Author Topic: New landlord won't take credit cards (forgoing miles on my new United card)  (Read 6042 times)

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
I just got a Chase United Explorer card and had been paying my rent using the card for the last 2 months.  I'm moving out very soon and after literally agonizing over where to move to I *finally* settled on a place.  I am supposed to sign the lease tomorrow and had just started looking for a roommate.

Hope this isn't complainypants territory, but since getting my new United card I've been putting literally everything on that card.  I make payments to the card 2-3 times a week to try to keep the utilization low (and because I just like doing it that way).  I really want to start saving on travel (flights) and just found out my new landlord won't accept card payments (he's an individual, not a large company).  I had planned on continuing to pay the rent with my credit card (whoever my roommate ends up being would just pay me their part was the plan in my head).  That means I'd be forgoing 1,500 miles per month or 18,000 free miles a year since he does not accept cards.

Any thoughts on what I can do about this or how to get around it....?  I mean, on one hand I understand he doesn't accept credit cards.  But on the other hand I'd really hate to lose that many free miles a year because of this.  I can't use Chase QuickPay either; that only lets you make payments through your actual checking account. 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 08:35:01 AM by EconDiva »

BeardedLady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
There is not a way around it that I know of. To put it in perspective, what is the cash value of 18,000 miles, about $180? Your landlord (and anyone who accepts credit cards) has to pay at least twice that to the credit card companies just for swiping your card. Consider that the landlord would likely pass that on to you in the form of higher rent. Yay! Now you are getting a discount for paying cash that is better than using your card for points! You're welcome.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
There is not a way around it that I know of. To put it in perspective, what is the cash value of 18,000 miles, about $180? Your landlord (and anyone who accepts credit cards) has to pay at least twice that to the credit card companies just for swiping your card. Consider that the landlord would likely pass that on to you in the form of higher rent. Yay! Now you are getting a discount for paying cash that is better than using your card for points! You're welcome.

It's only $180?  I guess I never thought of it that way.

A free roundtrip flight to the Caribbean or Mexico is 35,000 miles...just by paying my rent with my card I'm halfway there to a free flight in 1 year...and I'd get there in one year because I'd also be putting $1,500 worth of non-rent charges on the card.

However, if I don't pay my rent with my card, I estimate it would take 2 years to get that free trip (without putting $1,500 rent on the card I'd expect to only put about $1,500 on the card a month as opposed to $3,000 on the card a month).

So I was looking at it from the perspective of...by my landlord simply not taking credit card payments, it will take 2 years for a free flight that would under other circumstances (like the one I'm in now where the landlord accepts credit card payments) take only 1 year.

Wrong way to look at things? 

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2298
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Just consider yourself lucky that your previous landlord accepted credit card payments - I haven't seen many that do. You could look into manufactured spending, but that's usually only worthwhile if you're playing the signup bonus game - its a lot more work than just using a decent rewards card for as much real spending as you can.

Vanguards and Lentils

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 288
  • Age: 29
Agreed that you were just lucky with your previous landlord. They were basically just taking ~2% less in rent from you due to fees.

Will you be paying lower rent+utilities now? You are "missing out" on 1500*12 points per year, and if you value those at $.02 each point, then that's "losing" $360 a year (maybe less since the card has an annual fee), which comes out to $30 a month. If your new situation gets you over $30 in value compared to your old situation, then you're still better off.

Ricksun

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Agreed with other posters.  The only scenario I've seen landlords accepting payment via credit card was with a 2-3% surcharge added, which represent the cost that Visa/MasterCard/Discover/American Express charge the vendor to process the charge.  You had a unique situation with your previous location.

Ricksun

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Agreed that you were just lucky with your previous landlord. They were basically just taking ~2% less in rent from you due to fees.

Will you be paying lower rent+utilities now? You are "missing out" on 1500*12 points per year, and if you value those at $.02 each point, then that's "losing" $360 a year (maybe less since the card has an annual fee), which comes out to $30 a month. If your new situation gets you over $30 in value compared to your old situation, then you're still better off.

Oh, in the end, dollars-wise I'll be better.

Rent's about $1200 now...it'll be $1500 at the new place.  However, I have one month to get a roommate so the plan would be I pay ~$750 a month at the new place.  Utilities may be lower but can't estimate that without both of us in the place yet. 

This is a major move for me...had I not been on MMM I'd never consider getting a roommate and at 37, haven't had one in over a decade.  I'm extremely nervous/anxious about all of this but in looking at the numbers I feel like it's the way to go if I really want to live a more frugal life.

Vanguards and Lentils

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 288
  • Age: 29
I'd call it a win!

