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Paying your rent with a credit card can be a great way to earn rewards and save money. However, not all credit cards are created equal. Some cards charge high fees for paying rent, while others offer no rewards at all.
For many, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® is the best rent-paying credit card. First and foremost, there is no transaction fee to use this credit card, which is impressive as most rent payment platforms charge tenants a 3% transaction fee. Bilt actually rewards you for paying your rent!
Aside from earning Bilt Points, this rewards credit card has several valuable award travel redemption options. It’s now possible to request Bilt Points statement credits to reduce your monthly statement balance.
Learn more here: Bilt World Elite Mastercard®
The Best Credit Card for Paying Rent: The Bilt World Elite Mastercard
As I mentioned in the intro, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® is the best rent-paying credit card. First and foremost, there is no fee to use this credit card, which is impressive as most rent payment platforms charge tenants a 3% transaction fee.
It also has several ways to redeem your Bilt points, with award travel being the most valuable.
Another perk is that the Bilt Card is a metal credit card, which gives it more durability.
How to Earn Bilt Points on Rent
Rent payments earn 1 point per $1 (up to 100,000 points per year) on one property per month (use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points). Check out Bilt’s Rewards and Benefits for more information.
Earning 1x points doesn’t sound earth-shattering, but consider that you’re not paying any transaction fees. In comparison, the cheapest competing platforms charge from 2.85% to 3.99% unless you have a charitable landlord who doesn’t pass on the merchant fee to their tenants.
How Does Bilt Pay Rent?
To start paying rent through Bilt, follow these steps:
- Create a Bilt Rewards account. It’s free and only takes several minutes.
- Connect Your Home: Enter your home address to connect your credit card number.
- Schedule Payments: Use the Bilt App to send payments and collect reward points.
When the Bilt payment rewards originally launched, only properties managed by participating companies qualified for bonus points. Now, this option is available to all tenants.
If your landlord isn’t a Bilt Alliance partner, the app will send payment by ACH or mailed check. You still get to earn the 1x points on rent and pay no fees.
Other Ways to Earn Bilt Points
The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® earns up to 3x points on purchases:
- 3x on dining
- 2x on travel
- 1x on rent payments through the Bilt App (up to 100,000 points per year)
- 1x on everything else
Not bad for a $0 annual fee card.
Redeeming Bilt Points
If you’re asking yourself, “What is the #1 rated credit card?”, you may not have considered Bilt. One of the highest Bilt Point values is for travel redemptions, which can be worth 1.25 cents per point when you book award travel through the Bilt Travel Portal (powered by Expedia).
You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to 12+ loyalty programs including:
- American Airlines
- Asia Miles
- Hawaiian Airlines
- United Airlines
- World of Hyatt
Points are worth 1 cent or less for fitness, shopping, and rent payments.
If you’re only renting for a short time, you may decide to keep your loyalty points to fund your mortgage down payment. This option has the most valuable redemption with each point worth 1.5 cents. However, not every cardholder will be buying a house, so it’s not the most practical option for many.
There isn’t a cash-back redemption method.
Additional Bilt Card Benefits
The Bilt Rewards Credit Card is a Mastercard World Elite product. You can read more about the Rewards and Benefits. Some of its best card perks include:
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Trip delay insurance
- Primary auto rental coverage (on most US and international rentals)
- Cell phone protection
- Lyft and DoorDash credits
Apply Now: Bilt World Elite Mastercard®
Best Credit Card for Paying Rent: Alternative Options
While the best credit cards for paying rent listed below are likely to incur processing charges, they also offer enticing rewards. Here are a few other options you might consider.
If you’re looking for the best credit cards to pay rent, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Fees: Some credit cards charge a fee for paying rent. This fee can be as high as 3% of your rent payment.
- Rewards: Many credit cards offer rewards for paying rent. These rewards can include points, miles, or cash back.
- Benefits: Some credit cards offer additional benefits for paying rent. These benefits can include travel insurance, rental car insurance, or extended warranty protection.
Jump ahead: Below are the best credit cards to pay rent:
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card earns 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases. You can redeem your miles as a travel statement credit or transfer at a 1:1 ratio to participating airlines and hotels.
This card also offers a $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access, and a 10,000-mile card anniversary bonus.
