Rent: Credit Cards Accepted

In today’s turbulent economy there are times when credit cards come in handy. Obviously you can pay for many purchases–online and off–with them, but did you know that a new trend is emerging for landlords to accept credit cards for rent?

There are quite a few ways to pay one’s rent. Be it a residential space or a commercial one, most landlords are happy to accept checks, money orders, cash and even recently online payment. Online payment allows the tenant to pay their rent online the same way they pay their utility bills, cell phone bills, insurance payments and various other purchases.

The new trend sweeping the landlord/tenant relationship is paying rent via credit cards.

Credit cards offer quite a few benefits for both the landlord and the tenant. Like online payments, your credit card company keeps track of your payments; when the payment was sent and how much. What’s more, rent received via credit card are funds immediately available. The one downside is that should there be a problem between the landlord and the tenant, the tenant can dispute the charge. This will result in the credit card company or bank freezing the funds until the issue is resolved.

The upside is that a credit card payment for rent can be made from anywhere in the world with just one phone call to your landlord or management company. Many people these days have premium credit cards which allows them to charge large sums like rent payments without any difficulty. Something important to note here is that the merchant—the landlord–will have to pay a fee to the credit card company, usually 3 percent to 5 percent depending on the credit card. The landlord may attempt to pass this fee onto the tenant/cardholder as part of their rent. Whether tenants will accept this increase in rent is yet to be seen as rent paid by credit card is still in its infancy.

Some tenants/cardholders have secured premium credit cards with the specific intent of using that card strictly for paying rent. This makes keeping track of rental payments and any additional charges that much easier. What’s more, should the card be lost or stolen, one call will cancel the card and a new card will be shipped to the cardholder quickly; sometimes even over night. And, of course, like almost all credit cards, the cardholder is only liable for up to $50 of merchandise purchased if that.

Paying rent by credit card may be just the ease and convenience landlords and tenants have been looking for. Less paperwork, less chance of error and less reliance on bookkeepers and accountants. So next time the first rolls around consider asking your landlord or tenant if they’re amenable to accepting rent payment via credit card.