Also not sure how far down the rabbit hole you're willing to go with credit cards, but if you are: there is an online service called "radpad" I've been using to pay rent. You pay them with credit card, and they mail a check to your landlord on your behalf. If you use a mastercard, they charge a fee of 2% of your rent. I know of a travel card which happens to be MC, and has a good bonus: the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which gets 2 miles (=$.02) per dollar spent. You'd be able to get the signup bonus of $400  easily, and the points-earning would cancel out the fee that radpad charges.

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Age: 41
  • Location: SW Ohio

A free roundtrip flight to the Caribbean or Mexico is 35,000 miles...


I have that card and used to fly United ALL the time... sorry to burst your bubble but you will not be very likely to get the "saver" round trip for 35k miles, maybe one way (37.5k) but not round trip. I recently had to spend 50k just to go round trip from Ohio to Colorado, and that was in early Nov before the ski resorts were open so it wasn't a demand thing.  Just beware that United as with the other airlines are getting very stingy with award travel and have been constantly devaluing points.  If you want to CC churn for free flights, there are better offers/cards out there to get free air travel.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130

A free roundtrip flight to the Caribbean or Mexico is 35,000 miles...


I have that card and used to fly United ALL the time... sorry to burst your bubble but you will not be very likely to get the "saver" round trip for 35k miles, maybe one way (37.5k) but not round trip. I recently had to spend 50k just to go round trip from Ohio to Colorado, and that was in early Nov before the ski resorts were open so it wasn't a demand thing.  Just beware that United as with the other airlines are getting very stingy with award travel and have been constantly devaluing points.  If you want to CC churn for free flights, there are better offers/cards out there to get free air travel.

What cardsand/or methods would you suggest/point me in the direction to?

I went to Mexico last fall roundtrip for that amount of miles with no problem.

Of course, by "no problem" I mean that I booked the trip like over 3 or 4 months in advance and had to do 1 stop each way but the layovers were short.

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Age: 41
  • Location: SW Ohio
What cardsand/or methods would you suggest/point me in the direction to?
I used to visit this guy for advice (when I was traveling a lot), though I have been spending most of my "forum" time here so I'm actually not sure how mustachian he is...

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/

I went to Mexico last fall roundtrip for that amount of miles with no problem.

Of course, by "no problem" I mean that I booked the trip like over 3 or 4 months in advance and had to do 1 stop each way but the layovers were short.

3-4 months huh?  I stand corrected... maybe the airport that I travel out of has an award inventory that is much slimmer.

As for the rent payments I think I have seen people looking for the same thing on various travel forums that I used to participate in..  flyertalk, cruise critic, etc.  That radpad sounds interesting though.

dcozad999

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
You could churn one card every year to get you that annual free flight. No point grinding for it all year.

Chase Sapphire Preferred still has a 50,000 UR bonus when you spend $4k in the first 3 months.  You can transfer those 50,000 miles to any of their partner airlines.
AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest currently has a 35,000 point bonus when you spend $3k in the first 3 months (though this deal ends on 3/30 so you'd have to sign up in the next week). 

These are two of the highest coveted rewards programs due to their flexibility. And since you said even without the rent you would be putting $1,500/month on the card, those bonuses are easily obtainable.


edit: make sure you cancel the card before the annual fee kicks in the next year (waived 1st year).
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 12:01:54 PM by dcozad999 »

soupcxan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
You're making 8 to 12 payments on your credit card per MONTH? Way unnecessary.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
You're making 8 to 12 payments on your credit card per MONTH? Way unnecessary.

I don't think there's anything wrong with it...

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
If you prefer to make multiple payments there's nothing wrong with it, but soupcxan is saying you don't need to if it is a hassle. 

Murse

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
All I have to say is... #mustachianproblems

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1715
As someone else said, grab the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  You'll get 55,000 Chase UR points after spending $4000 and adding an authorized user.  Those can be transferred to United. 

The Barclays Arrival can be an easy way to get $420 toward any travel expense without having to worry about miles and blackout dates.  Just pay for the flight with the card and use the points to zero out the cost.

Basically, I would just focus on sign up bonuses.  That way you get 10-75% back on all of your spending instead of 1-2%.

And as for making 8-12 payments a month.  That is weird, and I don't see any advantage to it.  If you are bored, I guess I won't tell you how to spend your free time.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 07:27:37 AM by kpd905 »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
There are lots better credit cards.

Amex preferred best grocery card out there.
Bank of America cash rewards for gas
Chase sapphire for eating out -which you shouldn't do but may as well get as much back as you can.

Don't want to offend but that united card is worth the sign up bonus and that's it. 


EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
You know what...I just realized that I'm not sure I can get the Chase Sapphire Preferred since I just got the United Card which is a Chase card.  I read an article recently that Chase started cracking down on people who churn by not allowing people with a new Chase card to get another Chase card within a certain period (1 or 2 years?) and still be eligible for the sign up bonus.

I need to look into this as the Sapphire card would have been my next preference....

cchrissyy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 732
  • Location: SF Bay Area
I've done well with the miles and points game for many years

It is VERY uncommon that a landlord will take card payments for rent.

It is also not likely you will find ways to pay your taxes or tuition or other large purchases on a card without paying a transaction fee that is larger than the benefit you get in points.

Go, get signup bonuses. Spend in the higher-earning everyday categories on the cards that have them.   Redeem your points smartly. Transfer when there are transfer bonuses. 

but don't spend even an hour trying to find a landlord who can put rent on your credit card. even if they exist, the cost will be more than the benefit.

Uou want to go from the continental US to the Caribbean?  Ok fine, get signup bonuses or for the points. Or wait for a fare sale. I've been SFO-SJU and others at least 5x when a round trip was about $250. And I earned miles on those and routed through NY to get even more!    Save your points for a better value redemption than that!  : )

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1715
You know what...I just realized that I'm not sure I can get the Chase Sapphire Preferred since I just got the United Card which is a Chase card.  I read an article recently that Chase started cracking down on people who churn by not allowing people with a new Chase card to get another Chase card within a certain period (1 or 2 years?) and still be eligible for the sign up bonus.

I need to look into this as the Sapphire card would have been my next preference....

How many credit cards have you signed up for in the last 2 years?  If it is more than 5, you won't be able to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  If it is lessthan 5, you should be fine.  You definitely don't need to wait 1-2 years between Chase cards, but 1-2 months is probably a good idea.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
You know what...I just realized that I'm not sure I can get the Chase Sapphire Preferred since I just got the United Card which is a Chase card.  I read an article recently that Chase started cracking down on people who churn by not allowing people with a new Chase card to get another Chase card within a certain period (1 or 2 years?) and still be eligible for the sign up bonus.

I need to look into this as the Sapphire card would have been my next preference....

How many credit cards have you signed up for in the last 2 years?  If it is more than 5, you won't be able to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  If it is lessthan 5, you should be fine.  You definitely don't need to wait 1-2 years between Chase cards, but 1-2 months is probably a good idea.

Just 1...I only have 2 credit cards.  A Cap1 and the new Chase United Explorer card (I've had it for 2 months). 

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
I've done well with the miles and points game for many years

It is VERY uncommon that a landlord will take card payments for rent.

It is also not likely you will find ways to pay your taxes or tuition or other large purchases on a card without paying a transaction fee that is larger than the benefit you get in points.

Go, get signup bonuses. Spend in the higher-earning everyday categories on the cards that have them.   Redeem your points smartly. Transfer when there are transfer bonuses. 

but don't spend even an hour trying to find a landlord who can put rent on your credit card. even if they exist, the cost will be more than the benefit.

Uou want to go from the continental US to the Caribbean?  Ok fine, get signup bonuses or for the points. Or wait for a fare sale. I've been SFO-SJU and others at least 5x when a round trip was about $250. And I earned miles on those and routed through NY to get even more!    Save your points for a better value redemption than that!  : )

I know it's uncommon really...however I've been paying mine online for like the past 5 years amongst 3 different landlords so I'd been getting used to it (large apartment complexes often offer this feature through their websites).

I honestly will probably use my points to travel to Europe as its 60K R/T with United.  I did use points for Mexico last year but would prefer to use the points for outside of continental US, Mexico and Caribbean as I realize the miles would be better spent on trips that cost more/are further away.  I was just using the Caribbean as an example.  I know SJU, CUN, etc etc are usually cheap enough to pay outright for.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
All I have to say is... #mustachianproblems

LOL! :)

soupcxan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
If you prefer to make multiple payments there's nothing wrong with it, but soupcxan is saying you don't need to if it is a hassle.

Making +10 payments on your credit card a month sounds like washing your hands 10 times when they're clean after the first time. Sounds like obsessive-compulsive behavior to me.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
If you prefer to make multiple payments there's nothing wrong with it, but soupcxan is saying you don't need to if it is a hassle.

Making +10 payments on your credit card a month sounds like washing your hands 10 times when they're clean after the first time. Sounds like obsessive-compulsive behavior to me.

Mental illness, depression and anxiety do run in my family so you're probably correct that it may be a tinge of that going on.  Thanks for pointing it out and for the helpful contribution to the topic of this thread.