Guide to Canceling a Credit Card Payment

Guide to Canceling a Credit Card Payment

Whether you’ve noticed a potentially fraudulent charge or you simply changed your mind on a purchase, there are a number of reasons why you might want to cancel a credit card payment. Luckily, there are actions you can take to do so, assuming the payment falls within certain parameters.

Read on to learn how to cancel a credit card payment, whether the charge is still pending or if it’s already posted. We’ll also cover how to stop payments on credit cards if you don’t want your scheduled payment to go through.

Can You Cancel a Credit Card Payment?

Per the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), a law that all credit card issuers must follow, there are times when you can withhold a payment. So if you define “cancel” as disputing a charge instead of making the payment, there are instances when it’s acceptable under the law to cancel credit card payment.

You can also request to cancel a credit card payment if you believe it’s the result of fraudulent activity.

Related: How to Cancel a Credit Card

Things to Consider Before You Cancel a Credit Card Payment

Before you go willy-nilly with canceling credit card payments, it’s important to note that the previously mentioned FCBA guidance only applies when you believe a billing error was made. Per the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), examples of billing errors include:

•   Unauthorized charges

•   Charges with the wrong date or amount listed

•   Charges for items or services you didn’t accept or that weren’t delivered as agreed

•   Mathematical errors

•   When the credit card issuer didn’t post your payments or your returns/credits

•   When the credit card issuer didn’t send the bill to the appropriate address, assuming they were provided adequate notice of any change in address

•   Charges where you’ve asked for written proof of a purchase or an explanation of it, along with a claim of an error and a clarification request

Further, you generally must have made the purchase on your credit card in your home state or within 100 miles from your home for the laws on credit card disputes to apply. The charge in question must be for more than $50. Credit card rules stipulate that it’s also necessary to have made an attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant first.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card

Reversing a Credit Card Payment After It Has Been Made

If you’ve already paid the merchant but are unsatisfied with how they’ve responded to your complaint, contact your credit card company to see if you can get the charge reversed. They may call this a chargeback.

Parties that will get involved in the process, besides you, can include your credit card issuer, the merchant from whom you purchased goods or services, the merchant bank, and the credit card network. This is due to how credit card payments work.

Typically, you’ll receive credit on the disputed amount while an investigation takes place. If you win the billing error dispute, this credit card refund will remain permanent. If the case isn’t decided in your favor, then the amount would get added back to your credit card balance.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

How to Cancel a Credit Card Payment After It’s Made

If you’re hoping to cancel credit card payment, here are the general steps you should go through to do so.

Attempt to Resolve the Dispute With the Seller

As an initial step, contact the seller of the item you’re unhappy with and explain the situation. It’s possible, for example, that you received the wrong item or a part may have been defective in what you received. Perhaps they can send you a replacement. Or you can ask the seller to reverse the charges on your credit card, resulting in a credit card refund.

Avoid Paying the Disputed Amount

If you don’t get satisfaction by working with the merchant, you can decide to not pay the disputed amount and have the situation investigated. To make that happen, though, you need to follow specific steps, starting with reaching out to your credit card issuer.

Contact Your Credit Card Issuer

Write and send a letter to your credit card issuer that outlines the billing error and disputes the charge. Your credit card company should have a billing inquiry address listed on its website.

Make sure to send this letter within 60 days of receiving the billing statement with the disputed charge. Keep copies of the letter, and consider sending it via certified mail with a return receipt.

Await Your Credit Card Company’s Decision

Then, you wait. The creditor has up to two billing cycles — a maximum of 90 days — to resolve the dispute. The result may be that you don’t have to pay the disputed amount, or that you do. Or, you may end up needing to pay part of it.

If you have reason to believe that the creditor isn’t following the rules set out by the FCBA, you have the right to sue them. If you were to win, the court may award you damages and order the credit card company to pay your attorney fees.

Understand the Limitations

After you’ve filed a dispute, you aren’t required to pay the charge in question until after the investigation ends and a decision is made. That said, you are required to pay whatever else is owed on this bill — such as a credit card minimum payment or finance charges on the undisputed portion of the bill. And, of course, remember there’s no guarantee that you would win a lawsuit.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit

How to Stop Payments on Credit Cards

Perhaps you want to know how to stop a scheduled payment on a credit card that hasn’t already been made. In this case, you’d need to contact your bank at least three business days before the payment is set to come out. Do so in person, in writing, or over the phone. The financial institution may require a follow-up of this request in writing within 14 days.

