Can You Pay Rent With A Credit Card?

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31 May 2024

We all have unexpected expenses that we have to pay for. Sometimes they catch you off guard and out of pocket for your rent.

If you're now looking for a way to cover it you may be left wondering, Can You Pay Rent With A Credit Card?

Although it's not ideal, there may be a possibility that you can, but it depends on a few factors. In this insight, we cover whether you can pay rent with a credit card, alongside the costs and what to be aware of.

Key Takeaways

  • Paying rent with a credit card depends on landlord policy, larger associations might accept, while smaller ones usually prefer bank transfers.
  • Cash advances on credit cards for rent come with high fees and potential credit report impact.
  • Rent payments on time can boost credit score, but high credit utilisation and debt risks exist.
  • Using credit cards for rent has pros like convenience, but cons include fees, interest charges, credit impact, and limited acceptance.

Can You Pay Rent With A Credit Card?

Yes, you can pay Rent with a credit card. However, this will only be the case if your landlord is a large housing association that accepts card payments. The smaller landlords don't tend to be able to process card and only accept bank transfer. Talk to your landlord to find out. 

Even if your landlord does not accept credit card payments, you might still be able to use a third-party service that enables rent payment with a credit card, sometimes without additional fees. 

Can I Do a Cash Advance To Pay Rent?

Yes, you can advance cash on your credit card by withdrawing money from an ATM. However, the fees to do this are high. It is normally the case that you immediately pay a 3% fee and interest accrues straight away. 

If you do go down the route of processing a cash advance, it can often be a sign of distress and can have an impact on your credit report. If you are due to apply for a mortgage, it would be a good idea to avoid cash advances until you complete your application. 

Rather than arrange a cash advance on your credit card, you could try to pay for your other bills with your credit card and keep the cash back. For example, council tax, energy bills and water bills can all be paid for by credit card.

cash advance fee when paying rent with credit card

Impact on Credit Score

Paying rent with a credit card won't necessarily harm your credit score if you can pay off the rent charged on time every month. In fact, it could improve your score just like regular purchases and on-time payments would. However, serious caveats exist.

Rent is often the most significant monthly expenditure for many people. Putting such a large monthly charge on your credit card is inherently risky for several reasons, mainly if you can't afford the rent and are simply "kicking it down the road" as an effort to make rent on time.

Even if you do pay your bill on time, a high credit utilisation potentially created when paying rent with a card may hurt your credit score. If you don't pay your bill in full, any unpaid balance can quickly spiral into debt via accrued interest and ever-increasing balances. Make sure you have a plan before you commit to using your credit card for rent.

Is Paying Rent with a Credit Card a Wise Decision?

Credit cards might seem like a handy option for paying rent in a challenging situation, but they should be viewed as a last resort unless you have a surefire way to earn rewards in excess of any processing fees.

Pros of Paying Rent with a Credit Card

  • Convenience: Using a credit card can simplify the payment process and provide an electronic record of your transactions.
  • Rewards: Some credit cards offer cash back, travel points, or other rewards, allowing you to earn benefits while paying your rent.
  • Emergency Buffer: If unexpected expenses arise, using a credit card for rent can provide a temporary financial cushion.
  • Credit Building: Consistent, on-time payments can positively impact your credit score, improving your financial profile.

Cons of Paying Rent with a Credit Card

  • Transaction Fees: Many landlords charge transaction fees (usually around 2-3%) to cover the cost of processing credit card payments.
  • Interest Charges: If you don't pay off the credit card balance in full, you'll accrue interest, potentially offsetting any rewards earned.
  • Credit Utilisation: High credit card balances relative to your credit limit can negatively affect your credit score.
  • Dependency: Relying on credit cards to pay rent can mask underlying financial issues and lead to debt accumulation.
  • Landlord Acceptance: Not all landlords accept credit card payments, limiting your options.
  • Missed Rewards: Transaction fees might negate any rewards earned, making credit card payments less beneficial.

Alternative Options to Paying Rent

If you're running out of options, consider asking friends or family to borrow money or take out a low-interest personal loan before using a credit card. Besides a lower reward potential, regularly putting large rent payments on a credit card can max out the card quickly. The card won't be available for other purchases, and your credit utilisation (the second most important factor affecting credit scores) can increase, resulting in a lower credit score.

Instead of using your credit card, you could consider applying for an overdraft. Some bank accounts have £0 fee overdraft facilities available that can help you with short-term cash flow relief. 

An overdraft occurs when you withdraw or spend more money from your bank account than you have available, resulting in a negative balance. It's essentially a short-term loan provided by the bank to cover the deficit.

alternatives to paying rent with a credit card

What To Do If You're Struggling To Pay Rent?

If you're struggling to pay rent, there are several options to consider to help alleviate financial difficulties:

  • Communicate with Your Landlord: Reach out to your landlord as soon as possible to explain your situation. They might be willing to work out a payment plan or offer temporary relief.
  • Government Assistance: Check if there are local or national government programs that provide rental assistance to individuals facing financial hardships.
  • Nonprofit Organisations: Look for local nonprofit organisations that offer rental assistance or financial counselling services.
  • Emergency Funds: If you have an emergency fund, consider using it temporarily to cover your rent, but make sure you have a plan to replenish the fund.
  • Friends and Family: If possible, ask friends or family for a temporary loan or financial help.

CheckMyFile - Find Out If You're Eligible For a Credit Card

★★★★★ 4.8

To qualify for a Credit Card, you'll need a credit score of around 600+. Before you start applying for different cards, potentially harming your score, it's a good idea to get a copy of your credit report to check what score you have. By doing this, you can check whether a credit card is a possibility without making matters worse.
You can view your credit report with CheckMyFile. CheckMyFile offer a 30-day free trial to view your report. If you just need a quick look to make sure all is in order, checkmyfile is a great (free) way to do it. You can cancel your trial at anytime and avoid paying any fees.

The Final Word

You can pay rent with a credit card if your landlord allows it, but that doesn't mean you should. If you're struggling to pay rent, consider other options, seeking aid from the government or charities, relocation, or borrowing money from friends and family.


Stuart is an expert in Property, Money, Banking & Finance, having worked in retail and investment banking for 10+ years before founding Sunny Avenue. Stuart has spent his career studying finance. He holds qualifications in financial studies, mortgage advice & practice, banking operations, dealing & financial markets, derivatives, securities & investments.

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