made on the card. This card has no annual fee and Discover will match all of your miles earned at the end of your first year of card ownership. You’re practically getting 3 miles per dollar spent in year one! As an added bonus you get up to $30 in WiFi credits per anniversary year. For not having an annual fee, this card packs quite a punch! Learn more about this card here.
If cashback is more your thing, then I’d definitely go with the Citi Double Cash card. This is another no annual fee card that has a great earning rate. You earn 1% cash back on all of your spending, plus you earn another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases in full. Being the responsible spenders that you are, this is essentially a 2% cash back card!
Being responsible with your spending doesn’t have to be such a bore. You can benefit greatly with credit card rewards all while staying within your budget. Making all of your purchases with credit cards, even those bills that traditionally haven’t allowed you to pay with a credit card, allows you to earn many more points than before. So, what are you going to do with your increase in credit card rewards?