Note that, even after the bank stops a payment, you may still be responsible for making the payments to the credit card company. If you have questions about liability, you can email the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) or call toll-free at 1-877-275-3342.

Here are some other general tips to keep in mind for the process of stopping payment on a credit card.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

Identify the Credit Card Payment You Want to Cancel

When you contact your bank, make sure you’re clear about which payment you want to cancel. If you only have one automatic payment taken out, this wouldn’t apply.

Check the Restrictions That May Apply

Be clear about whether your stopped payment falls within your FCBA rights. Remember that you’re still liable to pay your credit card bill outside of any disputed charges due to how credit cards work.

Contact the Credit Card Provider to Stop the Pending Payment

If you want to contact your credit card company to stop a pending payment, use the phone number on the back of your card. You can then talk to someone about stopping the payment.

Verify That the Payment Has Been Canceled

Whether you talk to your financial institution or the credit card company, ask for the name of the person you spoke to and a confirmation number. Take good notes and keep them. Later, you’ll want to check back to make sure that the payment was indeed canceled.

What to Do in the Case of the Non-Reversal of Funds

If you aren’t satisfied with how your credit card company is handling a situation, you can submit an online complaint online to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or call them at (855) 411-2372.

Also keep in mind that if your dispute was denied, you can request an explanation from your credit card company. You also have the option to appeal the decision.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

The Takeaway

It is possible to cancel a credit card payment if it falls within your FCBA rights or it’s due to fraudulent activity. There are protections built into the law for when you receive erroneous billing, as well as an established process to follow to address this issue. In the meantime, you’re still liable to make minimum payments outside of the disputed amount.

If you’re looking to apply for a credit card, SoFi offers one that’s designed to help you save and invest as well as to pay down SoFi debt.

FAQ

Can I cancel a pending transaction on my credit card?

Possibly. Contact the merchant and ask them to cancel the transaction. Aim to do so in the day or two before the pending charge is added to your balance. Once it’s posted, then you would need to pursue another route, like filing a dispute or asking for a chargeback.

Does canceling a credit card payment affect your credit score?

If you dispute a charge, it may show up on a credit report, but it won’t directly affect your scores. The FCBA notes that it’s not legal for someone to be denied credit because they disputed a bill. That said, to avoid your credit score getting dinged, you must keep up credit card payments outside of the disputed amount.

How long does it take to cancel a credit card payment?

You should provide at least three days’ notice before a bill is set to be taken out of a bank account. That should provide adequate time for the cancelation of the credit card payment.


Photo credit: iStock/solidcolours??



Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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What Does Unlimited Cash Back Mean? Is It Worth It?

What Does Unlimited Cash Back Mean? Is It Worth It?

There are lots of different credit card types to choose from, especially if you have a high credit score. In an attempt to earn your business, many card issuers offer rewards every time you use their card, including unlimited cash back for qualifying purchases.

What unlimited cash-back means is you can earn uncapped rewards using the card — in other words, your earning potential isn’t limited to a certain amount. While this might sound too good to pass up, there are both pros and cons to consider to determine whether unlimited cash back is worth it for you.

What Is Cash Back?

Cash back is a type of reward that a credit card issuer may offer through its rewards credit cards. Depending on the terms, cardholders can earn a certain percentage back on qualifying purchases (cash advances typically don’t qualify). For instance, you may be able to earn 2% cash back on purchases at gas stations, or 3% back at grocery stores.

Some cards may put caps on how much cash back you can earn. As an example, a card may limit cardholders to 2% cash back for up to $5,000 in purchases in a calendar year. While cardholders may still be able to earn cash back after they’ve hit their certain earnings threshold, they may earn rewards at a lower rate thereafter.

What Is Unlimited Cash Back?

Unlimited cash back means that your credit card offers cash-back rewards with no caps or limits on how much you can earn. In most cases, you can earn cash back on all of your purchases, though some cards may only offer unlimited cash back on certain spending categories.

For most credit cards, your cash-back rewards don’t expire as long as you keep your card open. This means that if you continue racking up rewards, you may be able to redeem your accumulated cash-back rewards for a sizable statement credit or other perk.

How Unlimited Cash Back Credit Cards Work

How credit cards work that offer unlimited cash back is that they allow cardholders to earn cash back on their purchases with no earning cap. In other words, there is no limit as to how much you can earn on qualifying purchases with these types of credit cards.

