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With rent prices (among many other things) on the rise, you may be looking for ways to make smarter moves with your money. One way to maximize the money you spend on rent is to pay with a credit card. Below are the best ways to pay rent with a rewards credit card to get more bang for your buck.
Why Pay Rent with a Rewards Credit Card?
Paying rent with a rewards credit card is an easy way to earn rewards quickly. Rent payments are one of the biggest monthly expenses, which makes them ideal for racking up rewards. Even if it only adds up to $100 a year in rewards, that's more than $8 per month. Which is about the cost of a subscription streaming service these days.
For example, let's say you have a credit card where you earn 1 point per dollar on any purchase you make. If you pay $1,400 per month for your rent, the rewards can add up to at least 16,800 points per year. Those points can be worth more than $100 in travel credits, or at least a one-way flight on most airlines.
Paying your rent with a credit card can also help improve your credit score. Your rent normally falls within your monthly budget by necessity. So, it's easy to pay your balance off in full each month since you already have the money available. When you pay your credit card off every month, you show responsible borrowing habits. The reward for responsible borrowers is a higher credit score as long as you never miss a payment.
Now let's explore some of the best ways to pay rent with a rewards credit card. The options below range from regular credit card points, to cashback, to helping you with a down payment on a mortgage. Let's dive in.
Best Ways to Pay Rent with a Rewards Credit Card
Bilt World Elite Mastercard®
Bilt is a rewards and credit card program that allows you to earn points on rent and other purchases. If your property is part of the Bilt Rewards Alliance, you can sign up with Bilt and start earning. The Rewards Alliance is a group of pre-approved rental properties across the countries that let you pay rent through Bilt and earn points. For every qualifying monthly rent payment, you can earn a maximum of 250 points per month. You can find the list of in-network properties in the Bilt app, or you can ask your property manager if they are part of the Rewards Alliance.
To earn even more points with Bilt, or if you don’t live in a qualifying Rewards Alliance property, you can sign up for the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®. There’s no annual fee, and you can earn one point per dollar on rent payments (up to 50,000 points each year), two points per dollar on travel, and three points per dollar on dining and grocery purchases. To qualify for the rewards, you must make five transactions that post each statement period, otherwise, your rent payment will default to the 250 points.
Is there a transaction fee or any fees?
There are no fees when you use either your Bilt World Elite Mastercard® or your Bilt Alliance account as long as your landlord or rental property accepts online payments.
How can you redeem Bilt rewards?
You can redeem your Bilt points on travel, rent, fitness, or even for a downpayment on a mortgage loan. Your travel rewards can be redeemed directly from Bilt’s site (they cite that 10,000 points can get you $125 worth of travel credits), or you can transfer them to a number of different airlines or hotels.
To redeem for fitness expenses at places like Rumble, SoulCycle, and Solidcore, you can use your app as well. You can also pay rent with your accumulated points by signing into the portal. You can find a full list of all the ways to redeem your points, including saving them for a downpayment on a home here.
What are the full benefits of the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®?
Besides the rewards, the card has no annual fee, which is a big benefit for any credit card. The APR ranges between 21.49%, 24.49%, or 29.49, so you want to make sure you’re limiting the balance you carry month to month. Better yet, pay your balance in full every month to avoid paying interest. The card is offered by Wells Fargo and comes with other perks like no foreign transaction fees and cell phone protection.
Can you transfer Bilt rewards?
You can transfer your Bilt rewards to Bilt's travel partners, listed on their site or in the Bilt app, but not to other individuals.
How can you maximize your Bilt rewards?
Maximize your Bilt rewards by:
- Using the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® instead of just the Alliance Network
- Making sure you hit the five transaction minimum every month
- Using your credit card to shop for groceries, travel, and dining (only as much as you can afford)
Are there any downsides to Bilt?
The biggest downside to using Bilt to pay rent is the high interest rate, so you have to be extra diligent about paying off your balance each month. Because rent is usually a large monthly expense, getting behind on paying every month can add up very quickly, and you don’t want to be paying 20% interest on a $1,000+ dollars every month.
What credit score do you need to get a Bilt card?
Wells Fargo usually considers good to excellent credit for their credit cards, which ranges from the high 600’s to the 800’s.
Based on data we’ve collected from public forums, a credit score of 700 or higher is ideal for the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®. We have seen an approval with a score as low as 653, but keep in mind that credit card issuers consider more than just your credit score when evaluating a credit card application.
The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.
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Other Ways to Pay Rent with a Credit Card
Plastiq is a platform designed to help small businesses scale by filling gaps in cash flow. But you can also use it to pay rent with a credit card. To pay with Plastiq you'll create an account, fill in your landlord (or recipient) information, and enter the information for the credit card you’d like to pay with. It’s not limited to rent either – you can pay your mortgage, auto loans or leases, tuition, and more.
Plastiq has an easy process, but it’s not free. They charge a 2.9% fee for each transaction, which is likely to counter or at least diminish the benefit of the rewards you might reap. This may be worth it if the card you are using yields a lot of points per dollar. For example, if your rent is $1,400 per month, that’s a $42 dollar fee. But if you’re earning three or five points per dollar, that’s 4,200 – 7,000 points per month. That means for a $504 per year fee, you’re racking up 50,400 – 84,000 points.
Apple Pay is a platform on Apple devices that allows you to upload your own credit or debit cards and pay easily at most retail locations and online. If you have an Apple Credit Card, it is automatically uploaded into Apple Pay, and transactions and payments are managed through the Wallet app on your Apple device.
In order to use Apple Pay to pay your rent, your landlord must have an Apple Pay account as well, or they must have another business merchant account that can accept online payments. Depending on which account they use, you may be charged an extra fee. If you are paying directly to your landlord’s personal Apple Pay Account, there is no fee, but they may choose to charge you extra, so it’s worth having a discussion.
If you use Apple Pay, you may also consider using the Apple Card as you can earn elevated rewards (2% cash back) on purchases when you use your Apple Card with Apple Pay. It's a solid cashback card and unique in that your cash accumulates daily. There are no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no late fees, and APR varies between 19.24% to 29.49% depending on creditworthiness. One downside of paying via Apple Pay would be that you can’t automate monthly payments, so you’ll have to remember to initiate one each month.
Can you pay your mortgage with Bilt?
You can’t pay your mortgage with Bilt, but you can work towards putting a down payment toward a home purchase.
Is paying rent with a credit card considered a cash advance?
Paying rent with a credit card is different than a cash advance. When you get a cash advance you are essentially trading your credit card balance for cash. When you pay rent with a credit card, there is no cash involved until you pay the credit card balance. Plus, you usually can’t earn rewards on cash advances.
Can paying rent with a credit card increase your credit score?
In addition to reaping the rewards, paying rent with a credit card can improve your credit score if you pay the balance every month, which you should be able to do if you have already been paying rent on time. It’s a great way to demonstrate that you can spend responsibly with a credit card.
Paying rent with a credit card is a good way to maximize credit card rewards. Bilt is by far the best option on the list. Bilt rewards you the most, out of all the options, for paying rent and can help you on the path to homeownership by allowing your rewards to count toward a down payment.