Friends, Renters & Landlords, lend me your ears: Here’s a way for tenants to pay rent on time, thereby avoiding huge late-rent fees. It’s great for folks with unpredictable income, who like sleeping indoors.
“I don’t sell street meat! Why would I need Square?” That’s what I said about Square’s mobile credit card reader that plugs into one’s phone. Then I realized it can work like a charm for renters and rentees. Here’s how:
My tenant was going to be late, so I stopped by. Instead of breaking his thumbs, he paid me using his new Discover it card. The transaction is NOT a cash advance. He was paying for a Good/Service. I swiped his card, he signed with his finger, and a receipt was emailed to him.
Discover it, American Express Blue Cash & Citi Dividend Platinum Visa are no annual fee cards that pay at least 1% cash back and 12 – 15 months of 0% interest. That’s over a year of flexibility! Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
It’s good for the tenant because Square’s 2.75% swipe fee is probably less than the late-rent fee. Using a 1% cash back card (above) reduces the hit to 1.75% after all is done. It’s good for the landlord because the money is automatically deposited in his bank account the next business day. The 2.75% per swipe fee is Square’s ONLY charge for either party — ever.
Even if the tenant used a card that didn’t have 0% on new purchases, as long as he paid his credit card off in full when the bill came, he would not have any more fees or interest charges.
Those of you who collect frequent flyer miles and rewards points – let your imaginations run wild as to how Square might help you achieve bonuses. Peruse airline and rewards cards on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers.
How to get Square
Get the reader online or pick one up at Starbucks. I swung by Starbucks and was set up in minutes. I bought the Square reader for ten bucks. While my phone downloaded the free app, I went to squareup.com/redeem to create my account and enter the code that came with my reader. Doing so triggered a refund of $10 to my linked personal checking account – which showed up the next day.
Eddie’s Been Looking In My Mailbox is a post with stories about my experience as a landlord. Tenants must remember that it isn’t your landlord’s responsibility to be your safety net. Hopefully you will never be late on rent. If you have a cash flow problem and tardiness is likely, tell your landlord about Square. Forward him/her this post. It might save you money and headaches.
I wrote Pay Your Rent with Plastic to tell you how to pay your rent with your card, earning cash back or rewards in the process. That is still the best no-fee way to pay up to $1,000 if your landlord wants to do that way.
In my opinion, Square is the best deal for these card readers. Its swipe fee is competitive and the funds go in my account the next day. Intuit, PayPal and PayAnywhere are some other mobile credit card readers.
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