As you earn these rewards, you can redeem them in several ways. This includes as a statement credit or actual cash via a check or bank transfer.

In general, you’ll need good or excellent credit (meaning a score of 670 or above) to qualify for an unlimited cash back card. That being said, there are also cash back credit cards with less stringent credit card requirements, meaning you may be able to qualify even if you have a fair credit score or limited credit history. In general, however, the higher your score, the better the rewards tend to be.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

Pros and Cons of Unlimited Cash Back

Before signing up for an unlimited cash back credit card, consider the advantages and disadvantages first.

Pros

Cons

Can earn money back on purchases, with no caps on earnable rewards Generally need at least good credit to qualify for top rewards programs
Don’t have to worry about hitting spending thresholds or other caps May need to pay an annual fee
Simple and straightforward to earn and redeem rewards Like other rewards credit cards, may have a higher APR than standard credit cards
Can help to build credit with responsible usage Not as lucrative of a rewards option for frequent travelers

Is Unlimited Cash Back Worth It?

Getting an unlimited cash back credit card might be worth it if you’re confident you can maximize its rewards. For instance, if you continually make purchases in higher rewards categories, you can save some serious cash due to the rewards earnings. Ideally, you’d be able to earn enough rewards to entirely offset the annual fee, if your card has one.

An unlimited cash back card may not be a great fit if you continually carry a balance on your credit card, given what a credit card is and how you’ll accrue interest. Your interest rate will likely be higher than the cash back rate you’ll earn, which means carrying a balance could cancel out rewards earnings.

Another reason to think twice about an unlimited cash back card is if you’re a frequent traveler. A travel rewards program may be a better choice since you can earn free flights, hotel rooms, and even cash back. Plus, you might earn more lucrative rewards on travel-related spending than a cash back card would offer.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Categories of Unlimited Cash Back Credit Cards You Can Choose From

There are several ways credit cards give you cash back, including flat rate and through different spending categories.

Flat Rate

Flat-rate rewards allow you to earn the same cash-back rate across all purchases made using a credit card. For instance, you might earn 3% cash back on all purchases made with the card. Some may issue you a certain percentage cash back when you make a purchase, and then another amount you pay off your credit card bill. Regardless, your specific spending category won’t matter for earning with a flat-rate rewards card.

Rotating Categories

Your credit card may offer several spending categories each quarter that you can select from to earn cash back. For instance, you might be able to choose to get 5% cash back on purchases at gas stations or office supply stores for the first quarter. After the quarter is over, you can choose a different spending category.

While rotating categories can allow you to maximize your rewards-earning potential, this setup does require some strategizing. You’ll need to stay on top of choosing a new category each quarter. Plus, you’ll then have to make sure you adequately take advantage of spending within that category.

Fixed Spending Categories

Instead of choosing different categories every quarter, some credit cards offer fixed cash-back earnings for various spending categories. For instance, a card may allow you to earn 3% cash back for purchases at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

While fixed spending categories require much less planning ahead for, you will want to ensure the card you sign up for rewards you in a category you regularly spend in. Otherwise, you could end up forgoing valuable rewards.

Maximizing Unlimited Cash Back Earnings

If you want to make the most of earning unlimited cash back, here are some general credit card rules to keep in mind:

Select the Right Card

It’s a good idea to do your research and find a card that matches your spending habits. For example, if you use your credit card a lot at gas stations, it might not be the best choice to sign up for a card that doesn’t offer cash back rewards for this category.

Time Your Spending

If you sign up for a credit card with a sign up bonus, consider timing your card opening with a major purchase you’d been planning. Doing so will help ensure that you meet the minimum spend requirements in order to earn the bonus.

Or, if your credit card is about to have extra earnings for a rotating category, you might think about waiting until that time to make a planned purchase.

Note Spending Categories

After signing up for a card, pay attention to how much cash back you’ll earn in different categories if it’s not a flat rate card. That way, you can be sure to use that card exclusively for certain spending categories, or make sure you sign up for rotating categories well within the deadline.

Review Credit Card Terms

Looking over your credit card terms can help to ensure that you know what does and doesn’t count toward earnings. You might also discover through your card’s terms that you can earn enhanced rewards by taking certain actions, such as holding a certain amount of money in an associated bank account.

The Takeaway

A cash-back credit card is a great way to earn rewards that doesn’t necessarily require a complicated redemption process. Even better is when the card doesn’t place limits on the amount of cash-back rewards you can earn, which is the meaning of unlimited cash back.

