Why Paying Rent With Your Credit Card Is a Terrible Idea

A while ago, I was alerted to an alarming article about a Canadian company, RentMoola, who is making it possible to pay you rent with your credit card (you can read the full article here).

While I understand that this isn’t a bad thing for everyone, I think for the majority of the population this is a terrible idea.

paying rent with a credit card

The Purpose of Charging Rent to a Credit Card (Landlords)

 

The mindset is that it will reduce bounced cheques or late payments for the landlords. My argument of course being if the cheque bounced the obviously didn’t have the rent money anyway, credit card or not, and the landlords are now given a financial power to charge the money the individual didn’t have.

Rewards for the Tenants

I understand that people who have good credit card control may want the opportunity to rack up major rewards every month simply by paying rent but I still think this is a terrible idea. Can you imagine the slippery slope if you missed even one month and let the interest spiral out of control?

Until  there is more public awareness to how credit works and how credit needs to be used with respect, nothing good can come of this, unless of course you work for an insolvency organization in which case you’re business is about to take off ten fold.

Money Management Skills and Paying Rent with a Credit Card

Maybe I should have more faith in the Canadian population and maybe this will help teach them the money management skills they require. I mean charging  a few bucks on the credit card (albeit multiple times) and ignore the growing bill is one thing (not an excuse, I can understand how it happens though), could people really charge $600-$2000+/month on their bills and ignore it?

What happened to focusing in having full control over your money rather than making it seem like charging it on your credit card is a great idea for everything? Managing your money is time-consuming, I spend hours per month making sure everything is right but it’s because it needs to be done. Part of the responsibility of earning money is managing it with the respect that it deserves. Money management can be exhausting and requires real effort. It can be daunting if you’re not currently doing it (with any real system) but every household that has income requires it.

It annoys me when companies like this make everything seem so unrealistically easy. Just charge it and it’s done! Planning your budget and writing cheques, or at the very least making sure the money is in your bank account for automatic withdraw for your rent, is part of managing money!

Canadians have always held pride in the notion that we do what is best for the entire population not the individuals that make up its sum. I love that I live in a population vs. individualistic mindset and this idea seems to be getting away from it. With the average household debt levels climbing, and the amount of people who rent monthly, this will create an entire new set of problems for our economy.

Having said all this, I’m sort of eager to see how this plays out and if it catches on. Would you charge rent to your credit card? Why/why not?

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19 thoughts on “Why Paying Rent With Your Credit Card Is a Terrible Idea

  1. I can easily see people getting into trouble by paying their rent with credit cards. Additionally, I wonder how much fees/commissions this company charges for the opportunity and who pays this convenience fee: the renter or the landlord.

  2. Our apartment complex accepts credit card payments for rent. However, I also think this is a slippery slope. I consider myself fairly competent with my budgeting and credit cards, but even I don’t charge my rent (though the rewards points would be great). I can see how some people would get into trouble with this idea.

  3. My landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments – I know this because I tried to pay rent on my cc. But, I only did so because the limit on my debit card and on my e-mail transfer wasn’t high enough to pay my rent, and I was trying to avoid going to the bank to take out the cash.

    Anywho, I think that if someone is truly responsible, paying rent on your cc could work – and could work to your advantage if you are a points collector. But as you mentioned, this is a slippery slope for sure!

  4. The only way I’d ever do it is if there was no fee and if I could put it on a rewards card. I know we can pay our property taxes on a credit card, which seemed like an easy way to earn 1% back, until I saw that they charge a 2% transaction fee.

  5. We looked into paying our rent with a credit card for the rewards (we pay off our card every month so I don’t think we would ever have any issue not being able to make payment)… however, it was a 3% fee to do it through our company, so that squashed that thought right away.

  6. Yikes, I didn’t even know this was possible. I would probably take advantage of this now as I’d be aiming to rack up rewards points. But back in my younger days there are a few times where I probably would have done this because I didn’t have the money in my checking account, and that would have led to a lot of trouble.

  7. I know nothing about that company, but if I could pay my rent with a credit card and no extra fees for being able to do so, I’d do it in a heartbeat. We pay our cc’s every month, without fail. Getting 1 or 2% rewards on our monthly rent would be great.

  8. I think paying it using your credit card is not that good of a solution and might make things worse. The fees and interest rate that your credit card provider can charge you doesn’t seem to be that helpful even if you could get reward points from using it to pay your rent.

  9. I agree this will probably lead to mistakes being made by tenants. At the same time even if they don’t finance their rent, and opt to just not pay at all until they have the money-they run the risk of eviction. This is incredibly damaging too. I think if you don’t have the cash to pay the rent you’re in a lose-lose situation. Either way there’s going to be consequences.

  10. I would do this just to rack up rewards points. That being said, I do agree that it’s not a good idea in general to offer this because so many people have problems with credit card debt already. It seems this could only make it worse.

  11. Kathy says:

    As a landlord, I don’t accept credit cards but I wish I could simply for the guaranteed payment aspect. But the fee I would have to pay the credit card company would mean I’d have to raise the rent. I don’t think you meant to, but I caught a hint of inference that the landlord is the bad guy here. I agree that if the tenant doesn’t have the cash, he’s got big problems.

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