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Pay rent using credit cards – Which are the best options?

Seems like many fintechs have taken the fancy of allowing users to pay rent using credit cards, and rightly so. Given the cash crunch due to the current lockdown, paying rent using a credit card can provide much-needed liquidity to users.

When I last wrote on this topic, there were only two credible options- RedGiraffe and NoBroker. However, now within a few months, there are two more options to pay rent using credit cards. Moreover, existing players are also running exciting promos to lure users to their platform. Thus, this is an apt time to compare these platforms and figure out which one is the best to pay rent using credit cards.

Pros and cons of paying rent using credit cards

Pros:

  • Earn reward points on the credit card.
  • Get 30-45 days of a credit-free period.
  • Achieve credit card spend milestones easily
  • Regular payment of credit card bills helps in improving one’s credit score.

Cons:

  • Landlords may not agree to this arrangement – as bank entry comes as ‘RedGiraffe’, ‘Nobroker’, ’Housing.com’ etc.
  • Landlords may have to share their PAN details
  • In the case of autopay, one needs to vigilant to stop it when moving houses

Pay rent using credit cards – Best Options

1. Housing.com

  • Rent agreement: Not required
  • Landlord PAN: Not required.
  • Setup time: Instant. Just enter the house address and property owner’s account details.
  • Processing fees: Zero. This is a promotional offer. I expect they would eventually charge ~1% as processing fees. [Edit: As of 2nd May 2020, the promotional offer is withdrawn and as expected 1% service charge is applicable on paying rent using credit cards]
  • Supported credit cards: Visa and Mastercard. Amex and Diners didn’t work for me
  • Processing time: Instantly. For me, the payment got processed within few hours. For someone I know, payment was processed within minutes.

Housing.com is the latest entrant in processing rent on credit cards. As a promotional offer, they are offering a Zero processing fee on rent payment.  Thus at the moment, Housing.com is the best option to pay rent using credit cards.

Nonetheless, apart from zero processing fees, their process is super smooth. It’s a simple 4 step process, where you enter your details, landlord’s account details, brief property details and finally the rent amount. That’s it and you are done!

Housing.com Process Flow

The payment processing is super-fast. For me the payment got processed within a few hours, however, for someone I know, it got processed within minutes.

However, the only drawback at the moment, I feel is it allows only Visa and Mastercard. Sort of a dampener for people who swear by Amex and Dinersclub.

2. RedGiraffe.com

  • Rent agreement: Generally required, but not enforced for rent payment below a certain amount.
  • Landlord PAN: Required.
  • Setup time: Long. Once the setup is done on RedGiraffe, one has to also activate BillPay/Standing Instructions in the credit card account.
  • Processing fees: 0.46% including GST for all amount. For amount under 10k, flat fee of INR45.
  • Supported credit cards: Credit card issued by HDFC Bank, Kotak, HSBC, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, ICICI, Standard Chartered.
  • Processing time: Long. Takes 2-3 days for the payment to be credited in landlord’s account.

RedGiraffe is probably the oldest player, and thus the most popular, in the field of paying rent using credit cards. While the setup process is a bit tedious and cumbersome, but since it’s a one-time activity, it’s worth the efforts. Further, not to forget that processing fees of 0.46% is one of the lowest and has remained unchanged for nearly 2 years (since I have been using this service).

Besides, currently, they are running an amazing offer of up to INR 5,000 cashback for HSBC credit card users. More details here.

I am sure, once Housing.com’s promotional offer is over, very unlikely that they will not be able to match RedGiraffe’s pricing. For a detailed review of RedGiraffe click here.

3. NoBroker.in

  • Rent agreement: Not required
  • Landlord PAN: Not required for payment below 50K
  • Setup time: Instant. Just enter the house address and property owner’s account details.
  • Processing fees: 1% for payment up to 75,000. 1.5% above that.
  • Supported credit cards: Visa/Master/Amex/Payzapp/Paytm
  • Processing time: Typically instantly. Few cases within a day.

In terms of user experience, setup and processing time, Housing.com and NoBroker.in are at par. At the moment, the downside for NoBroker is the processing fees of 1% on rent payment below 75,000 and 15% above that.

However, their USP is the range of payment options supported. They support Visa, Mastercard and Amex credit cards. If that was not enough, they also support payment via Payzapp and Paytm wallet. Thus in a way, they support all the credit cards. One can load Payzapp wallet and make payment via NoBroker, an easy-peasy way to circumvent credit cards issuers, who don’t give points on utility bills but give for wallet loads :D. For eg: Citibank and Amex.

