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Guide to Paying Property Taxes With a Credit Card

By Dan Miller · November 11, 2022 · 5 minute read

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Guide to Paying Property Taxes With a Credit Card

If you’ve become aware of the benefits of earning rewards with your credit card, you may be on the lookout for opportunities to use your card (and earn rewards). Property taxes can be one of the largest expenses for many homeowners, so it makes sense if you’re wondering, ‘can you pay property taxes with a credit card?’

The good news is that many states, counties, and other local jurisdictions do allow you to pay your property taxes with a credit card. However, in many cases, there is a processing fee associated with a credit card payment. Depending on the fee that’s charged and the card that you use, paying your property taxes with a credit card may or may not be a good idea.

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Can You Pay Property Taxes With a Credit Card?

Many states and counties allow you to pay property taxes with a credit card. In some cases, they process any payments directly. Other jurisdictions may partner with a third-party processing company to handle payments.

In many cases, a processing fee will apply. This fee is generally around 2% of the payment or higher. For example, Hamilton County in Ohio charges a 2.35% fee for credit card payments, while Cook County in Illinois charges a fee of 2.10%.

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Pros and Cons of Paying Property Taxes With a Credit Card

For many homeowners, property taxes and mortgage payments are some of the largest expenses in their budget. So it makes sense that you might try to offset some of the cost by earning credit card rewards on the purchase, which could allow you to pay less taxes.

However, there are potential downsides to paying property taxes with a credit card to take into consideration as well. For one, you may pay a processing fee. You also could owe interest charges and experience effects to your credit score, depending on how you manage your credit card bill.

Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of paying property taxes with a credit card:

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Pros

Cons

Can earn credit card rewards Will likely owe a processing fee
May help you meet requirements to earn a signup bonus on a new credit card Could raise credit utilization, which could negatively impact your credit score
Could use a 0% introductory APR offer from a new card or by doing a balance transfer to pay your tax bill over time Can face high interest rates if you don’t pay off your credit card bill in full

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Paying Your Property Taxes With a Credit Card: 4 Steps

Just like paying your mortgage with a credit card, paying your property taxes with a credit card usually takes a few simple steps. While the exact steps will vary depending on your local tax authority, here is the basic flow.

1. Enter Your Property Tax Information

First, you will enter your property information. Many counties have assigned all property into specific parcel IDs. If you’re not sure about your parcel ID, you can usually look that up with your address or other identifying information.

2. Enter or Confirm Any Required Personal Information

Once you have entered in the required information pertaining to the parcel you’re paying property taxes on, you may be asked to enter or confirm some of your personal information. This helps to ensure that you are paying for the correct piece of real property.

3. Choose Your Payment Method and Amount

Next, you will choose the credit card you want to use. Because most jurisdictions charge a processing fee to pay your property taxes with a credit card, you’ll want to be careful about which card you use.

If you have a rewards credit card with a rewards rate that’s higher than the fee you’re being charged, that may be a good card to use. You might also consider a new card on which you’re attempting to meet the spending requirement to earn a signup bonus. If your card has a high spending requirement, paying your taxes with a credit card can help you fulfill that requirement. If you need more time to pay your bill, you might also consider a card with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) offer.

Once you’ve decided on your card, you’ll enter it into the tax processing website. Similarly to if you were paying bills with a credit card, you’ll likely need to enter your name as it appears on the card, your full credit card number, the expiration date, and the CVV code.

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4. Submit Your Payment

The final step in paying taxes with a credit card is to submit your payment. If a confirmation page is shown, you may want to print it for your records. That can help you in case there’s a dispute about whether your property taxes have been paid. You also may be able to select an email confirmation.

Types of Cards You Can Use to Pay Property Taxes

There are many credit cards that you can potentially use to pay property taxes. Visa and Mastercard are the two most prevalent, but many tax authorities accept American Express, Discover, or other types of credit cards. Check with your local tax authority to see what types of cards you can use in your area.

You may be able to use a debit card as well. While the benefits of credit cards include rewards and other perks, fees are often lower for debit cards than credit cards.

The Takeaway

It’s usually possible to pay property taxes with a credit card, though it depends on the policies and laws in your specific jurisdiction. However, many states and counties charge a processing fee to accept credit card payments for property taxes, and the fees may be higher than the value of any rewards that you may earn. Check with your local tax authority to see what options you have in your specific area.

If you’re looking for a competitive cash-back rewards point credit card, you might apply for a credit card with SoFi. With the SoFi Credit Card, you can earn unlimited cash-back rewards points, which you can use to invest in fractional shares, apply as a statement credit, or put toward other financial goals, like paying down eligible SoFi debt.

Apply for a SoFi credit card today!

FAQ

Which states allow you to pay property tax with a credit card?

Where you can pay property tax with a credit card varies widely depending on a property’s exact location. States, counties, cities, and school districts all may have different laws and policies. If you’re not sure if you are able to pay property tax with a credit card, check with your local taxing authority.

Can you get cash back by paying property tax with your credit card?

Yes, one benefit of credit cards is that you can often earn cash back or other rewards with each purchase. It’s likely possible to earn cash back (or other credit card rewards) by paying property taxes with your credit card. However, in many cases, you will be charged a processing fee by your local taxing authority. Make sure that the value of any rewards you earn exceeds the cost of the fees you may be charged.

Will paying property taxes with a credit card raise your credit score?

Paying property taxes will likely not have a huge impact on your credit score if you pay your statement on time and in full. However, if you pay your taxes with a credit card and then don’t pay the bill when it comes due, that could lead to negative impacts on your credit score.


Photo credit: iStock/xijian

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