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Update: RadPad changed their fees as of August 17, 2016. Now you’ll pay, for debit cards, $4.95 for rents lower than $5,000 and $9.95 for rents over $5,000. For all credit cards there will be a 2.99% fee.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
There’s now a cheaper (and super convenient!) way to meet minimum spending requirements by paying your rent!
RadPad is an online service that allows you to pay your rent with a credit card (for a fee) or debit card. And now they’ve lowered the fee for MasterCard payments!
This could be a good deal for folks looking for easy ways to meet the minimum spending requirement on a new MasterCard. Or to earn miles & points on a bill you’d pay anyway.
What’s the Deal?
I’ve written about RadPad as a way to meet minimum spending requirements and earn miles, points, or cash back. You pay your rent online using a debit or credit card, and RadPad mails a check to your landlord.
It’s a simple process. They’ll let you know when the landlord cashes the check. And they even guarantee payment.
With RadPad, you can use a debit card to pay rent for free. I have friends who use the PayPal Business Debit card with RadPad to earn 1% back each month on their rent payments!
Until recently, RadPad added a 2.5% fee to credit card payments. But that’s changed.
Starting February 1, 2016, the fee for MasterCard payments will be lowered to 1.99%. However, the charge for Visa, American Express, and Discover purchases has gone up to 3.49% (not a good deal!).
This isn’t the cheapest way to meet minimum spending requirements, but it’s certainly a reasonable and convenient alternative. Especially if you don’t have a lot of expenses or a big purchase coming up that would allow you to meet the spending requirement for free.
Example – Citi ThankYou Premier
Suppose you’ve recently opened a Citi ThankYou Premier MasterCard. The sign-up bonus is 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
If your rent is $1,500 per month, you’ll meet the minimum spending requirement in 2 months. You’ll pay a total of ~$3,060 ($3,000 rent plus 1.99% service charge).
Citi ThankYou points earned from the Citi ThankYou Premier are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more booked through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center. And potentially much more when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners!
By paying 2 months rent with RadPad, you’ll earn:
- 50,000 Citi ThankYou points (sign-up bonus – worth $625 or more in Big Travel at 1.25 cents per point)
- ~3,060 Citi ThankYou points (1 Citi ThankYou point per $1 you spend – worth at least ~$38 in travel at 1.25 cents per point)
If you don’t have other ways to meet the minimum spending, I think it’s worth paying ~$60 in RadPad fees to earn over $650 (or more) in free travel! Especially when it’s from the comfort of your living room.
I like that RadPad is stress-free. And it’s a quick way to meet a spending requirement in just 1 or 2 transactions. I also like that your landlord does NOT have to sign-up. She or he gets a regular check in the mail.
Here are some other MasterCards you might consider if you need to meet their minimum spending requirement:
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus
- Chase IHG Rewards
- Citi AAdvantage Executive
- Citi AAdvantage Platinum
- Citi Prestige
I don’t normally recommend paying a fee for credit card transactions just to earn miles, points, or cash back, because the fee often negates the value of the rewards you’ll earn.
But 1.99% is very low. And depending on how you like to use your miles & points, it could be worth using RadPad on a regular basis (not just to meet minimum spending requirements) to earn more Big Travel.
If you’re able to get a value of more than ~2 cents per mile or point you earn (such as redeeming them for Business or First Class flights), you’ll come out ahead using RadPad and MasterCard!
Starting February 1, 2016, RadPad will reduce the fee for paying rent with a MasterCard to 1.99%. Until now, the fee has been 2.5%.
This could be a convenient (and cheaper) way to meet minimum spending requirements on a new MasterCard if you don’t have a lot of expenses or big purchases coming up.
Some folks might even consider paying the fee on a regular basis to earn miles & points. If you can redeem your miles & points for expensive flights and hotels, you could come out ahead paying rent with RadPad.