August 17, 2022

Best Ways to Earn Credit Card Points on Rent and Mortgage Payments

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Best Ways to Earn Credit Card Points on Rent and Mortgage Payments

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If you pay rent, you’ve got several options for earning credit card rewards — but some will cost you.

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  • You can use a credit card to pay your rent or mortgage, but you’ll usually pay fees to do so.
  • It can be worth it if the rewards you’ll earn outweigh the fees charged for using a credit card.
  • The Bilt Mastercard®
    is a fee-free way to pay rent and earn valuable points, but mortgages aren’t an option.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

For most people, housing is by far their most significant living expense. In fact, according to the 2019 Census Bureau’s housing survey, the average rent payment is $1,487, while the median mortgage payment comes to $1,200 per month.

Imagine if you could turn that considerable expense into an almost-free vacation. While it used to be impossible to charge your rent or mortgage payments to a credit card to earn points, that has changed in recent years.

Several services let you pay your housing expenses with a credit card, and there’s even a credit card designed for this very purpose. If you’re looking to maximize your biggest expense, here’s how to earn points on rent and mortgage payments and the best credit cards to use.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Services to pay your rent and mortgage with a credit card

Most banks don’t accept credit cards for mortgage payments and you often can’t pay your landlord directly with a card. You can still earn points on your rent and mortgage payments by utilizing a processing service. These platforms will let you pay with a credit card and send a bank transfer or check to your landlord. 

Most of these platforms charge a fee, though there are ways to reduce or eliminate these fees altogether. Here’s a look at each service and what you’ll pay to earn points on rent and mortgage payments:

Bilt Rewards


Regular APR


14.99% – 29.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


14.99% – 29.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Only credit card to offer rent payments to any landlord with no fees
  • Excellent range of airline and hotel transfer partners
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits and no annual fee
  • Earn interest on rewards

Cons

  • If you’re not a renter, other cards offer better welcome bonuses and rewards
  • You need Silver status or higher to earn interest on points
  • Must make 5 transactions per statement period to earn points

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More Information

  • The information related to the Bilt Mastercard® has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
  • 1X points per dollar spent on rent payments (up to $50,000 each year)
  • 2X point per dollar spent on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X point per dollar spent on dining
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits including cell phone insurance, purchase assurance, Lyft, Doordash, and Shoprunner discounts, Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts, World Elite Concierge
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee is $0

Bilt Rewards is a newcomer but has already made a big splash with a competitive loyalty program and a rewards credit card. Bilt lets members earn points on rent payments, fee-free. Simply join Bilt Rewards and earn 250 points per rent payment made in the app. 

If you’re a Bilt Mastercard® holder, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on rent, up to $50,000 per year. And if your landlord doesn’t appear in Bilt’s extensive database of property management companies, Bilt will still let you pay with a credit card and send a check or bank transfer on your behalf. 

You don’t have to be a Bilt Mastercard® holder to use the Bilt rewards program. You’ll just be limited to earning 250 points per payment and you can’t use the bank transfer/check option if your landlord isn’t listed in the Bilt network. 

The card also lets you earn additional points on everyday spending. It offers 3x points on dining, 2x on travel, and 1X on rent payments every month (up to $50,000 per year). When you’re ready to redeem your points, you can transfer them to 11 airline and hotel loyalty programs including American AAdvantage, United MileagePlus, and World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. 

Overall, both the Bilt Rewards program and the credit card are excellent products, considering they earn valuable rewards in common spending categories with no annual fee. 

Venmo

If your landlord accepts Venmo, you can earn points on rent payments by sending the money directly. The only downside is that Venmo charges a 3% fee on credit card transactions. This is really only worth doing if you’re trying to meet a minimum spending requirement for a large credit card welcome bonus. You’ll pay a $44.61 fee for a $1,487 rent payment, which could be worthwhile in certain circumstances.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has a welcome bonus offer of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That bonus is worth around $1,080 in travel, based on Insider’s valuations, when you transfer points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

So if you’re spending $120 to knock out the spending requirement via rent payments, it’s worth it because of the outsized return. Still, you should explore other options before going this route.

Plastiq

Plastiq lets you pay both mortgage and rent with a credit card for a 2.85% fee and accepts all major issuers. Plastiq is unique because it runs regular promotions that waive or reduce transaction fees. This can make earning points on rent and mortgage payments much cheaper. 

In the past, Plastiq offered discounted fees on payments made with Mastercard. The best way to make sure you don’t miss out on these promotions is to opt-in to receive email notifications from Plastiq. 

Credit cards to use on rent and mortgage payments

Once you have a program picked out that lets you pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card, you’ll want to choose a credit card that offers maximum rewards. Most of the above-mentioned platforms won’t trigger category bonuses. So you’ll want to use a credit card that earns more than 1 point per dollar spent on all spending or spending-based rewards. 

Citi Double Cash


Regular APR


15.49% – 25.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.49% – 25.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Simple earning structure without confusing bonus categories

Cons

  • Some cards earn higher rates of cash back on rotating categories
  • No sign-up bonus
  • While it offers a 0% introductory APR for 18 months, that’s only on balance transfers, not purchases, so you can’t use it to fund a major expense without interest. After those 18 months, it’s a 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable) APR.