Still, you’ll need to make sure you avoid carrying a balance and take steps to maximize your rewards to ensure you don’t negate your cash-back rewards earnings.

Looking for an easy way to earn cash back? Check out the SoFi credit card.

FAQ

How does unlimited cash back work?

If you have a credit card with unlimited cash back, that means there are no limits on the amount of rewards you can earn through qualifying purchases.

Is unlimited cash back better than points?

Whether cash back or points is better really depends on your preferences. Cash back is straightforward to track and redeem. Meanwhile, points may translate to a greater range of redemption opportunities, including for travel-related purchases. However, the value of points can vary depending on the card and the way the points are redeemed.


Photo credit: iStock/AsiaVision






Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How to Take Advantage of Credit Card Limited-Time Offers_780x440

How to Take Advantage of Credit Card Limited-Time Offers

It’s not hard to understand the appeal of rewards credit cards that give cardholders cash back, travel miles, and other perks in return for charging everyday purchases. Credit card bonus offers can stretch those rewards even further for those who know how to take advantage of them.

When it comes to capitalizing on credit card promotions, it’s helpful to know how credit card bonus offers work and how to determine what limited-time credit card offers are available to you. From there, you can decide which promotional credit card offer makes the most sense for you to snag.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card

How Do Credit Card Bonus Offers Work?

To understand how credit card bonus offers work, it’s helpful to first understand the basics of reward credit cards. Whether it’s a cash back card, travel credit card, or some other type of rewards card, these credit cards allow cardholders to earn back a small percentage of the value of their purchases. Account holders may get their rewards in the form of cash back, credit card points, or airline miles.

With credit card bonus offers, credit card issuers layer limited-time offers atop the regular benefits. Some common types of credit card promotions follow.

Welcome Bonuses

Designed to help make a specific credit card more appealing, welcome bonuses can fuel returns in the first weeks or months after signing up for a new card. How welcome bonuses work varies from card to card, but they generally provide increased reward earnings either up to a certain expenditure limit or for hitting a minimum spend.

The rewards may come in the form of flat-rate cash back or points, a better rewards rate, or another limited-time perk, depending on the type of credit card. For example, a card might provide a bonus for cardholders who charge at least $1,000 within the first three months of receiving their credit card. Another offer might double the rewards rate for a set time period, up to a maximum rewards dollar value. In some cases, cardholders might receive a welcome bonus simply for signing up.

Lower APR

The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the rate of interest that is applied to credit card balances and transactions like cash advances. Some credit card promotions offer a lower — or even 0% — APR for a limited time.

These promotional periods may last anywhere from six months to 21 months. After that point, your APR will return to your standard rate, which is determined based on factors like creditworthiness and the type of credit card.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Other Limited-Time Offers

While welcome bonuses are nice, credit card promotions don’t always dry up after the introductory period. Some credit cards may offer additional periodic promotions, such as increased credit card rewards earnings during a specific time period or offers for spending at a particular retailer or partner.

Look out for promotional emails or notifications on your statement or online account to stay aware of such offers.

What Offers are Available to Me?

If you’re not sure what new credit card bonus offers are currently available to you, it’s easy to check. Simply log onto your credit card account and click over to the rewards portal. That should give you a view of the credit card promotions currently on offer, though you’ll want to log on frequently to see the latest offerings.

You might also be able to opt in to communications from your credit card company about current promotional offers. Check your settings on your communication preferences to ensure you’re not missing out on these emails if you’d like to receive them.

Which Limited-Time Offer Should You Choose?

Any credit card promotion that keeps more money in the cardholder’s wallet is likely an attractive one. But some offers are better suited to certain financial situations.

If You Have a Big Purchase Coming Up

Whether it’s booking a big vacation, paying for a wedding or new appliances, or covering some other big-ticket outlay, timing a big purchase with a credit card promotion period can be beneficial.

It might be a stretch for some individuals to max out a welcome offer that requires $4,000 or more in spending within the first few months. But if a big planned expense is on the horizon, it could be a good time to take advantage of a welcome offer that requires a little more spending than usual. (Just make sure to pay off the balance to avoid interest charges and/or reward penalties.)

