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Some landlords/property management companies let tenants pay rent with credit cards. Even if your landlord accepts credit card payments, opting for this method may incur extra fees. So it’s best to determine how much you’ll pay in fees in advance.
Using a third-party service provider to pay your rent with a credit card is possible. However, this also comes at a cost. In addition, using your credit card to make large transactions might hurt your credit score.
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Some third-party payment service providers let you pay your rent with credit cards.
Paying your rent with a credit card may require you to pay a fee of up to 3.5% of the total amount.
Using a credit card to pay your rent may affect your credit score, for better or worse.
How to Pay Rent With a Credit Card
There are a few ways you may be able to use your credit card to pay your rent. The process you need to follow varies depending on the method you choose. You will, in all likelihood, need to pay fees.
Pay Directly to the Landlord
If your landlord or property manager lets you pay rent with a credit card, there’s a good chance you’ll need to pay an extra fee. This is the processing fee credit card companies charge merchants when processing payments.
Not wanting the burden of the extra cost, landlords/property managers typically pass this on to renters who make credit card payments. This fee usually varies from 1.3% to 3.5%. Whether you may pay rent with your credit card online depends on your landlord/property manager.
Pay Via Third-Party Payment Services
Several third-party payment service providers give you the ability to pay your rent with a credit card by using their websites or apps. Using these companies as intermediaries allows you to earn credit card rewards on your rent payments.
However, generally need to pay a service fee for paying rent online, often from 2% to 3.5% of the rent amount.
In addition, you should consider the effect putting your full rent payment on your card will have on your credit card utilization. Can you keep the amount you owe far lower than your credit limit?
3rd Party Payment Gateway
Charges and Fees
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Using the right credit card to pay rent can help you earn cash back/rewards or qualify for a spend-based welcome bonus.
For instance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card lets you earn 1.5% cash back on rent payments, and it comes with a welcome bonus.
The Bilt Mastercard, on the other hand, offers 1X points per dollar on rent payments (up to 50,000 points every year) and waives the usual transaction fee.
How to Pay Rent With PayPal
If your landlord or property manager is willing to accept rent payments via PayPal, you may use a credit card to send the money through.
However, paying your rent with PayPal requires you to shell out 2.9% of the rent amount plus $0.30 as fees. Consequently, this method is recommended only as a one-time arrangement and only if you don’t have the required funds on hand.
Bear in mind that real estate transactions, rent payments included, don’t fall under the purview of PayPal's Buyer Protection Policy.
Log in to the PayPal app or website.
Link your credit card to your PayPal account.
Use the Pay option to initiate the payment.
Enter the recipient’s details.
Select the linked card.
Make the payment.
How to Pay Rent With Venmo
Using Venmo to pay rent is possible. However, each transaction comes with a 3% fee.
Like PayPal, rent payments don’t qualify for Venmo’s purchase protection. Given the fee you need to pay, regularly using Venmo for rent payments might not be in your best interest.
Log in to the Venmo app.
Under Payment Methods, add your credit card details.
Select the Payment option.
Select a contact from your existing list or add a new contact.
Add the payment amount.
Confirm your payment.
How to Pay Rent Via PayRent
PayRent is an online service designed for landlords, so your landlord or property manager needs to be registered with this platform for you to be able to make your rent payments. Landlords can choose from a fee-free plan and two other options.
If you use a credit card to pay rent through this platform, you need to pay 3.5% of the rent amount plus $0.30 as fees. Consequently, this is a method you might want to avoid. That said, PayRent might work well for people trying to build their creditworthiness because it reports rent payments to credit bureaus.
Log in to the PayRent website.
Accept the invite from your landlord to connect to your property.
Select Wallet to add a payment method.
Add your credit card details.
Select the Pay button.
Enter the amount and select the payment method.
Make the payment instantly or schedule it for later.
How to Pay Rent With RentDrop
RentDrop lets you make rent payments using credit cards (and accepts other payment methods too). Your landlord will then receive the money via check or ACH.
Even so, credit card payments come with a 3.4% transaction fee.
And while you can request RentDrop to report your payments to credit bureaus, each payment it reports comes with a $5 fee.
Log in to the RentDrop app.
Initiate a One Time RentDrop.
Enter the amount you wish to pay.
Enter your landlord’s details.
Select the payment method.
Add your credit card details.
Confirm the payment details.
How to Pay Rent With Plastiq
Plastiq allows you to pay your rent using a credit card, and you can choose between sending it to your landlord via a bank transfer or a paper check. It charges a 2.85% fee.
But this platform lets you offset the fees you need to pay by using Fee-Free Dollars (FFDs), which you can earn through its referral program.
Using Plastiq to pay your rent regularly might not be in your best interest given the fee it charges. However, you may consider using it occasionally, like when you’re traveling overseas or need to earn a spend-based welcome bonus on a new credit card.
Log in to the Plastiq website.
Select Wallet to add your credit card details.
Select Pay Using This Card.
Add the recipient’s details.
Choose how you want Plastiq to send the payment.
Enter the payment amount.
Confirm the payment details.
How to Pay Rent With RentMoola
RentMoola lets you make rent payments with credit cards. However, you need to pay 2.99% of the rent amount as fees every time.
One distinguishing feature of RentMoola is that it gives you access to an interest-free line of credit to cover your rent payment in case of an emergency. Members also get access to deals from popular businesses through MoolaPerks.
