You Can Pay Your Rent by Credit Card With Just a 1.5% Fee
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If you’re like those of us at TPG, you want to get credit card points and miles from every purchase you make. However, landlords and mortgage companies either don’t accept credit card payments or charge tack on hefty fees that make credit card payments unwise. Now, though there’s a new service available that’s changing things up.
Urbanr allow tenants to pay their rent through a credit card with a fee of just 1.5%. This is the lowest rate currently available (that we’re aware of) paying rent with a credit card, beating Plastiq’s 2.5% rate and the 2.99%+ that other services charge.
This isn’t the first rent payment service to offer attractive rates like this, but none of the past services have survived. However, according to View From the Wing, the CEO of Urbanr insists that the “1.5% fee is a sustainable long-term price.”
The 1.5% fee can be paid one of three ways: all by the renter, all by the landlord or split between the two:
Urbanr will let you pay with Visa, Discover or Mastercard. However, Urbanr doesn’t accept American Express, which is understandable considering the high merchant interchange fees that Amex charges. Unfortunately, this means you won’t be able to use the most lucrative option for everyday spending: the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, which earns 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 per year; then 1x thereafter — a return of 3.8% at current TPG valuations.
Still, there are plenty of other credit card options to consider when using Urbanr. Here are just some examples:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5% cash back or (1.5x Ultimate Rewards when you transfer points to a UR-earning card)
- Citi Double Cash Card (2% cashback; 1% when you buy, plus 1% when you pay)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (1x Ultimate Rewards, worth 2.1 cents each at TPG valuations)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (1x Ultimate Rewards, worth 2.1 cents each at TPG valuations)
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card (1x Alaska Airlines miles, worth 1.9 cents each at TPG valuations)
- Citi Premier Card (1x Citi ThankYou points, worth 1.7 cents each at TPG valuations)
Per Urbanr’s FAQ, the service “lets you split payments on up to three different cards per transaction.” This means that you can easily “top off” an airline or hotel points account by putting a specific amount on one card while paying the rest with another card. This is also good for when you only have a little more left to satisfy a credit card’s minimum spending requirement but you don’t want to put the whole rent payment on that card.
Note that we haven’t had the chance to test this program yet, so we can’t say for sure that these transactions will be treated as purchases rather than cash advances. One of the programs that I’ve used in the past to pay rent recently switched from being treated as purchases to cash advances, which can result in some unwelcome cash advance fees and interest. You may want to call your credit card company to reduce your cash advance line to $0 before making a rent payment.
Feature image by Maskot / Getty Images.
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