Pay Your Rent for Less than a 2% Fee and Earn Credit Card Rewards

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I first covered Radpad over a year ago. The site allows you to pay your rent with a credit or debit card (for a fee).

At the time the fee to use a credit card was 2.99%. Generally not worth it, although in a pinch it could make sense if you needed some quick credit card spend.

Now Doctor of Credit reports that >Radpad has:

    Lowered fees for paying via MasterCard to 1.99%

  • Raised fees for paying with Visa, American Express, and Discover to 3.49%

Competing bill payment site Plastiq (that lets you pay any vendor with a credit card, not just housing cost) has run promotions at 1.5% with MasterCard but has reverted to their normal 2.5% fee.

Plastiq is the clear winner for Visa/American Express. But Radpad offers the cheapest processing of rent payments at 1.99%. I’m hopeful this will bring out a competitive response from Plastiq!

Generally speaking this makes sense for:

  1. Meeting minimum spend requirements for a signup bonus.

  2. Spending enough on a card to earn a spending threshold.

  3. Everyday spend if you need to top off for the right award. There’s no MasterCard giving you rewards worth meaningfully more than 2% for your ongoing spend, so you need to value points at the margin for a specific purpose at that price before it makes sense. (Of course if you’d buy miles at 2 cents, it makes sense to earn credit card points for 2 cents apiece as well, though I generally advise against.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. 3.49% for AMEX! Ouch! That certainly puts a damper on my DL AMEX spending plans. Good thing I have lots of rollover this year.

  2. Could you please explain why CITI would not view this technique as a cash transaction and process it as a cash advance? It’s fairly obvious what Radpad and Plastiq are providing, so isn’t there a risk?

  3. @Nick they are not providing a cash advance they are paying a merchant a bill that you owe. You can pay a doctor’s office with a credit card. You can pay a landlord too. Some landlords take credit cards, it’s a purchase, and generally contract with a 3rd party service to do it and that service charges a fee. In my experience Plastiq is coded as a purchase, my understanding is the same for radpad.

  4. I currently pay my rent by check, so this represents and opportunity for me to make a tiny bit of money when I use my Citi Double Cash Mastercard (since your 2% cashback world be earned on the total amount paid to radpad including the fee). Given rent of rent of $2,650 this only works out to $1.32 in profit, but psychologically gives you the certainty that you are making money rather than the probability that you would be able to redeem your Citi ThankYou points for more than that.

  5. Hope this does get Plastiq to run another special so I can “spend up” some cards to next award level

    If I recall correctly Plastiq codes as real estate services by Citi

    since it costed $495 / $500 to do the Vanilla reloads deposited on Target Red = 1%

    for another 1/2 percent the Plastiq was a great deal

    much better then running all over town as each Walgreens location would only sell me one Vanilla per day

  6. Not a bad deal – although I currently get to pay my rent with any credit card, fee-free. And since none of my roommates care about credit card rewards, I get the “duty” of handling that $5K responsibility every month. Bring on the points!

    Not sure how to tell online what category Chase classifies as, but I know it’s not a cash advance. Amex classifies as “other” (again, not cash advance)

  7. @FM ..out of curiosity would you enlighten me how you get the fee-free CC pay on your rent.
    Helping out a friend of mine in need so I would like to earn points on their rent payment.
    Much appreciated….

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