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Can you pay rent with a credit card?

Can you pay rent with a credit card?

As more and more Australians have gone digital with their finances, there’s been a move to using credit cards for everything from groceries to bills. 

But when it comes to paying rent, direct debit, EFT, BPAY and more traditional methods like cash and cheque are still the default. 

If you wish to pay rent with a credit card, you will have to first check whether your landlord or real estate agent accepts this payment method. 

Given a third-party payment platform is often used to process credit card payments, it’s worth noting you may have to pay fees on each transaction if you choose this method.

What is a third-party platform, and why is it required to pay rent with a credit card?

Vendors have costs associated with accepting credit cards and often use a third-party platform to enable them to take this form of payment.  As a tenant, all you need to do is register with your landlord’s online payment platform and start paying your rent online if this method is accepted.

Alternately, you can download a rent payment processing application that allows you to make payments using your credit card, through direct debit. In Australia, some common online platforms for payment of rent are DEFT, Rental Rewards, easyshare, RentPay, and iPayRent.

Can I pay my rent online with a credit card without registration?

You may be wondering if you can pay your rent online without registration, or if there is a fee required for said registration?

Yes, you could pay your rent online with a credit card with say, for example, a payment system like DEFT which belongs to Macquarie Bank, that permits one-off credit card payments to be done, online, without registration. 

Your landlord or agent is required to enter into an agreement with them as a biller. You will have to pay a surcharge for card usage. Other portals need you to register with them.

RentPay and iPayRent are portals that let you set-up direct debits for recurring rental payments through credit cards. 

RentPay charges a nominal membership fee and a transaction surcharge, while iPayRent charges a  surcharge on your transactions. Your agent or landlord will have to sign an agreement to use both these services. 

Rental Rewards is an online payment platform that offers reward points on all modes of payment whether it’s direct debit, credit cards, or online transfers, besides the regular reward points that your particular credit card offers. 

There are payment applications like ’Easyshare’ that you could download on your mobile phone for making rental payments through direct debit to your credit card with only the usual credit card surcharge.

Some rental payment platforms charge you a membership fee plus a monthly fee, in addition to surcharge and transaction fees, so you need to spend some time researching the best option for you. 

How to pay rent with a credit card for rewards

Rent payments are relatively large expenses, and you may wonder whether you can gain rewards for paying with a credit card. In some cases, yes, but it’s important to find out from your card issuer whether rental expenses are eligible for reward points. 

It’s also important to investigate how many reward points you would earn per dollar spent and the items that they could be redeemed for. 

Next, calculate the costs involved, like the fees and surcharge that you would be paying in relation to points you could earn. By comparing these factors, you may have a better idea of whether it’s worth paying your rent by card.  

You may be left wondering whether it is worth it to pay rent by credit card. It comes down to what’s right for you. 

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This article was reviewed by Kate Cowling before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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