Recommended: What is a Charge Card

If You’re Carrying a Balance With a High APR

Although the best strategy to avoid paying interest on credit card charges is to pay off purchases in full by the statement date, that may not always be possible. For those who are trying to pay down a balance, taking advantage of a 0% APR offer (or switching to a balance transfer credit card) may reduce or eliminate interest costs and help with paying down credit card debt.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

If You Want To Optimize Everyday Purchases

The best type of credit card promotion for getting the most back from everyday purchases really depends on both the spender and the card. For instance, a credit card that provides a welcome bonus of 30,000 airline miles might be a great deal — but only for individuals who travel.

As such, finding the best credit card promotion for regular, everyday spending means taking the time to look at your usual spending habits. Then, compare limited-time credit card offers to find the best personal fit, whether that’s credit card miles or cash-back rewards, or another form of credit card bonus.

Tips for Taking Advantage of Bonus Offers

If you’re hoping to cash in on credit cards bonus offers, here are some key tips to keep in mind.

Do Your Homework

There can be many credit card promotions to choose from, with more limited-time offers popping up all the time. Before choosing a new credit card, it’s always a good idea to do some comparison shopping, considering factors such as annual fees, the APR, and the specifics of any rewards programs.

For those who track their spending, these records can be helpful for gauging actual expenditures across categories in order to estimate the potential benefits of various cards.

Keep Track of Expiration Dates

The important thing to remember about limited-time offers? They expire.

You may want to set up reminders for when offers will end. That way, you’ll remember to meet any minimum spending requirements or get in last-minute purchases before bonus rates end.

Avoid Carrying a Balance

Most credit card purchases don’t incur interest — if the cardholder pays off the full balance by the statement due date. Carrying a balance means interest charges, which are usually applied going back to the date of purchase. This can quickly add up and potentially outweigh the benefits of any credit card promotions.

Furthermore, before only paying the minimum, it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions, which will tell you specifics of how a credit card works. That way, you can ensure the promotion still applies for those who carry a balance.

Think Before Canceling a Card After an Offer Expires

With so many attractive credit card offers on the market, it might seem like a good idea to open and close accounts in order to keep claiming new promotions. However, this may not be the best strategy for those concerned about their credit score.

For starters, each new credit card application results in a hard inquiry to check the applicant’s credit score. Each time a lender conducts such a check, it results in a slight reduction in credit score — which can last up to a year (and will remain on one’s credit report for up to two years). Applying for many cards to claim multiple offers can add up.

Furthermore, as much as 30% of your credit score is informed by your overall credit utilization rate, or how much you owe on all your revolving accounts, such as credit cards, compared with your total available credit. Canceling cards reduces the total amount of credit you have available — and if it’s a card with a big credit limit, cancellation can have a significant impact on your credit utilization ratio.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit

Will I Get Approved Immediately?

Even if you find the perfect promotional credit card offer, remember that there’s no guarantee that you’re going to get approved for it. Particularly if reaping the bonus credit bonus offer requires applying for a new card, know that there’s never a guarantee of approval.

Rewards credit cards generally require at least a good credit score (meaning 670+) to qualify for. If your score is too low, or there are any credit report concerns, that could impact your approval odds.

Application-related issues could interfere with how fast you’re approved, too. For instance, if there’s an issue verifying your income or you’ve inadvertently turned in an incomplete application, it might take a bit longer for the credit card company to make a decision.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

The Takeaway

Whether it’s a welcome bonus, a low APR introductory rate, or a periodic promotion, credit card bonus offers can amplify rewards for those who know how to take advantage of them. To choose the right credit card promotion for your financial situation, it’s important to know the options and how they work. For instance, you might opt for a welcome bonus if you know a big purchase is coming up, whereas a 0% APR promo might be better if you’re working to pay down a credit card balance.

Always keep your eyes peeled for new credit card bonus offers to crop up, too. For instance, those who get a SoFi Credit Card temporarily have the chance to earn a higher rate of cash-back rewards.






SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

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Can You Pay Rent with a Credit Card?

Can You Pay Rent With a Credit Card?

From everyday purchases to splurges, consumers often turn to credit cards. Some even reach for the plastic to pay the rent. But is paying rent by credit card a good idea? And can you pay rent with a credit card even? The answer to both questions: It depends.

Whether you can pay rent with a credit card largely depends on your landlord’s rules, though there are potential workarounds. But even if you can figure out how to pay rent with your credit card, there are pros and cons to paying rent with a credit card that you’ll want to consider.

Do Landlords Allow Payment by Credit Card?

For renters tempted to reach for the plastic, the first likely question is whether this mode of payment is even accepted. The answer to whether you can pay rent with a credit card will depend on the landlord, though many do not allow it.

