Don’t Pay Your Rent With A Credit Card. Here’s Why

Although many credit cards reward purchases with lucrative cash-back awards, airline miles, store credits, or hotel points, the value of those rewards is very rarely generous enough to offset the extra fees for using the card to pay rent. There are a few exceptions. One scenario is if a travel rewards card offers a large initial bonus for opening the account and spending a certain amount of money in a short timeframe.

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For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on the card within three months of account activation. Those 60,000 points are worth a minimum of $750 toward travel, but $4,000 might be a formidable amount for many folks to spend on everyday purchases. It could make sense to pay one or two months’ rent with the card if you might otherwise have trouble reaching the spending threshold to earn the bonus.

Similarly, owners of an airline co-branded credit card might find their points balance just short of the amount required for an award. For example, you need 70,000 points for a round-trip ticket to your dream destination, but you only have 68,000 points in your frequent flyer account. Many airlines also have frequent flyer miles available for purchase to make up the shortfall, but unless you’re buying them during a sale, it might actually be cheaper to ante up the processing fee for paying rent. 

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