My experience with NoBroker has been quite good to date. The only reason I stopped using this service was when they started charging 1% processing fees and my Citibank credit card stopped giving reward points on utility bill payments.

4. Cred

  • Rent agreement: Not required
  • Landlord PAN: Not required.
  • Setup time: Instant.
  • Processing fees: 1.5% including GST.
  • Supported credit cards: Visa/Master/Amex/Diners
  • Processing time: Instantly

Cred app is a mobile app that offers rewards on paying credit card bill through the app. I have written a detailed review here. However, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then and for me, the offers and the rewards on the app have lost their sheen.

Nonetheless, Cred also recently started offering rent payment via credit cards. While the user experience is smooth as ever, the processing time is super-fast and it accepts all the credit cards (Visa/Mastercard/Amex/Dinersclub). The biggest dampener for me is the 1.5% processing fee.

Among all the pay rent using credit card platforms discussed above; Cred has the highest charges, however, it doesn’t offer anything extra in return. Another way to look at this is, of all the benefits listed for paying rent using credit cards; Cred doesn’t outshine other platforms discussed here on any parameter.

A brief snapshot of pay rent using credit cards platforms

Pay rent using credit cards working

Conclusion

The only reason I pay rent using credit cards is that it helps me earn extra reward points and get 30-45 days of a free-credit period. Thus for me, the cheapest but reliable service is of prime importance. Hence, I will probably stick to RedGiraffe for time being but will keep an eye on Housing.com, thanks to its zero processing fees offer, currently.

[Edit: As of 2nd May, Housing.com has started levying 1% processing fees on credit card payment. Thus NoBroker.in and Housing.com would now be at par in terms of user experience and charges.]

Have you paid rent using credit cards? Do share your experiences and views in the comments below; would love to hear them.

6 Comments

  1. D'souza Patrick

    Hi great article detailing everything. I and most of us in our office [we are around around 650 tenants & parents in Goa] pay our rent and kids school fees through Redgirraffe platform for last 4 years. I pay via PAYZAPP using my HDFC Bank credit card through Redgirraffe. It’s incredible that the charges have remained same at 0.39% plus GST all the while. I am personally very happy with the service. I think you should add 1 major aspect as well. And that’s of security. If I am not wrong, every other platform requires customers credit card details. With RG, we don’t have to worry on that front. My credit card details are not required by the platform. This aspect helps have a bit of data comfort. Also, I understand that redgirraffe is owned by HDFC Bank and a few more private banks. Its on the website https://redgirraffe.com/

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      Hi Patrick,

      4 years Wow!!! and I thought I am one of the early users of Redgiraffe :D.

      As you mentioned, the thing that works for RG is the low fees. Coz frankly, “most” landlords are as such understanding and wont heckle for a day or two delay in rent payment.

      Also, the point on credit card sharing details is also appropriate. RG doesnt need your credit card details. However, most other platforms also dont need your card details. We enter our card details on the payment gateway, eg housing.com is using Razorpay as payment gateway. This is the same where we enter our card details on any online shopping website, be it as reliable as Amazon or Flipkart or maybe other less reliable ones. But, I get your point here that card details are also not transmitted on a network in case of RG, sort of additional comfort in using it.

      The only caution that I follow is I never save my credit card details with any online platform except Amazon. Be it Paytm, Freecharge, Razorpay etc. Whoever offers me to save card details, I always uncheck the tick box. Or delete saved card details after the transaction.

      As far as ownership of RedGiraffe goes, they claim that they are UK based fintech. Again, my understanding is that no private bank in India owns any stake in RG, however, they may have some tie-ups with them.

  2. D'souza Patrick

    One more thing payzapp has been operational on Redgirraffe for a long time and allows all VISA/MASTERCARD & Rupay cards to transact using Redgirraffe rentpay interface. I missed to mention this point. sorry.

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      Payzapp is now operational on Nobroker.in too. So the thing is in case someone is using a credit card which RG doesn;’t support, for eg Citibank. He/she can use Nobroker.in via Payzapp. This enables one to earn reward points on rent payment, as in case of Citi, they classify Nobroker as utility and thus no reward points. But if you do via Payzapp, then voila, you get reward points. 😀

  3. ravi

    I don’t think paying using Payzapp on NoBroker would give any reward points.

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      Hey Ravi,

      The trick is to load the wallet first and then pay using Payzapp on NoBroker. This would work for cards that dont give points for utility spends but give for wallet load, eg. Citibank.

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