Log in to the RentMoola website.
Set up your property.
Under Payments, add your credit card details.
Select Make a One Time Payment.
Choose the payment method.
Add a Charge by selecting the right type.
Review the payment details.
How to Pay Rent With PlacePay
The fee you need to pay when using PlacePay to pay rent with a credit card depends on your landlord's settings. While some cover the service fees incurred when you make a credit card payment, others require that you pay it on your own. If you have to pay this fee, it is 2.99% of each rent payment. Setting up automatic payments is possible.
Sign up using the email sent by your landlord or property manager.
Log in to the PlacePay website or app.
Add your credit card details.
Make a one-time payment or set up auto-pay.
How to Pay Rent With LevelCredit
While LevelCredit does not let you pay your rent with a credit card, it helps you build your credit score by reporting rent, utility and cell phone payments to credit bureaus. The optional LookBack plan lets you add payments from the preceding two years. To get started, you need to link your bank account and identify the payments in question.
You may continue making your rent, utility and cell phone payments using direct deposits, a property manager’s website, PayPal, Zelle or Venmo.
Log in to the LevelCredit website.
Add your bank account details.
Identify the payments you want LevelCredit to report.
Upon verification, LevelCredit sends the payment information to credit bureaus.
How to Pay Rent With Zelle
A beta project currently run by Zelle gives you the ability to pay your rent online if your landlord or property manager uses Schedule My Rent, a rental management software. This method lets you make rent payments without entering your bank account or card details each time.
Link your bank account with Zelle.
Receive a pending request notification from your bank/credit union.
Confirm the request through your bank’s online banking platform/app.
Paying your rent via check or other traditional methods doesn't usually affect your credit score or credit limit — well, unless something goes wrong! But, paying rent with a credit card and paying off that credit card every month could show you're a responsible card user. In turn, this may encourage credit card companies to increase your limits.
— Sarah Mattie, contributing expert for MoneyGeek
Pros and Cons of Paying Rent With a Credit Card
Paying rent with credit cards comes with its share of possible advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand both before making a decision.
Paying Rent With a Credit Card
- Payments typically go through on the same day
- Paying your credit card balance in full each month can help improve your credit score
- May earn rewards/cash back to offset the fee you need to pay completely or partially
- Might be able to set up automatic payments
- Usually need to pay processing fees
- Can lead to a high credit utilization ratio and have a negative effect on your credit score
- Not paying your credit card balance in full each month may lead to high interest charges
Why Pay Rent With a Credit Card?
One of the main benefits of paying rent with a credit card is that you get to earn rewards or cash back.
For example, the no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash Card lets you earn 2% cash back on all purchases. If you have a new credit card that requires you to spend a minimum amount to earn a welcome bonus, using it to pay your rent might help serve the purpose. However, you need to determine if the benefit of using a credit card to pay your rent outweighs the cost.
Our experts have selected the top credit cards you can use to pay rent based on factors such as rewards, welcome bonuses and annual fees.
Should I Pay Rent With a Credit Card?
If you plan to pay rent with a credit card, it's important to determine what you might stand to gain or lose. Let's say you use a credit card to make a $2,000 rent payment and earn 2% cash back. That amounts to $40. However, you pay a 3% fee to make the payment, which is $60. In this case, the math does not work in your favor.
If you, on the other hand, earn a $200 welcome bonus through your credit card for making the same payment, you stand to come out on top, provided you pay the entire balance off before it starts accruing interest.
Using a credit card to pay rent might be worth your while despite the fee you need to pay if you are trying to improve your credit score. But in this case, too, it's best to try and pay off your balances in full each month — especially since a high credit utilization ratio may harm your credit score further. You'll also need to pay interest charges on outstanding balances.
Paying your rent with a credit card if you're strapped for cash might not be a good idea because there's no telling when you might get enough money to repay your debt. And in the meantime, the outstanding balance will keep accruing interest charges. Carrying that balance may also hurt your credit score. Opting to charge your rent payment on your card is also not recommended if you've struggled with credit card debt in the past or have problems sticking to budgets.
How Paying Rent Affects Credit Score
If the country’s top three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) receive information about your rent payments, they include the same in your credit report. That, in turn, affects your credit score. Consequently, people with no or poor credit history may benefit by getting their rent payments reflected on their credit reports.
Experian Boost allows you to get credit for payments made toward rent, utilities and online streaming services. This service comes at no cost. Some service providers report rent and other payments to credit bureaus for a fee. Examples include PayRent, RentDrop and LevelCredit.
Using a credit card to pay rent might hurt your credit score if it leads causes your debt to credit limit ratio to narrow too much.
Consider this: you have just one credit card with a credit limit of $3,000, and you use it to make a $1,500 rent payment. If you don’t pay off the amount before the next billing date, it finds a mention in your credit report. In this case, your credit utilization ratio stands at $50%. From the credit score point of view, this number should be 30% or lower.
Other Questions You May Have About Rewards Cards
Looking at answers to other commonly asked questions about how to pay rent with credit cards and other related aspects can help you determine which path to take.
Now that you know whether you can pay rent with a credit card, determine if doing so might work for you.
If you decide to move forward and are looking for a new credit card to serve the purpose, consider looking at what different types of cards have to offer. These include cash back cards, travel cards, balance transfer cards as well as cards for people with average credit.
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About Rajiv Baniwal
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