Guide to Credit Cards and Loyalty in India.

Many of us are trying to offset expenses because of the liquidity crises amidst pandemic. Our rent payment makes for a big chunk of monthly expenses. Unfortunately, since most landlords in India accept either cash or direct deposits as a mode of payment, it's challenging to earn reward points or offset rent payments.

CRED has rolled out their RentPay service enabling its members to pay rent by directly transferring the amount to their landlord using their credit card and UPI.

First Look

CRED RentPay is the latest product that Kunal Shah’s company has built exclusively for its members. Many of you may already know CRED is a community of individuals with high credit scores (above 750) and credit card holders. The app lets you pay your card bills on time and gives you smart insights into your spending history.

I was a part of the beta users of the app when it was first launched and have earned upwards of 4 million CRED Coins so far.

Rewards

Four Coins Rating

Paying rent through one’s credit card on CRED can help you earn up to 3.3% reward points depending on your card issuer Eg. HDFC Diners Black, HDFC Infinia, Citi Prestige, Standard Chartered Ultimate.

On payment of your bills using the CRED app, you get additional CRED coins. This is something that's not offered by other competitors (Housing, or Red Girraffe). You can use these to redeem rewards from brands or curated experiences. Eg. VIP Tickets to concerts, or culinary experiences.

Since for most of us, our rent payment makes up for most of our monthly spending. This could also help you accelerate rewards milestones, or waive off your membership fees on credit cards.

Quick Tip: If you pay ₹20,000 every month for twelve months using AmEx Platinum Travel Card, you’ll end up spending ₹2,40,000 and unlock the first milestone giving you travel vouchers worth more than ₹7,700. On top of this, you'll earn standard reward points on your card, and CRED Coins for clearing the bill.

Paying rent using your credit card helps you offset your payments for up to 45 days depending on your billing cycle. This ensures you don't run out of liquidity for more critical expenses, or hold the payment from your landlord for whom this may be the primary source of income.

Service Charge

Three Coins Rating

CRED RentPay charges 1.5% (Service Charge, GST is absorbed for now) for the service. This is slightly higher than the competitors like Housing.com who's offering the service at a 1.25% service charge, Red Girraffe on the other hand charges 0.39% + GST per transaction.

This is still a fresh market, we'll have to wait and see how these charges change in the future as the competition increases.

Usability and Design

Five Coins Rating

Just like the other CRED offerings, RentPay is no different when it comes to beautiful design and intuitive user experience. I've never struggled with the core features they have to offer.

Housing's rent pay feature comes close to a similar design standard and cleaner interface. Red Girraffe on the other hand is a little overwhelming when you use it for the first time.

CRED RentPay: Smooth first steps.
CRED RentPay: Smooth first steps.

You start by entering the amount you wish to pay, details of your landlord's bank account or the UPI id, and your residence address. The rent gets instantly transferred, and you get to access additional perks.

CRED RentPay: No documentation with just three steps.
CRED RentPay: No documentation with just three steps.

There are a few apps that also let you pay rent using your credit card. However, a clean three-step interface is hard to find. For those who're already a part of the CRED ecosystem, it's good to have one less app on your device.

CRED RentPay: Confirm, select card, and done!
CRED RentPay: Confirm, select card, and done!

I'm looking forward to an auto-pay rent option. It's always good to automate recurring payments wherever you can. Payment of deposits and maintenance expenses could also be helpful.

Final Words

Four Coins Rating

RentPay has been rolled out by CRED to a small set of CRED members. They’ll be rolling out this to more users over the next two weeks. So, if you get in early, make sure to try the product and earn additional points on your card as well as CRED coins.

CRED has also announced Stash to give its members instant access to a credit line. Read more about it here.
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