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More Information

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

The Citi® Double Cash Card is an excellent option for earning rewards on rent and mortgage payments. The card effectively earns 2 points per dollar — worth 2% cash back—  on all spending (1 point per dollar when you spend and 1 point per dollar when you pay the balance off).

The best part? If you also have a Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card
(no longer available to new applicants), you can combine your ThankYou points. From there, you can transfer your points to Citi’s full range of airline and hotel partners to book award travel.

Citi ThankYou is an excellent program with valuable partners like Avianca Lifemiles, Flying Blue, and Turkish Miles&Smiles. These programs offer some exceptional sweet spot awards that are significantly cheaper than most domestic reward programs. 

  • 7,500 Turkish miles each way for an economy class ticket to Hawaii 
  • 15,000 Flying Blue miles each way for an economy ticket to the Caribbean
  • 44,000 Etihad Guest miles one-way for Royal Air Maroc business class between the East Coast and Morocco
  • 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles one-way for Delta One Suites to Europe
  • 87,000 Avianca Lifemiles miles one-way for Lufthansa first class to Europe, without fuel surcharges

By charging your rent or mortgage to the Citi® Double Cash Card, these awards could be easier to reach.

Capital One Venture and Venture X


Regular APR


17.49% – 25.49% (Variable)


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


17.49% – 25.49% (Variable)


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase-or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs


Regular APR


18.49% – 25.49% (Variable)


Recommended Credit Score


Excellent


Regular APR


18.49% – 25.49% (Variable)


Recommended Credit Score


Excellent

Pros

  • Excellent welcome bonus and miles earning
  • Premium perks including airport lounge access and statement credits
  • Visa Infinite benefits including travel and shopping protections

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Annual travel statement credits only apply to Capital One Travel purchases

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More Information

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more-you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

 

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card earn 2x points on almost all spending, including rent and mortgage payments.

What’s great about these cards is how flexible the rewards are. You can apply your Capital One miles towards travel purchases made with your card at 1 cent each or transfer them to over a dozen airline and hotel partners. These partners include Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways, and Wyndham Rewards, giving you lots of solid options to redeem points for domestic or international travel. 

Amex Blue Business Plus


Regular APR


15.49% – 23.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.49% – 23.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • You’ve got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 15.49% – 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

The The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is another underrated yet exceptional rewards card. It earns 2 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases every year (then 1x) and it’s a great card to keep in your wallet since it has no annual fee. The only downside is that this is a business card and not everyone likes mixing their personal and business spending. 

However, if you don’t mind parsing out a single monthly expense from your business card spending, then it can be worthwhile. After all, Amex Membership Rewards are one of the most valuable points on the market, with 20 airline and hotel transfer partners.

Southwest credit cards 


Regular APR


17.49% – 24.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


17.49% – 24.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • New Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
  • No foreign transaction fees.


Regular APR


17.49% – 24.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


17.49% – 24.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • Earn 4X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
  • Earn 2X points on rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services and 1X points on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® Fee Credit.

The Southwest credit cards will only earn 1 point per dollar on rent and mortgage payments. But charging this considerable monthly expense to your card can be worthwhile for one significant reason: The Southwest Companion Pass. This coveted Companion Pass is one of the best deals in travel. It allows you to fly a designated companion with you for just the cost of taxes. This applies to both paid fares and award tickets.

The Southwest Companion Pass requires you to earn 125,000 points in a calendar year. However, the welcome bonuses from the Southwest cards count toward this requirement. Apply for a card, throw in an average $1,487 rent or $1,200 mortgage payment, and earn enough points to earn free travel for a companion for at least a year.

Chase offers five Southwest cards:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card: 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

The World of Hyatt Credit Card 


Regular APR


17.49% to 24.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


17.49% to 24.49% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

World of Hyatt is one of the few loyalty programs that still publish an award chart. That means you can plan and save up for a hotel stay in advance without worrying about whether redemption rates will significantly change when you’re ready to redeem points. 

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
 is an excellent card to charge your rent and mortgage payments to because of its elite status and free night incentives. Cardholders earn two nights towards elite status for every $5,000 spent, plus a free night valid at a Category 1-4 hotels for spending $15,000 in a calendar year.

Top-tier Hyatt Globalist status is incredibly valuable. It offers perks like complimentary breakfast, lounge access, and bonus points on paid stays. Not to mention, you earn Milestone awards on your way to top-tier status. Overall, this is a rewarding program that will pay off nicely if you charge your rent and mortgage payments to its co-branded card. 

Is it worth it?

If you can earn points on rent and mortgage payments without massive fees, it’s absolutely worth it. Hotel points and airline miles can be upwards of 2 cents each. Of course, the exact value varies greatly depending on the program and how you redeem your rewards. So keep in mind how you plan on using your rewards to determine whether the fees are worth it.

If you’re trying to meet a spending requirement for a credit card sign-up bonus, paying fees through one of these services can certainly be worthwhile if the welcome bonus out-values the fees.