Achieving affordable rent in Toronto - Feature image

Achieving Affordable Rent In Toronto: 3 reasons to pay rent with a credit card

This blog post is sponsored by Chexy.

If you have been on the hunt for affordable rent in Toronto, you have probably been struggling to not only find a place but make the rent fit within your budget.  We will discuss a few tips and tricks to aid you in the search for affordable rent in Toronto and share a unique new solution on how to make rent more affordable and more rewarding for renters!

The Cost of Rent in Toronto

The costs of rent in Toronto are simply unaffordable for most people.  Although the numbers actually show a slight decline in the past couple of months, the overall trend is upward, showing a 6.1% increase over the same quarter in 2023 – at an average rent of $2,633 for a one-bedroom apartment, according to TRREBmaking affordable rent in Toronto a dream that is out of reach for most renters. 

61% of young Canadians are concerned about their ability to pay their rent or mortgage over the next 12 months, according to Habitat for Humanity. 

How much should you spend on rent?

One of the well-cited measurements is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% on your housing costs. Unfortunately, with the state of our current economy and housing environment in Canada, in the greater Toronto and Vancouver areas, many people spend well above this as a percentage of their income.  In fact, 59% of Canadians spend over half their income on housing costs which makes following the traditional 50-30-20 budget impossible.. You are not alone if you wonder how to make rent more affordable. 

Affordable rent in Toronto

Strategies for Finding Affordable Rent in Toronto

Here are a few options that have worked well for me in the past in my rental searches:

  • Be flexible with your location
  • Try to look for housing starting in the off months (not when every student is moving to town looking for apartments).
  • Consider older buildings (Some older buildings have rent control).
  • Look for opportunities to share accommodation.
  • Be prepared to negotiate, but always be polite and professional with potential landlords.
  • Be prepared with everything you need to snag your dream rental right away (Credit Report, Reference Letters, a Letter of Employment, and Cheques for the first & last month’s rent.)

Importance of Budgeting to afford rent in Toronto

Ensuring you are choosing a housing option that you can afford is important. So, of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the importance of Budgeting.

Determining how much you can afford to spend on rent in your budget is important. Before starting your house hunt, ensure you have created a budget and understand what percent of your budget is available for housing costs. Be sure to include rent, renters insurance, utilities, internet, cable and any other housing-related costs.

paying yourself first

Innovative Solutions For Rent Affordability

We all know the tried and true ways to reduce your housing costs, such as sharing accommodations, renting a bedroom in a unit, or negotiating rent with a landlord (which may be less possible in this hot housing market). As renters, it is difficult to find affordable rent in Toronto when the demand is so high. But are there other ways to make renting in Toronto a little more affordable?

A company called Chexy has developed a great solution enabling renters to pay for rent with credit cards, earning rewards and cashback. In addition, they also help renters build credit by paying rent!

Your landlord gets paid by e-transfer on the same day each month, and your credit card is debited for the Rent amount + the 1.75% service fee. The charge is classified as a recurring payment – for which most credit cards provide a higher tier of rewards and cashback.

cashback on rent payment

Leveraging Rent Payments to Earn Credit Card Rewards

I am no longer a renter, but back when I was paying rent, on many occasions, I wished a service like this existed where I could have paid rent with credit cards and earned rewards and cashback on my rent payments.
Normally, renters pay cash or cheque for their rent each month, missing out on opportunities for rewards and cashback from their largest recurring monthly expense.
What if you could pay for rent with a credit card and receive cashback on rent payments?

Chexy lets you do just that! Chexy is a service that enables you to pay your rent with a credit card for which they charge a 1.75% transaction fee.

They offer an awesome comparison tool on their site where you can select your credit card and see the rewards or cashback your rent payments would generate. I selected my credit card – the Amex Cobalt, as a comparison to see what rewards I would earn, but it shows you a comparison, and with certain cards, you could earn up to $1,200 in cash back per year!

Credit card churners would find using Chexy ideal as it would help them easily reach the minimum required spend when opening a new credit card to earn their bonuses.

Chexy also offers a referral program to improve your chances of getting even more cashback and rewards!

Chexy Rewards Calculator


Build Credit By Paying Rent

Another amazing option that helps make renting more rewarding is to build credit by paying rent. When you pay for rent with credit cards and opt into the credit builder service, Chexy reports your payments to Equifax, helping you build credit for paying rent.  Chexy has an optional Credit Builder add-on for anyone wanting to build credit as a newcomer or repair their credit.

Streamline The Rent-Paying Process

Any renter can relate to the experience of having your rent due date fall just before your payday. Avoid the stress and headaches of worrying about the timing of rent payments by using Chexy to facilitate credit card rent payments.  Your landlord gets paid on time, and you have time to pay your credit card bill on a more flexible timeline. 

Who Is Chexy For?

A service like this is meant for renters who are good credit users and who are not carrying credit card debt. If you carry a balance on your card from month to month, adding another bill to your card to get cashback on rent payments will not help your situation. Becoming consumer debt-free is a great goal to work toward before considering a service like Chexy. But, if you are consumer debt-free and pay your card in full each month, using Chexy is a no-brainer to start earning more cashback and rewards through your credit cards!


If you are a renter who does not carry credit card debt, you should strongly consider a service like Chexy. Chexy can help make achieving affordable rent in Toronto a little more attainable by getting cashback on rent payments, helping you build credit and simplifying the rent-paying process.  Why not check out Chexy today?

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