Travel Free Faster! How to Earn Points & Miles Paying Rent or Mortgage

This week I had a reader ask if and how they could earn miles paying their mortgage.

That’s a great question because for most of us that is our highest monthly expenditure.

Is it possible?

Yes, but probably not with a credit card (at least not at a reasonable rate).

How to Earn Miles Paying Rent or Mortgage

The old way to pay rent with a credit card is to use a service like WilliamPaid and pay the associated fee for using a credit card (2.95%).  In my books that’s too high a premium to pay just to earn miles – unless that is the only way you reach a required minimum spend.

However, these days I think the best way is to use a BlueBird account.

How to Use BlueBird to Pay Rent or Mortgage and Earn Miles

To get your BlueBird card, you can buy one at Walmart ($5) or get one free when you order it online.

Once you have a BlueBird account you can use funds from that account to send a check to pay any bills.  Once you have your account set up, it’s an easy process.

  1. Log into your BlueBird account.
  2. Click on Pay Bills.
  3. Click on the Name of the Payee (assuming you’ve already set up a Payee for your mortgage company or your landlord).
  4. Enter the amount and a memo if desired.
  5. After submitting your check request, I’ve found it’s 3-5 business days before the recipient gets the check.
Funding Your BlueBird Account
  1. The best possible option to add funds to your account is to find a place that sells Vanilla Reload cards and allows you to use a credit card. When the BlueBird card first came out, I could buy the reload cards at Office Depot.  That has since been discontinued.  I could also buy them with my credit card at Walgreens, but that is no longer allowed.  As such, I’ve personally given up on finding a place that sells Vanilla Reloads using a credit card.  If you have a place that allows you to use a credit card to buy them, enjoy the opportunity while it lasts.
  2. The second best option is to get a mileage earning debit card and do a free top up at Walmart.  At Walmart, you can add up to $1,000 per day via a debit card (assuming your debit card doesn’t have a different limit).

Mileage Earning Debit Cards

Suntrust Delta Debit Card:

  • Get 5,000 Delta SkyMiles points when you sign up for a new account.
  • Get 1 mile for every dollar you spend.
  • Get 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • $75 annual fee

According to an online chat, you can open an account no matter what state you live in:

[Suntrust employee]: Our branches and ATMs are in Georgia, FL, MS, MD, TN, VA, WV, NC, SC, AL, AR, and Washington DC.

[Suntrust employee]: But if you are out of our business boundary, we are still able to open an account for you.

UFB Direct American Airlines Debit Card:

  • Get 1 AAdvantage miles per $2 spent on the debit card.
  • No annual fee
  • Limit to 120,000 points per year
  • No annual fee

This is not a listed benefit (that I can see), but I did get 1,000 AAdvantage miles when I opened a checking account and got the debit card.

My Mileage Earning Rent Payment Strategy

I got a UFB Direct account and debit card because I put about $1,000 per month on my debit card.  At the end of the year I could have 12,000 Delta miles at the cost of $79 or 6,000 American miles for free.  I’d rather have half the American miles without a fee.

When we do our shopping at Walmart, we’ll stop by the Money Center.  You can top up your BlueBird account at any register, but I’ve found that most check out clerks don’t know how to do it and so it takes longer than going to the Money Center.  I’ll usually add $500 to my BlueBird account since that is my debit card limit.

In the end, it’s not a home run proposition, but at least I get half a mile for every dollar I spend on rent without paying any extra fees.

Do you have another strategy that helps you earn miles and points while paying rent or a mortgage?


  1. Paul S. says

    I opened a Suntrust account online last year and they closed it within 48 hours because I was not in their area.

    Does CVS not accept credit cards for vanilla reloads anymore? I just got my Bluebird card and I was going to start paying my mortgage that way in April to meet my Chase BA min spend.

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback on your Suntrust experience. Definitely that is different from what I was told, but experiences are always more credible than what a customer service person says.

      Some CVS’s may accept credit cards for Vanilla cards. There’s no CVS where I live so I couldn’t say nation wide what the policy is. From what I’ve read it is a hit and miss. I do know of one Denver location that does.

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