The reason many landlords don’t allow it is because accepting credit card payments causes them to incur fees. Due to how credit cards work, credit card transactions are subject to fees that are set by the financial institution that issues the card, the companies that partner with the financial institution (like Visa and Mastercard), and the processor responsible for securing and carrying out the credit card transaction.

The amount of these fees depend on a number of things, including the merchant’s total sales volume and how credit cards are processed. Businesses that process between $10,000 and $250,000 in credit card payments annually pay between 2.87% and 4.35% per transaction, according to Square. This means that if a tenant were to charge $1,000 in rent, the landlord would net about $957 to $971 — unless the cost of credit card processing was extended to the renter in the form of a surcharge. To avoid that bite, some landlords do not permit credit card payments for rent.

Even when a landlord does not allow people to pay rent using a credit card, there may be workarounds via third-party apps. These apps effectively charge renters a fee to convert their credit card payment into a form of payment their landlord accepts. Fees can range from 2.75% to 3% of every rental payment. Additionally, the landlord often has to agree to the arrangement.

Pros of Paying Rent With a Credit Card

There’s a famous old saying: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” But there are some scenarios when charging the rent might make sense. Here are some of the potential pros of paying rent with your credit card.

Flexibility

Rent schedules are typically fairly rigid, with payment due at the same time each month. Though this regular schedule can be a boon for budgeting, it can be challenging for gig workers or anyone else with irregular pay periods that don’t line up with when rent is due.But if a cardholder charges the rent, that money becomes due only when their credit card bill is due, providing greater flexibility on the actual payment date.

However, it’s important to stay strict about honoring your credit card due date. Making late credit card payments can result in credit card interest charges, late fees, and even a hit to one’s credit score.

As such, individuals may want to leverage credit cards for flexibility only if they are sure they’ll have the money available when their credit card payment becomes due. In other words, even if charging rent to your credit card offers more flexibility, it’s still necessary to budget for rent each month.

Earn Rewards

While there are many basic credit cards on the market, there are also cards that reward people for spending. Rewards can come in the form of cash back, points that can be redeemed toward travel and other perks, and airline miles. For those with reward credit cards, paying rent by credit card can represent a great opportunity to rack up spending and earn those perks.

However, it’s important to do the math. Third-party fees or credit card payment surcharges can cancel out any benefit a cardholder may earn, or even ultimately cost more if fees are greater than the reward offering.

Cover Immediate Expenses

If you’re short on cash, paying rent with a credit card can buy you some time. By putting what’s likely one of your largest expenditures on your credit card, you can free up funds for more immediate expenses. Then, you’ll have a bit of time to restock your bank account by the time your credit card bill comes due.

If you do this, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to pay off your credit card balance in full by the end of the month, rather than just the credit card minimum payment. Otherwise, you’ll end up accruing interest on top of the money you’ll still owe for rent.

Also take notice if you regularly charge the rent out of necessity. If you do, this merits taking a closer look into the root causes. You’ll want to figure out how you might address those issues in your monthly budget instead of constantly relying on your credit card for backup.

Cons of Paying Rent With a Credit Card

Charging the rent can be a risky proposition, given what a credit card is. Here are additional reasons why paying rent with a credit card may not be a good idea.

There May Be Extra Fees

As discussed, some landlords and third-party payment companies may tack on a surcharge for credit card payments. Let’s say the surcharge is 3%, or an extra $30 on $1,000 in monthly rent. While that may not sound like much, it adds up to $360 a year — money some individuals may prefer to spend elsewhere.

Landlord surcharges aren’t the only cost that can make it more expensive to pay rent by credit card. Making a credit card payment even a day late can increase the total amount due, thanks to interest charges and late fees. And the later the debt — in this case, rent — is paid off in full, the more interest that will accrue.

Though interest rates vary by credit card, they are often higher than other lending products, like personal loans. The average credit card annual percentage rate is over 21%. Worse, the interest compounds, so each month that cardholders do not pay off the rent in full, they’ll incur interest on both the balance and the interest that has accrued.

It Can Affect Credit Score

If you put your rent on your credit card but then don’t handle your credit card debt responsibly, it could have negative implications for your credit. Behaviors like regularly missing credit card payments can lead you to have a bad credit score, which can have serious repercussions down the road.

Your credit score reflects your creditworthiness, or the risk you pose to lenders. The number (300 to 850 for the FICO® Score and VantageScore models) affects how likely it is for you to be approved for another credit card (or a mortgage or other loan) and the interest rate you’ll have to pay. You may also need to maintain a minimum credit score to rent an apartment.

