How to get bonus points just by paying rent with your credit card
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
It's a question we hear often — should you pay your rent with your credit card? It's also one that doesn't have an easy answer. It depends on your circumstances.
First, you'll need to determine what the fees are. Then, you'll need to calculate if the juice (points) is worth the squeeze (the fee). In most cases, it's not. But if you're trying to hit a minimum spend requirement to trigger a sign-up bonus, it could make sense.
In light of the current coronavirus outbreak and the associated financial hardship many people are experiencing as a result, landlords around the country are waiving or greatly reducing fees for using debit and credit cards to pay rent.
Related reading: Paying rent and mortgages with a credit card
For example, I received an update on COVID-19 from my landlord — MGT Management in New York City — stating that "in light of the overall economic environment, MGT Property Management has worked with ClickPay for the month of April 2020 to give our current tenants the ability to pay rent online with no service charges including credit cards."
I wasn't the only one to receive a memo about waived credit card fees. A few of my TPG colleagues in the New York office did, too. Even if you didn't receive news from your landlord about waiving fees, it never hurts to ask, citing the harsh economy climate.
Personally, I plan on paying my rent this month with The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, which earns 1.5 Membership Rewards points for each dollar spent as long as I make 30 transactions a month on the card. Membership Rewards are valued at 2 cents each by TPG, meaning that I'm getting an impressive 3% rebate on paying my rent. The information for the Amex Everyday Preferred has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
There are some cards where you could do even better. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers 2 Membership Rewards points for each dollar spent, for the first $50,000 spent on purchases per calendar year, then 1x thereafter. Putting rent on this card would earn you an effective 4% rebate on rent.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, you may not have an immediate use for travel rewards. The good news is that you can still profit off this deal with a cash-back card. Say you opened a new card that offers 2% cash back, plus a sign-up bonus, such as the Capital One Spark Cash for Business. Your rent payment alone could get you well on your way to the sign-up bonus, in addition to the 2% rebate you'd get from the transaction.
Related reading: Best cash-back credit cards
Though the coronavirus is taking a massive toll on the world, there's a silver lining for those paying rent, with many landlords re accommodating fee-free credit card payments. If you're in a position to fully pay off your credit card bill, it's a great way to earn some free points.