Can I pay rent with a credit card in Australia?

It is possible to use your credit card to pay rent, but this option comes with restrictions and extra costs.

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Paying your rent with a credit card could seem like an easy way to earn more frequent flyer points or free up cash flow. However, most real estate agents and landlords in Australia offer electronic fund transfers (EFT), direct debit or BPAY payments as their preferred options.

Sometimes, you can also pay with cash, money orders or cheques, but you’ll rarely see credit cards listed as a payment method. While this makes it harder to use your card for rental payments, there is a small selection of payment platforms and services that give you this option. Use this guide to find out how they work and the potential costs involved.

What services let me use a credit card to pay rent?

There are only a few third-party companies that allow you to pay rent with your credit card. Some of these services have partnerships with real estate agencies, individual agents or landlords, while others act as independent payment processors (similar to PayPal).

Usually, you’ll pay a surcharge for each card transaction, along with any other fees the service applies for membership or payment processing. Below, you’ll find a summary of four of the most established options, including details of the potential costs for each one:

DEFT

Powered by Macquarie Bank, DEFT lets you make one-off payments by credit card online or over the phone without registration. Other payment options, including bank transfers and recurring payments are also available if you sign up for a DEFT account. To use this service, your landlord or agent has to be registered as a DEFT biller.

How much does it cost?

DEFT transaction fees vary based on factors such as the card or payment method used and the biller’s preferences. The maximum costs for credit card payments are as follows:

  • American Express: 3.3%
  • Diners Club: 3.773%
  • Mastercard and Visa: 1.5%

DEFT will outline the exact cost for each transaction before you confirm a payment. It’s also worth noting that the biller can choose what types of cards (and other payment options) are available, so you may not always be able to pay with your chosen credit card.

Rental Rewards

Rental Rewards is an online payment platform with a major focus on allowing you to earn points by paying your rent with a credit card. It allows you to pay any real estate agent in Australia, with the option of one-off or recurring payments when you register online. It also has direct partnerships with real estate agents that work for well-known brands such as Century 21, First National Real Estate, hockingstuart and RE/MAX.

How much does it cost?

Rental Rewards has a variety of different fees depending on how your account is set up, the type of payment (one-off, recurring etc) and the type of card you use. Below are details of the possible fees for the direct debit and membership options:

Direct debit feesMembership fees
  • Set-up fee:
    $1.51
  • Mastercard/Visa fee:
    1.45% of transaction value
  • American Express/Diners Club:
    2.65% of transaction value
  • Set-up fee:
    $1.51
  • Membership fee:
    $5 per month
  • Card payment convenience fee:
    1.1% of transaction value
  • Card transaction fee:
    $2 per transaction (in addition to the convenience fee)
  • Premium and corporate card fee:
    $10 per transaction over $499.99 (only some cards attract this fee)
  • Note:
    Card payments over $2,999.99 will only attract a fee of 1.76%.

easyshare

This mobile app makes it easier to manage rental payments in share houses by offering a direct debit service that can be split between people. Individuals and businesses can also use it to pay rent or other bills – as long as you’re able to pay them with a direct debit.

Once you have downloaded the app and registered, you can set up direct debit payments for yourself and invite other people to link with the account (for share houses). easyshare then takes the funds from your chosen account and pays your rent for you.

How much does it cost?

It is free to download and use the easyshare app, so your main cost is from service fees. These are calculated as a percentage of your payment and vary based on the card or payment method you use. The current rates are listed below.

  • Bank transfers and Visa/Mastercard transactions: 1.5%
  • American Express: 2.5%

For credit card or debit card payments, there is also a one-off charge of $0.01 to verify the card. Other potential costs include a $35 chargeback fee if you request a chargeback and a $15 account reactivation fee if easyshare deactivates your account for any reason.

How to earn rewards for your rent with easyshare

RentPay

RentPay is a payment provider that partners directly with real estate agents and allows you to set up direct debit payments through your credit card or bank account. You can also make one-off payments through the RentPay website or by calling the company’s secure payment phone line on 1300 668 668.

How much does it cost?

RentPay charges a $3 monthly membership fee as well as the following surcharges for credit card transactions:

  • Mastercard/Visa: 0.79%
  • American Express: 2.5%

Other fees may also apply in certain circumstances, such as for a dishonoured payment. So make sure you check the terms and conditions as well as the pricing schedule before you register. You could also ask your real estate agent or call RentPay on 1300 797 933 for more information.

Summary of card payment fees

The cost of paying your rent with a credit card varies a lot depending on the payment service and the type of card you use. But based on the payment fees listed here, it would cost you between 0.79% and 3.773% for each rental payment made with your credit card.

To put that in perspective, if you paid $2,000 per month on rent, the card fee would cost you between $15.80 and $75.46. For weekly payments of $500, you’d be looking at around $3.96 to $18.87 in fees. So, even with the lowest surcharge percentage, the cost would add around $200 to your rental payments each year. There could also be membership fees, direct debit fees and a range of dishonour fees that add to your costs.

Example: Rewards vs. fees for paying rent with a credit card

If you want to pay your rent with a credit card to earn reward or frequent flyer points, the value will depend on the type of card and how many points per $1 spent it offers. For example, say you have a Visa frequent flyer credit card that offers 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and you want to use it to pay weekly rent of $500 through easyshare.

In this scenario, you’d earn 500 points and pay a 1.5% card fee of $7.50 per week. Over a year, this would add up to around 26,000 Qantas Points and $390 in fees. As the value of your points depends on how you use them, here are some examples of what you could get with 26,000 points:

  • A one-way economy reward flight from Sydney to Bali: 22,500 points plus fees and taxes
  • A return trip from Melbourne to Brisbane: 24,000 points plus fees and taxes
  • A $100 Woolworths WISH gift card: 19,650 points

In this case, you’re likely to get more than $390 worth of value from either of these flight options. If you redeemed them for a gift card, on the other hand, you’d basically be paying $290 per year for the convenience of using your card once the value of your reward is subtracted from the cost of the fees.

How to use your Qantas Frequent Flyer Points

Is paying rent with a credit card worth it?

The value of being able to pay rent with a credit card ultimately depends on your goals and circumstances. While it could be a convenient way to earn more points through your credit card, you could end up paying hundreds of extra dollars in fees each year.

So before you sign up for any of these rental payment services, check the costs involved, work out how many points you could earn and then decide if paying rent with your credit card is worth it for you.

Images: Shutterstock

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PennyAugust 4, 2018

    Can easyshare be used to pay the ATO by credit card and earn FF points with that card?
    I’m not sure if the way it works is that the credit card payment is *to* easyshare and then they pay the ATO (or deposit into the landlord’s account) using the payment instructions provided?

    Thanks!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Penny,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Currently, easyshare cannot be used to pay the ATO. You may see ways to pay the ATO on this page.

      Most frequent flyer credit cards offer you points per $1 spent on everyday transactions. However, the range of “eligible transactions” that earn points can vary between providers. For example, many rewards programs exclude utility payments and government charges from earning points, or offer a reduced rate of points for these types of payments. Please go though this page to see list of cards and ways to earn points on eligible transactions.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

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