The annual fee is $395.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has the most similar rewards program to the Bilt Mastercard.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
When it comes to redeeming your points, they are worth 1.25 cents when booking award trips through Chase. There are also many 1:1 travel transfer partners including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and World of Hyatt.
While you’re more likely to pay transaction fees on rent payments, a 10% anniversary bonus helps offset the fee. At the end of each card membership year, you receive a bonus equivalent to 10% of your yearly point earnings. That’s one of the reasons why this is one of the best credit card for paying rent options.
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Member FDIC
The Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee is $95. You can read more in our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
Citi Double Cash Card
The information for the Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The Citi® Double Cash Card lets you earn Citi ThankYou points on purchases. Earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases. You will earn 1% on the purchase and another 1% on balance payments to earn a total of 2% back. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
Cash redemptions are another valuable option as each point is worth 1 cent.
The annual fee is $0, but the foreign transaction fee is 3%. This is one of the best Citi credit cards.
Learn more: Citi® Double Cash Card
The X1 Card doesn’t have an annual fee and automatically earns at least 2x points on purchases. Cardholders can earn:
- 2x points on every purchase regardless of category
- 3x points every time you spend $1,000 in a month
- 4x, 5x, and even 10x points for every friend who gets a card
- Up to 10x points at leading online stores such as Apple, Nike, and Sephora when you shop in the X1 App
It’s possible to redeem your points for travel credits, shopping credits, and cash back. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t have travel transfer partners, so it’s harder to get maximum mileage from X1 points.
There is no annual fee on this card. You can get more details in our X1 Card review.
Apply and learn more here: X1 Card
Southwest Credit Cards
The Southwest Airlines credit cards are also a prime candidate for paying rent if you need the points to qualify for the Companion Pass®. This perk reduces the flight expense for one travel companion to fees and taxes (usually $5.60 one-way) for up to two years when they fly with you.
You can try for one of the best Southwest credit cards to earn bonus Rapid Rewards. A rent payment can help meet the bonus offer spending minimum. These bonus miles also apply toward Companion Pass status.
Depending on which card you have, you can also receive Upgraded Booking, point bonuses on card anniversaries, and the opportunity to earn tier qualifying points (TQPs) for A-List status.
Summary of Best Credit Cards for Paying Rent
If you’re serious about finding a credit card for paying rent long-term, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® is your best option as you don’t have to worry about transaction fees. Its rewards program is pretty impressive for a fee-free credit card too.
Here are some additional tips for paying your rent with a credit card:
- Make sure your landlord accepts credit card payments. Not all landlords accept credit card payments. If your landlord doesn’t, you’ll need to find another way to pay your rent.
- Read the fine print. Before you sign up for any credit card, be sure to read the fine print. Some cards have restrictions on how you can use them to pay rent. For example, some cards may only allow you to pay rent once a month.
- Pay your bill on time. If you don’t pay your credit card bill on time, you’ll be charged interest. This can quickly eat into your rewards.
However, you may also consider rotating your payment method to the best limited-time credit card offers to have an easier time meeting the spending challenge. These outsized bonuses can usually exceed the transaction fee costs.
Is It Smart To Pay Rent With A Credit Card?
Considering whether you should pay rent with a credit card to earn points? The brief response is YES, but only in specific scenarios. Here are a few situations where using a rewards credit card for your monthly rent might be a good idea.
Should You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?
One of the biggest reasons you might not want to pay rent with a credit card is because of the additional fees it costs to process credit card payments. Additionally, some companies may not accept credit card payments. Fortunately, there is one service that can help with both of these issues.
Bilt World Elite Mastercard
The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® lets you pay rent without fees, and it should be your first option to consider because of this valuable benefit. Typically, the transaction fees are 3% of the rent amount. Most landlords or property management companies usually pass this charge on to the tenant.
However, with the Bilt Credit Card, you can earn 1 point per $1 on the first $100,000 in rent payments per year. If your landlord isn’t part of the Bilt Alliance, the payment provider will mail a check or direct deposit your monthly rent amount at no additional cost.
As rent is most likely a significant portion of your household budget, it can easily cause your credit utilization ratio to spike, which can harm your credit score when applying for the Bilt card. Additionally, it’s another charge that you must pay before the statement’s due date to avoid interest charges.
