I’m Paying Rent With a Credit Card — Here’s Why

Give me rewards and credit history please

small red birdhouse in front of a large white house

Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

I live in Los Angeles. Like most cities, the cost of housing is outrageous, so I am grateful to reside in an apartment I like, can afford, and even includes a small patio whose positioning allows fellow citizens a place to leave what are either pieces of peanuts or teeth. 

With rent being my biggest expense, I found it frustrating that it wasn’t something I could use to build credit or gain rewards from by paying with a credit card, that is until I learned of the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®.*

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® bypasses the fees most renters are charged if they pay their rent with a credit card. It also enables renters to pay rent using a credit card even if their landlords only accept checks.

This is because Bilt gives its cardholders the ability to have Bilt send a rent check on their behalf, but rather than withdraw the check’s amount from a bank account, it charges it to the credit card. 

Each month, instead of inputing my card information and being billed additional fees by my landlord’s payment portal to pay rent via credit card, I use the Bilt app to instruct Bilt to mail a check to my landlord at no extra cost. The rent amount is charged to my Bilt credit card the day the check is cut and I then pay Bilt.  

While Bilt grants my wish of being able to pay my rent with a credit card, the bottom line is that it is a credit card, so it is important to be aware of how to make the most of it, but not incur any fees for its convenience. 

Important reminders

  1. The card requires at least 5 transactions per statement period in order to earn points, (3 points per $1 spent on dining, 2 points per $1 spent on travel, 1 point per $1 spent on rent, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases). If at least 5 transactions are not made in a statement period you’ll only earn a flat 250 points when using the Bilt card to pay rent through the Bilt app or website. The app includes a tracker so you can see when you have met the transaction requirements as well as see your statement period dates. I generally make 4 other small purchases on my card each statement period to ensure I earn all of my points. I keep the extra purchases small or within an amount I have in cash because I want to ensure that I follow the next rule.

  2. Pay the card off in full each month. This is a good practice to follow for credit cards in general, but especially for one I’m paying rent with. The interest on this credit card is over 20% and my most intensive expensive is being put on it. The due date is at least 25 days after the close of each billing period and interest is not charged if the entire balance is paid by the due date each month. I may be using a credit card to pay my rent now, but the same rules of paying by check still apply. I need to have that rent amount in cash. I do not want to charge myself higher rent by racking up interest.

  3. Make sure Bilt sends the rent check on time. My rent is due the first of each month, so I have the rent check mailed out automatically on the 15th of each month. I realize this timing is over-precautious, but I do not want to deal with the headache of talking to my landlord more than I have to, especially if the conversation begins with, “Where’s rent?” 

So far, the last eight months of paying my rent using the Bilt credit card has gone well and I don’t see my doing so ending anytime soon. The card has no annual fee and has allowed me to increase my credit score. I’m also building points which I can redeem for payment toward my rent or as travel rewards. 

If you would like to learn more about the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® or apply for it (according to Bankrate, a credit score of at least 670 is recommended for approval), you can do so here.

*Because I’ve focused on a specific credit card, this seems like an ad, but I have not been engaged by or paid by Bilt to write this. The links to the credit card are my personal referral links, so if you sign up for the card through them, I will receive the current Bilt referral offer (2,500 points at the time of writing this). If you’re wishing this was an ad I was compensated for, you can see one of those for Adagio Teas at the bottom of smolfortune.com.

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