Because rent tends to be a significant expenditure in most people’s budgets, you’ll want to ensure that you’ll have the funds on hand to pay the balance in full if you do choose to charge the rent.

It Can Increase Your Credit Utilization Rate

Even if you make your payments on time, paying rent with a credit card can still affect your credit score. That’s because scores are based in part on an individual’s credit utilization ratio, which is the proportion of credit being used relative to the total available amount.

When it comes to credit utilization, the lower the better. Individuals with high credit utilization are at risk of hitting their credit limit (which can also ding their credit score). With rent likely making up a large proportion of the average individual’s expenditures, such payments can significantly increase total credit utilization. The same principle applies to other major charges as well, such as if you were to buy a car with a credit card.

Should You Pay Your Rent With a Credit Card?

Whether to pay rent with your credit card ultimately depends on your financial situation. As discussed, there are some major downsides to paying rent with your credit card, such as paying extra fees and potentially harming your credit score. You could even get into a cycle of debt if you charge your rent and then aren’t able to pay off your credit card balance in full to avoid interest charges.

If you do decide to move forward with paying rent with a credit card, proceed with caution. Do the math to make sure the rewards you may earn will actually offset the cost of any fees you’ll incur. Also verify that you’ll have the funds available within your monthly budget to pay off your accumulated credit card balance, especially since a hefty charge like rent can drive up credit utilization.

Steps for Paying Rent With a Credit Card

How you’ll pay rent with a credit card depends on whether your landlord will directly accept credit card payments for rent or whether you’ll need to go through a third-party app.

•   If your landlord does accept credit card payments: In this case, you’ll either pay your landlord directly or through an online payment portal. You’ll need to provide your credit card information, including your account number, expiration date, and CVV number. Make sure to verify the total amount. Also check to see whether there are any fees involved and if so, how much those will run.

•   If you need to go through a third-party app: Renters who need to go through a third party in order to pay rent with a credit card will first need to set up an account with one of the apps that provides this service. Make sure to find out what fees are involved before proceeding. You’ll then complete your credit card transaction through the intermediary, which will then pass along the funds to your landlord, either with a check or directly to their bank account.

Alternatives to Paying Rent With a Credit Card

Paying rent with a credit card is more like a last resort than a go-to option. If you’re wondering how to pay rent when you’re in a bind, here are some alternatives to consider:

•   Borrow money from family or friends: If you’re really in a pinch, consider asking a trusted family member or friend if they can lend you the funds. This will save you interest, and it will also save your credit score from the impact of a hard credit inquiry. Just make sure to reach an agreement about how and when you’ll pay back the money — otherwise, it could negatively affect your relationship.

•   Talk to your landlord: If you’re really struggling to come up with rent for the month, consider reaching out to your landlord. Especially if you’ve been prompt with rent payments in the past, they may be sympathetic and offer a little breathing room. Just make sure to come up with a plan in the meantime, as a break on rent won’t last forever.

•   Reach out to rental assistance resources: Another option for those who are having a hard time making rent payments is seeking out assistance. There might be local nonprofits, charities, or even government groups in your area that can offer help to those in need. You may also look into resources like 211.org or the CFPB.

The Takeaway

Can you pay rent with a credit card? Sometimes. But is it a good idea to pay rent with a credit card? If all of the numbers make sense, it could be. You’ll want to weigh both the potential pros of charging your rent to a credit card, like possibly earning rewards or gaining flexibility, against the downsides, such as possible repercussions for your credit score.

If paying with plastic is tempting, your choice of card can make a big difference in the ultimate benefits you receive. The SoFi Credit Card, for instance, allows you to earn generous cash-back rewards and possibly lower your APR through on-time payments.





Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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Guide to Paying Credit Card With a Debit Card

Guide to Paying Credit Cards With a Debit Card

Credit card companies don’t alway make it easy, but there are ways to pay your credit card bill with your debit card. To use your debit card to pay a credit card bill, you must do so via bank transfer payment. In other words, you have to use either a credit card provider’s payment portal or a third-party payment portal that includes not only your debit card information, but also your banking information.

Keep in mind, however, that credit card companies usually prefer to receive payment funds from the customer’s bank account over a physical debit card. Many credit card providers simply don’t accept monthly bill payments with physical debit cards, but they will allow debit card payments if you play by their rules. That may change the way you may use a debit card to pay a credit card bill, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Debit Card?

