If you are young like me, you most likely don’t own your house or apartment and instead are stuck shelling out rent every month to your landlord.
Depending on how large your landlord is, they may or may not accept payments via credit card. More than likely if they do accept payment by credit card, than they conveniently pass along any additional transaction fees (usually 3%) on to you the renter. Therefore most of the time it makes no sense to pay an additional 3% to use a mileage earning credit card that are worth 1-2 cents each.
Luckily for me, my landlord lives in my building and is pretty flexible in terms of payments.
Prior to using this trick, I just wrote a check out each month. Although that was convenient, I was not earning any miles on the $750 I was spending each month on rent.
I use Amazon a lot and am not a fan of Paypal, so when I came across Amazon Payments and saw that it was free, I knew this could be a tool to earn some miles.
When Google launched their payment system a few years ago, they also did a similar promotion to steal market share from Paypal by offering to process transactions free of charge. This means that when you pay by credit card, Google or in this case Amazon, covered the 3% processing fee.
Basically if your landlord is tech savvy enough, you both just create an Amazon Payments account and every month you send your landlord your rent via Amazon Payments but charge your credit card. Your landlord won’t know that you are paying by credit card and you will earn miles.
In the event you landlord is hesitant, just tell them that your previous bank charged too many fees so you switched to Amazon’s “online” bank that is free. Plus because it is all electronic, your landlord won’t ever have to deposit any checks.
Now hypothetically you can use this to transfer money between friends and earn miles. However since Amazon is eating the transaction fee, if you move too much money between two people, they will flag your account. So to avoid that whole issue, I wouldn’t suggest doing that.
Now while I have been doing this for a few months now, what is exciting is that this Quarter the Chase Freedom card is currently offering 5% cash back on Amazon purchases. I have no idea if this also pertains to Amazon Payments, but if it does you could earn 5% cash back on Rent (Up to $1,500). I am paying my rent now, so I’ll let you know how it appears on my statement in a couple of days.
UPDATE: I’m told by a user comment that Amazon Payment codes differently than Amazon.com, so it looks like you won’t be able to earn 5% cash back. Oh well it was worth a shot!