Can you pay bills with a credit card?

In short, yes, you can. You will need to enter your credit card details as the billing card, the same way you would with a debit card.

4 min read
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Which bills can you pay with a credit card?

There are lots of different types of bills you can pay with your credit card and some will make more sense than others. So that you know your options, here’s a list of common ones:

  • Rent - although not every landlord will accept your plastic
  • Car loan - again, you might be limited but there are options out there
  • Car and home insurance
  • Taxes - check to see if you’re charged a fee first, though
  • Utilities, phone contracts, and broadband
  • Subscription services - like the gym, Netflix, Spotify, and so on

How do I pay my bills with a credit card?

It’s super easy. When you’re setting up your bill you’ll be asked for a few important details about your card and address, all you have to do is answer these and then you’re on your way. In three simple steps, it’ll look a bit like this:

  1. Choose the type of credit card you want to pay with - i.e. MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc. If your card processor isn’t listed that means the merchant doesn’t accept it.
  2. Fill in your name as it appears on your credit card along with its 16-digit card number, expiration date and security code. For most cards, you’ll also be asked for the three-digit security code which can be found on the back of your card.
  3. Enter the billing address for your credit card.

Voila. That’s it. Then, all you have to do is confirm whichever bill you’re looking to set-up and the rest is taken care for you.

Advantages of paying bills with a credit card

Top up your credit score

By using your credit card you’ll be keeping your account active and this, in turn, can help boost your credit score.

Earn rewards

If your credit card provider offers rewards, the more you use your card the more you’ll get back. So, if you’re confident you’ll be able to make your repayments each month - paying by credit card is a pretty clever way to pay your bills and get something back for yourself.

Easier money management

If you’re already using your credit card for the majority of your transactions, using it to keep your bills ticking over could make it easier to keep track of what you’re spending each month. After all, checking one statement’s simpler than jumping between two or three, right?

Disadvantages of using your credit card to pay bills

Extra fees

Keep an eye out for additional fees. Some providers charge them when you pay by credit card, others don’t. If they do though, it’ll make the overall cost of your bills more expensive so do some number crunching to see if it makes sense.

Damaged credit score

If you miss or make just one late payment your credit score will take a hit and you’ll also be charged interest on the outstanding balance. This will a) make borrowing in the future harder and potentially more expensive, and b) add to the cost of your bill.

  • Scheduled payments that aren’t initiated by you may put you more at risk of going over your limit and incurring fees.
  • You’ll pay interest on these transactions unless you pay your balance in full each month.

How will paying for bills with a credit card affect my credit score?

We just touched on one pretty big one (missed payments), but another score-crumbling factor worth mentioning is how much you put on your credit card. While lenders don’t like to see you not touching your card at all, they also don’t like seeing maxed out lines of credit. To them, it can look like you’ve got too much debt to your name and if it’s not under control, that could be a cause for concern.

So, if you’re already using your credit card for your weekly food shop, petrol and more as well as multiple bills, remember to keep an eye on your balance and try to keep well within that maxed-out amount - the ideal credit utilisation ratio is between 20%-30%, according to experts.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Stick to paying all your bills on time and in full month in, month out, and over time you could reap the rewards of an improved credit score - whatever position it’s already in.

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Intelligent Lending Ltd (credit broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.

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Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

Fiona Peake, Personal Finance Writer

Fiona Peake

Personal Finance Writer

Fiona is a personal finance writer with over 7 years’ experience writing for a broad range of industries before joining Ocean in 2021. She uses her wealth of experience to turn the overwhelming aspects of finance into articles that are easy to understand.