Guest post by Reap
The price for Hong Kong property has been going up in recent years, resulting in people renting rather than buying. Monthly rent payments are a big expense, and it’s not uncommon to have to prepay rent for two months either. Credit cards or business credit cards can bring us different online spending offers such as cash rebates or air miles, so wouldn’t it be great if we can pay rent with credit cards?
Except for convenience stores, residents of public and private housing estates can use their credit cards to pay rent through the e-Banking system. Currently, there are only a few banks that offer rewards for e-Banking payments, namely Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, Bank of China, CITIC Bank International, China Construction Bank, Fubon Bank (Hong Kong), etc. Some of the cards offer reward points, however, it is important to note that only e-Banking payments to the Housing Department are eligible. Direct deposits to the landlord’s account doesn’t result in any credit card rewards. So unless it is absolutely necessary, we’d recommend you consider other payment methods rather than e-Banking.
Citibank recently launched a new function on its Citi Mobile App: Citi PayAll. This allows their clients to pay rent, tuition, management fees, and parking lot rental fees through CitiBank credit cards. Paying rent through Citi PayAll allows us to deposit directly into the recipients’ accounts in order to earn points or cash rebates. The maximum amount of rewards is HKD 1,500, and the lowest transaction fee is 1%. However, please note that the maximum amount of transactions each month is HKD 50,000, while you can only make a maximum of ten transactions in a month. What’s more, you can only process Citi PayAll with the same recipients twice in a month. Although the minimum handling fee is 1%, the handling fee for each transaction actually varies. The relevant fee is displayed after entering the transaction amount and the recipient’s information. The fee ranges from 1% to 4%. If you do not pay attention to the handling fee for each transaction, it may increase additional costs.
Reap is a local one-stop financial kit for small businesses and startups. The biggest advantage of the platform is that it allows you to turn cash payments into credit card payments. In short, if your recipient does not accept credit cards, you can still use your credit card to pay, and they can receive the money like a normal bank transfer. If you are running out of cash, Reap will be a good option for you to pay the bills with credit cards. You can postpone expenses for 30 to 58 days, and repay later with your credit card bill. By then, you do not need to borrow loans to pay for your rent, meaning that there is no impact on your credit score. Moreover, as long as the user authorized Reap once, the system will automatically schedule payments for you once a month. Another advantage of Reap is that it allows cross-border payments. The platform supports 200+ currencies. Even if your clients are not in Hong Kong, they can also use Reap Pay to pay rent.
While Reap charges 2.6% for paying out, the key lies in the credit card you use. Generally, not many people use cashback credit cards and more are using air miles credit cards. If you want to use cashback credit cards, you can consider PrimeCredit EARNMORE Credit Card. This card does not set a bar on the annual salary and offers a 2% cash rebate for the first HKD 200,000 transaction without limits on the transaction amount. In comparison, air mile credit cards such as Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard and DBS Black World Mastercard offer HKD 6/mile. You can also earn DBS$ from DBS Black World Mastercard, and the points will never expire, which can also be redeemed for different air miles or other gifts. If you pay an HKD 15,000 rent via Reap, you can get 3,750 miles by paying only HKD 390 extra! It is a better deal compared with other platforms.
You can get a 58-days interest-free repayment period via Reap. The platform also allows you to directly transfer the rent payment to the bank account of your landlord. Different from other payment platforms, your recipient does not need to have a Reap account. You can pay without worrying about your recipients now.
RentSmart is a rental management platform, which can only be used with an account and a valid lease. The platform will transfer the money in five business days after paying by credit card. The biggest selling point of RentSmart is the HKD 25 transaction fee for UnionPay Credit card payments. Moreover, if you pay rent by Standard Chartered credit cards, you can earn miles or cash rebates. For Standard Chartered Asia Miles Mastercard, you can get HKD 4/mile and 1.5% cashback for Standard Chartered Simply Cash credit card. Standard Chartered also offers a 12-month exclusive instalment, allowing you to make a large payment to be paid by month. However, the instalment requires an additional 6.4% transaction fee, so the offer is not very attractive.
KeyChain Pay is a mobile rental payment platform in Hong Kong. Tenants can pay their rent with credit cards to their landlord through KeyChain Pay. If you use an HSBC Red Credit Card, you can get a 4% RewardCash. For example, if your rent is HKD 15,000, you can get 600 RewardCash. Since KeyChain Pay is included in the Home category of the Red Hot Rewards, except for the Red Credit Card, HSBC credit cards can earn an extra 2% RewardCash.
At the same time, you can register for the Red Hot Online Spending Rewards to get 2% more. Therefore, most HSBC credit cards offer a total of 4.4% RewardCash. HSBC Visa Signature also provides an exclusive offer of 1.2% RewardCash, meaning you can get a total of 5.6% RewardCash. The KeyChain Pay Smart Contract will take the payment from your credit card approximately two weeks before the effective date of the monthly rent. Your landlord will also receive the payment one working day before the effective date of the monthly tenancy (except bank holidays), so it is not very convenient for the tenant to record the payment date, and the tenant may miss the deadline for repaying the bills.