You might be able to pay a credit card with a debit card. Whether you can do so really depends on the credit card provider’s policy on debit card payments — some credit card policies allow for them and others don’t.

Consequently, you may have to go out of your way to get the job done. When you go to pay your credit card bill, there likely won’t be an option to enter a card number as a method of payment, whether that card is a credit card or a debit card. In most cases, however, you can pay your credit card bill with the bank account that the debit card is attached to by making an electronic transfer.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

How to Make a Credit Card Bill Payment (Indirectly) With a Debit Card

Even if you can’t use a debit card to directly pay a credit card bill, you can indirectly use a debit card — or rather the funds attached to that debit card — to pay your outstanding credit card debt. Here’s how:

1.    Review your checking account, and get the bank routing number and checking account number. Do so privately and securely, so as not to attract financial fraudsters.

2.    Go to your credit card account to set up automatic payment. A handy feature of how credit cards work, this will allow money to be withdrawn from your bank account ahead of the monthly payment due date. On that date, the credit card company will withdraw the specified cash amount from your bank account.

3.    Make sure you have enough cash in your bank account to cover the withdrawal. If you don’t, your credit card company will reject the payment. It’s up to you to reach out and make good on your monthly credit card payment that’s due. Any delay in doing so could result in a missed or late payment, which could have financial consequences.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

Paying a Credit Card Bill With a Debit Card Online

If you’re using a debit card to pay a credit card bill online, you’ll need to make that payment through the credit card’s payment portal. The good news is that credit card companies may accommodate online debit card payments.

Once you’ve signed into your credit card account, you’ll be given several options to pay your bill. The most common methods include ACH bank payment, a third-party payment platform, over the phone, or with your debit card.

Simply click on the debit card payment option and fill in your card details (this should only be a one-time occurrence as your debit card information should be securely held by your credit card provider in its payment portal.)

Once your debit card information is accurately entered, review the payment and hit “send.” Your payment should be confirmed immediately by the card carrier, and the money will leave your debit card account within 24 hours or so.

Paying a Credit Card Bill With a Debit Card Offline

Credit card companies likely allow you to use your debit card to make a credit card payment by phone, in person, and sometimes through the sponsoring bank’s ATM.

Make sure you have your debit card on you before paying at any bank or over the phone. If even one digit is wrong, the payment won’t go through, and you’ll have to revert to another form of payment to cover your credit card debt.

Are There Any Downsides to Paying Your Credit Card Bill With a Debit Card?

The fact is, while credit card companies will accept debit card bill payments, it’s not their preferred form of payment. It’s easier for credit card carriers to process bank ACH payments or third-party payments through platforms like PayPal, which handle the process for the card company. As such, you’ll have to jump through hoops or go an indirect route, similarly to if you were to try to pay credit card statement with another credit card.

Further, debit card payments may be prone to various outcomes that credit card companies don’t like. This includes scenarios such as the cardholder not having enough money in their account to cover the credit card payment or the fact that debit cards are common targets of financial fraudsters. In fact, a key difference between a credit card and debit card is their levels of payment protection.

The Takeaway

Just because you can use a debit card, even in limited fashion, to pay your credit card bill doesn’t mean you should. To keep payments flowing smoothly and to protect your debit card (and your bank account), it’s likely a better move to pay your credit card bills via bank ACH transactions, or through secure third-party payment processors. That way, your payment still originates from your bank checking account — only without the potential payment and security headaches that may come with using a debit card to pay a credit card bill.

Whether you're looking to build credit, apply for a new credit card, or save money with the cards you have, it's important to understand the options that are best for you. Learn more about credit cards by exploring this credit card guide.

FAQ

Can I pay a credit card online with a debit card?

Technically, yes, you can pay your credit card bill with your debit card. However, it may take some extra steps to do so.

Can I pay my credit card at an ATM with a debit card?

Yes, you can use a debit card at an ATM to pay a credit card bill — but only an ATM from the bank that offers the credit card.

Are there extra charges for paying a credit card with a debit card?

You generally won’t face any extra charges for paying a credit card with a debit card. You may simply have to jump through some extra hoops to do so.

Can I pay my credit card bill with someone else’s debit card?

While this is technically doable, it’s not advisable. Using another party’s debit card to pay a credit card bill can get complicated, especially if you’re not certain the other person’s bank account has sufficient funds to cover your balance.


Photo credit: iStock/insta_photos

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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