To counter both of these potential problems, you can automatically activate BiltProtect which charges the rent payment to your credit card and earns points. Next, Bilt withdraws the funds directly from your bank account within 48 hours to pay off the rent amount.
In addition to earning credit points on rent, you can enjoy these cardholder perks:
- Earn 3x on dining
- Earn 2x on travel
- Rent Day benefits
- Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel (1.25 cents each)
- 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Complimentary travel insurance
- No annual fee
You can earn points on every purchase for the month by completing five purchases each billing cycle.
Unfortunately, this card doesn’t offer a signup bonus, but it can be a small price as it’s the best credit card to pay rent with.
The Best Credit Card for Rent & Earning Limited-Time Credit Card Signup Bonuses
Outside of using the Bilt Mastercard, other credit card rent payments incur transaction fees. That is unless you have a gracious landlord that’s willing to cover the processing fee.
As a result, you should only consider using your credit card when the purchase rewards or the spending bonus are worth more than the fee. So, that means each point needs to be worth more than three cents each.
Typically, this is a challenging feat as the average credit card point is worth 1 cent.
However, one way to outmaneuver this roadblock is by earning limited-time credit card bonuses. Many offers are worth $750 or more, but, they can have relatively high spending requirements. Paying rent during the introductory period can mean the difference in achieving the minimum.
If so, the fees are worth it as you have more to gain than you might lose.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use a different credit card each month to have a revolving door of card bonuses, so this tactic may only make sense a few times each year as you qualify for new cards.
Further Reading: The Best Credit Card Offers of 2023
Want to Build Credit
In addition to earning points, using a credit card makes it possible to build credit. Admittedly, this isn’t a guarantee as the credit bureaus don’t award more points for certain transaction types as they analyze your total balance usage and payment history.
To be more likely to improve your credit score from rent, you will need to make sure you pay your balance in full each month. Additionally, you may need to make at least one mid-cycle balance payment to reduce your credit utilization ratio to 30% or less.
Why Can’t You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?
Here are several reasons why it’s not always the best idea to pay rent with your credit card.
Convenience Fees Apply
Credit card processing fees erode your earning potential and can potentially exceed the value of any benefits you receive.
If your property manager accepts credit card payments, compare the total costs by paying with plastic versus a check, money order, or direct deposit.
Landlord Doesn’t Accept Credit Card Payments
It’s not uncommon for small-time landlords to only accept payment by check or cash that can be easily deposited into a bank account by going to a physical branch or by mobile depositing a check.
Setting up the framework to accept credit card payments isn’t worth the hassle which means tenants are out of luck. If your landlord previously said “no,” you may consider the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® which can effortlessly mail a check each month to the rent collector without requiring any special signups from the landlord to proceed.
Too Many New Accounts
If you’re paying rent to earn a signup bonus, you may need to time your application to avoid opening too many cards at once.
Each bank has different credit card application rules, but one common factor is an automatic application denial if you have opened too many new accounts recently.
For example, the Chase 5/24 rule requires applicants to have opened (or added as an authorized user) five or fewer new credit card accounts within the past 24 months.
Application restrictions from other issuers can include applying for at least two cards from the same bank within 30-90 days (varies by platform). Even having too many open accounts from one institution, such as five American Express cards, can be another thing to look out for.
Don’t Qualify for the Signup Bonus
Another reason why you may need to be strategic about using a brand new credit card to pay rent is if you don’t qualify for the introductory offer.
It’s not uncommon for banks to restrict existing or previous cardholders to only earn one bonus every couple of years.
For example, the Chase Sapphire bonus is only available if you currently don’t have a Sapphire card and haven’t earned a previous Sapphire bonus within the past 48 months.
The Southwest credit card offers are another bonus with strings attached. You can only have one personal card open at a time. The waiting period is 24 months between bonuses.
Summary of Is It Smart to Pay Rent With a Credit Card
It makes sense to pay rent with a credit card in select situations, such as when you won’t pay transaction fees, and the points value is higher than any processing fees. Using the Bilt Mastercard or one of the best travel credit cards makes it easier to maximize your earning potential through valuable redemption options.