Several companies have come up recently to make paying rent easier and rewarding.
The main offering – pay rent via credit cards.
As an Infinia card-holder, I have to meet Rs 8 Lakh annual spend to get the Rs 10,000 fee waived off.
Rent payment is a quick way to meet the minimum spend requirement and get some reward points at the same time.
I have been paying rent using my credit card for over a year now.
But in October 2020, I hit a snag.
The Decision to Move
I am a long time NoBroker user for rent payment. However, recently they introduced a mandatory data-sharing option.
I’ll have to share my data with Experian if I have to pay my rent. I can’t imagine why I need to share my data with a credit scoring agency just for paying rent.
Seems that NoBroker is trying to make money selling my data. Or maybe they want to get into the lending business using the data collected from rent payments.
As someone who cares about how and why my data is being shared with third parties, I decided to make a switch.
Rent Pay by Housing.com
Given I had tried a few other options in the market, I wanted to explore someone new.
Housing.com popped up during my research. They are one of the few real estate portals that’s not 90% ads. Since I had followed their journey from the beginning, it made sense to try them out.
Housing.com seems to bundle a lot of real estate service offerings under their Housing Edge offering.
Here’s my experience with their “Pay Rent” option.
Step #1: Login
Housing.com prompts you to enter your phone number. You will receive an OTP using which you can proceed further.
I like the simplicity with which you can log in. They have adopted the WhatsApp playbook for smoother customer onboarding.
I tried a number that is not registered with Housing.com. The flow remains the same for everyone.
Step #2: Enter Your Information
Provide your name, email, and payment purpose.
Simple enough. Moving on.
Step #3: Landlord’s Details
You need to provide information that is necessary to complete the transaction.
After all, if payment does not go through, your landlord is not going to be very happy 🙂
The Good: Copy-Paste is Welcome!
Housing.com allows copy-paste. I don’t know why, but many apps think allowing copy-paste is a bad idea. They make you type out fields like the bank account number or IFSC.
If anything, typing it out is more error-prone than a simple copy-paste.
Note: While the landlord’s PAN is optional, provide PAN if you have it. To Claim HRA, you will need to mention PAN in the rent receipt if you are claiming more than Rs 1 Lakh per year.
The Not-So-Good: International Phone Numbers Not Supported
My landlord is not in India. However, the phone number field defaults to +91 and I cannot change it.
Step #4: Property Details
Enter the property details.
Step #5: Payment Details
Enter your rental amount, the month for which you are paying the rent, and proceed to pay.
The Good: Simple Experience
Straight forward experience. Simple is good!
The Not-So-Good: Amex and Diners are not accepted.
This is the case with most rent payment providers. The reason is the high fees these providers charge.
The Could-Do-Better: Limited to credit cards
While I know the whole offering is pivoted around rent payment using credit cards, it would have been nice to have backup options- UPI, Debit Card, or Net Banking.
This is useful if I want to pay rent quickly but my card provider is down or my credit limit has been hit (Thanks Amazon and Flipkart for making me spend more money than I should during the festival sales!).
The Bad: Missing Upfront Pricing
I did not see the cost of paying rent through housing.com until I reached the final step.
They charge the following fees:
- For rent > 25,000 – 1.3% of the rent as a convenience fee
- For rent < 25,000 – 1% of the rent
While this is much cheaper than Nobroker who charges 2%, I would have liked better upfront communication about it. Most other rent payment providers tell you the cost during step #1 itself.
Note: Housing.com has a minimum of Rs 3,000 and Max of Rs 3 lakhs as rent payment limits. This is a reasonable restriction considering residential rents will usually be within this range.
Step #6: Transaction Status
Once payment is successful, you will be shown a screen that tracks the status of your money.
Now the wait begins for money to be deposited.
Rewards for Rent Payment
The usual perk of paying rent using a credit card is that you get points.
But Housing.com provides you coupons on top of these general perks.
The Good: Non-First Time Users are Eligible
One of the issues I have with many coupons is that it applies only to first time users. But the coupons I saw on Housing.com apply to all users.
The Not-So-Good: Limited Inventory
The only relevant offers I found were from Flipkart and Myntra. And these coupons apply only to selected merchandise; Not site-wide.
The Bad: Unexciting Offers
Most of the offers are “boring”.
Housing should learn from CRED. CRED pioneered offers for bill payment. When they started, they had amazing offers. But over time, the offers became irrelevant.
That’s the nature of this game. You can’t give exciting offers forever. And when you take away the good stuff, people will complain.
I’d have liked it if they carry forwarded their simple approach to their rewards as well. Maybe offer Housing.com credits that we can use against other housing.com services. Or get rid of these rewards altogether.
Housing.com claims that the payment will be deposited within 1-2 working days.
I made the payment around 5:00 PM IST. The landlord received the money the same day at around 6:30 PM IST.
That’s just 1.5 hours to receive the payment.
Even after payment success, I do not have any option to download a rent receipt.
I like Housing’s rent payment option. It’s a great choice if your credit card reward rate is 1% or greater.
Personally, my Infinia reward rate is around 3.3% which makes it a no-brainer for me – even if I ignore their coupons.