I recently moved to a new apartment and when I first got set up I paid my rent with a check because I was told that credit card payments were not available. I poked around and before the second month’s payment was due I found out that you actually COULD pay your rent with a credit card but the management chose not to tell people that because it was not a popular choice due to the cost.
There is an additional $14.95 charge to pay via credit card if you chose to not use a check to get your monthly rent in on time. I decided to explore the option to see if I would earn cash back on the charge as well as on the actual rent payment.
My plan was simple, pay my rent using my card and look at the points I received to see if I got points for only the rent amount or see if I got points for the full total. This was an easy decision for me because the actual amount I paid in rent was $45 less than what I had budgeted for.
The card that I am referring to pays back 1 point per dollar spent on ALL purchases and you could see the purchase amount and the points awarded on the day that the transaction cleared. I went ahead and paid my rent and a few days later I saw that I had received the points on the total transaction, not just the rent portion.
I decided then and there to go ahead and continue to pay my rent using that one card instead of writing a check so that I could earn points. Of course this means I had to adjust the actual rent amount to $14.95 more (I actually just set it as $15) which meant I was now only $30 under my target rent amount for the month.
I am pleased with my decision because under the old scenario I was not earning ANY points at all because I was using a check. Now my rent payment is a bit more but I am still below budget AND I am earning cash back for doing something I have to do on a monthly basis anyway.
I’ve thought about this before except the 1 point per dollar on my cc is worth 1% and the total amount I would be earning back doesn’t even cover the $14.95 fee so it doesn’t seem worth it to me. I guess it would depend on how much your rent is.
While it does depend on the rent amount…in my case the $14.95 was still below the amount I was ready to pay for rent. I decided that since I was going to pay less than my original budget I might as well earn the points towards cash or a gift card and pay my credit card with the rent money instead of simply writing a rent check to my complex.
If the cash back is only 1%, then paying by credit card is going to cost extra unless the rent plus the $14.95 fee totals more than $1500. Assuming your rent is more than that, it sounds like a good move. Paying by credit card is probably easier, and you get a small return on the purchase. If the rent is anything less than $1500, however, you are paying an extra fee to use a credit card, even if the rewards offset some of that fee. Even though the total rent is still less than the budgeted amount, it seems our of character for you to pay more for rent than you would have to, which makes me assume your rent probably is above $1500 🙂