In early August 2019, Doctor of Credit published an article on an interesting deal from Rentals.com. In short, the deal was to use Rentals.com’s RentPay service to set up 2 rent payments using an Amex card, and Rentals.com would rebate the 3% fee – the net result being the ability to make 2 fee-free rent payments using an Amex.
Needless to say, this was a deal of great interest to points-and-miles enthusiasts – the potential ability to generate spend, and thus, points and miles, for no fee.
We did the Rentals.com RentPay deal, and it worked for us!
This deal still seems to be alive, albeit in a slightly different form. Two auto-pay rent payments are no longer required. But the deal is only available for about 2 more weeks. In this article, we’ll cover the current deal as well as recap our successful experience with Rentals.com RentPay.
We have several links that are important here. First, here is a collection of links to Rentals.com pages related to RentPay and this promotion:
- Rentals.com: Main RentPay webpage (including information on the promotion)
- Rentals.com: RentPay “How It Works” page
- Rentals.com: RentPay Convenience Fee “Rebate” for AutoPay Terms and Conditions
If you’re thinking about doing this deal, we strongly recommend that you read this earlier Doctor of Credit article and all of the comments:
- Doctor of Credit: Pay Your Rent With Credit Card On Rentals.com; Get First 2 Months Fee-Free With American Express (August 5, 2019)
The Current Rentals.com RentPay Deal
It appears that you can still do a fee-free rent payment through RentPay using an Amex card, from now through October 5, 2019. Because of the timing of the end of the promotion, it seems that you’ll be limited to 1 payment (unlike earlier when we did the deal, when it required you to set up 2 auto-payments in consecutive months).
The current RentPay deal requires:
- You are, or become, a Rentals.com RentPay account holder
- You are one of the first 1,000 eligible renters* to sign up for the Autopay feature on RentPay
- Pay your rental payment and the associated convenience fee using Autopay with a current Amex card, before the end of the promotion (11:59 pm Eastern time on 10/5/19)
Initially, Rentals.com will charge its regular 3% convenience fee on the transaction. However, assuming that you satisfy the requirements of the promotion, you will be issued a full rebate for the amount of the convenience fee, resulting in a no-fee payment. The terms and conditions say that “The credit will be processed within twenty-one (21) days of the day you make your rent payment, but may take up to 2 billing cycles to appear on your Card statement.” That said, we received our credits much more quickly.
Unless your landlord happens to be enrolled in RentPay (in which case payments may be sent electronically), the rent payment will be made by check and sent through US mail.
We were concerned that the limitation of the promo to “the first 1,000 eligible renters” creates uncertainty with this deal and could be a problem. In the official terms & conditions, Rentals.com says that it “will place a notice at https://www.rentals.com/rentpay once 1,000 eligible renters qualify for the Rebate Program (and it is no longer available).” At this time, there is no notice on the designated webpage that the promotion is no longer available. To the contrary, the promotion is still actively advertised on the Rentals.com RentPay main web page. We’ve also seen online ads for the promotion as recently as yesterday afternoon (when we took the screenshot that serves as the featured image for this article). Finally, the terms & conditions also state that Rentals.com may “in its sole discretion … increase the total number of rebates offered in this Rebate Program.”
Our Successful Experience with the Rentals.com RentPay Promotion
We did the Rentals.com RentPay promotion (back when it required 2 auto-payments), and it worked flawlessly for us. We note, however, that there are several commenters to the earlier Doctor of Credit article who were not able to successfully use the promotion. We’ll recap our successful experience here, but again, we certainly recommend that you read through those comments to better understand issues that seem to have tripped up some people.
We set up our auto-pay rent payments on 8/12/19, one week after the Doctor of Credit article was published. Given our delay, we were very concerned that the “first 1,000 eligible renters” limitation would leave us out of luck. We scoured Rentals.com and RentPay for any notice that the promotion had reached its limit (as promised in the terms and conditions), but we didn’t see anything. The promotion still appeared to be alive, so we decided to give it a try.
We set up an account with Rentals.com and then set up 2 auto-pay rent payments for August and September. We used our Amex Business Platinum card for the payment. We chose this card because the charges would help us satisfy the spend requirement on an upgrade offer where we’d earn 50,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points after $10,000 spend.
The address for the property on which the rent would be paid was our residence address. The rent payment would be made to a property management company which is a Texas-based LLC.
Later on 8/12/19, we received an email from Rentals.com confirming that we had successfully qualified for a refund of our convenience fee:
Our Amex Business Platinum was charged for the first payment on 8/12/19. The charge was from “Pay*RentalsPal” in Atlanta, GA, doing business as Yapstone. (If you look closely enough through the RentPay website, you’ll see the name “Yapstone”; for example, if you have questions, you can contact RentPay at RentalsRentPay@yapstone.com.)
A mere two days later, on 8/14/19 (not 21 days or up to 2 months as the terms & conditions suggest), we received our credit for the convenience fee. The credit shows that it’s from “YPS*Pending” in Walnut Creek, CA, doing business as Yapstone.
On Friday 8/16/19, we received a follow-up email from RentPay informing us that our rent payment check should be delivered to the landlord in 1-2 business days:
And indeed, the check was received on Monday 8/19/19. The check cleared with no problems.
The same sequence has repeated for our second auto-payment in September. Our card was charged on 9/11/19, we received credit for the convenience fee on 9/13/19, and we received a follow-up email about the payment on 9/18/19. Presumably the check will actually be delivered and clear just like in August, too.
In addition, we received our Amex MR points for these transactions in the normal course, and the charges counted toward the spend requirement for our Business Platinum upgrade bonus. In fact, the second payment (on Wed 9/11/19) put us over the $10,000 threshold, and we received our 50,000-point upgrade bonus three days later (on Sat 9/14/19).
This Rentals.com RentPay promotion was successful for us and incredibly useful in helping us capture the upgrade bonus on our new Amex Business Platinum card. It seems like there are some potential pitfalls to the deal, and we encourage everyone to read up as much as you can before doing it. But it worked flawlessly for us.
As we mentioned at the outset, it looks like the deal is still alive; however, because of the promotion timing, you’ll probably only be able to get in one rent payment before the deal ends on 10/5/19. (The terms & conditions still say you can receive the rebate on “up to two (2) rent payments.”)
We thought it would be worthwhile to bring this deal back to the attention of Middle Age Miles readers in case it would be helpful. There’s still time to make an October rent payment with this promo if you act quickly. As we noted, in our experience, the first payment was received 7 days after we enrolled in Rentals.com and set up the payment. It looks like the second payment will be more like 9-10 days.
If you have experience or other data points with this promotion, please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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