Posted by Chuck on March 4, 2018
Manufactured Spending

Published on March 4th, 2018 | by Chuck

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Cirtru: Pay Rent with Credit Card Fee-Free for Listed Rentals [Limited Time]

Update: They are now charging fees.

Cirtru (which stands for Circles or Trust) is a website which attempts to build connections between tenants and landlords, as well as to help people find roommates to share an apartment.

They are running a limited-time offer to pay rent with a credit card with no added processing cost. Cool way of racking up some free spend.

Note that this is not the same thing as Plastiq, Radpad, or RoomiPay which offers a simple rent payment service: with Cirtru you can only pay rent for a listing found on their site. Also, be aware that you’ll get a 1099K from Cirtru if they process more than $20k of your payments.

I have no experience with Cirtru, hopefully others will chime in below if they try it out.

Hat tip to reader Lisa and Ben



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What’s the url? citru.com is no go.

Looks like a slight misspelling – it’s CiRtru
https://www.cirtru.com/

Chuck, tested this out last night. Created two accounts and paid one account with the other. The transaction did not code as a CA (it went through on my CSR even though my cash advance limit is set to $100). The funds are held with Stripe and are deposited daily.

I thought you could only pay a listing on their site? Am I correct in understanding you made one account that acted as a landlord and added a listing and one that acted as the tenant?

Exactly, created one account as a tenant and another as a landlord.

did the transaction clear? How much did you pay?

The transaction is pending on my credit card ($1,300) and is “sitting” in my Stripe (landlord / merchant) account.

Ben, thank you so much for spelling this stuff out. Hopefully these hit my bank account before they shut it down. This is by far the best use of .edu email addresses this hobby has ever seen!

Curious to know if you’ll get the payout right away, as I read that the first payment with Stripe is delayed by 7-10 days.

Erin, my funds are currently held in Stripe; however, I wasn’t given a 7 – 10 day waiting notification. It just says “You’ll receive payouts daily.”

Not too worried even if they hold my payment for 7 days. 🙂

Within hours of making payment I am already seeing the “pending” deposit on my checking account. Hopefully clears fast. Started with $2.5k to test it out.

That’s awesome, Joe! Did you use a debit card? Which bank?

You guys rock. 🙂

paid with CSR, received with BOA

which bank ?
I made some payments to both my wells fargo and chase debit cards (they are supposed to be instantaneous) but none are showing up on my online banking. (they are “pending” in my stripe interface)

Might be worth noting that this is targeting kids and even the “landlord” needs an edu email address.

They let you can signup with any email, but you can’t use it without verifying your edu-email.

The site specifies that you can use an edu email address or a corporate email address (they have “circles” for both). I didn’t try with a corporate email, yet.

Do you have 2 separate edu emails or you just used the same 1 twice?

Two separate edu emails but you can also use a corporate / work email.

just use an alias for the same edu–thats what i did.

I was just curious if they were going to track the name on your credit card used to the account profile info

@ben, must the two edu email addresses be from the same institution? Also, are you student so that you have the edu email addresses? Thanks.

I have two different .edu domains (one grad and one undergrad). A lot of colleges / institutions allow you to use your email after you’re done with your studies

You could use the same domain or different domains, it doesn’t matter.

Oh, I didn’t see that it’s actually a whitelist of domains. The List is huge: https://www.cirtru.com/circles-of-trust

Note that I got a message from Stripe that they put my payouts on pause until I gave them a SSN. So allocate your $20k wisely.

Oh really? how much did you do? and if you do not give them your SSN what happens? Do they really send you a 1099k if you go over 20k? (no way im going to do that). what if you just stay below 20k?

Here are the 1099-K requirements: https://support.stripe.com/questions/will-i-receive-a-1099-k-and-what-do-i-do-with-it

Some states have different requirements but the general rule of thumb is $20K and 200 transactions. But it’s their decision on when to issue one.

Are you sure that anything under $20K will not be taxed?

Once you meet certain criteria (https://support.stripe.com/questions/will-i-receive-a-1099-k-and-what-do-i-do-with-it), Stripe will send you a 1099-K; however, that doesn’t mean the funds are taxable. It just means that you AND the IRS will receive a document showing how much was processed. If you didn’t want to claim those transactions as income on your taxes, you’d have to explain to the IRS that the transactions weren’t income as they were just a transfer of your funds to yourself.

I did 10k. already see it in my account. lets see if it pays out.
how do we know they will give us 1099 if over 20k? This thing will die soon before Monday

Which credit card did you use? Is your Cash Advance limit set to $0? 1099-K info can be found here: https://support.stripe.com/questions/will-i-receive-a-1099-k-and-what-do-i-do-with-it

which bank ?
I made some payments to both my wells fargo and chase debit cards (they are supposed to be instantaneous) but none are showing up on my online banking. (they are “pending” in my stripe interface)

Just tried it out with 2 edu emails. I had to post a listing with one account and then pay with the second account. Payment shows pending on strip dashboard.

Which credit card did you use? Is your Cash Advance limit set to $0?

I used an amex card without setting my cash advance. Looks like it came in as a regular credit card charge. I see the payment paid to my citibank account today.

Made two accounts (as Ben noted doing) and paid myself via my Amex. There’s a $2100 charge on the Amex now, and the Stripe site says I have $2100 in my “landlord” account. Claims to pay out daily, but it doesn’t specify when. I won’t feel comfortable until that money is in my bank account, and the charge is cleared on Amex. Sure hope it goes toward MSR on the Amex Plat, or there was no point in doing this.

I created two accounts. I setup “collect rent” in one of them. However how do I pay rent? I don’t see any links for rent payment.

go to the listing and you will see an option to pay

You create a listing on your “landlord” account, find that listing from your “tenant” account and pay it. Or at least, that’s what I did and everything seems like it’s going through.

loving the comment section. i guess do it while it lasts. RIP…

Any suggestions for emails that still work for registering? Apparently my .edu wasn’t added to the “circle”, and I’m afraid trying to pay myself with two emails of similar domain name will be a red flag for them

Zack one of my institutions was not on the list, I requested it be added. I don’t think they’ll pay too much attention to two emails with the same domain – just place the request on one account, not both.

Just created a single account and verified an .edu account belonging to my girlfriend. “Listed” a new property for rent of $15,000. Paid rent on the property (using the same Cirtru account) with my AMEX Business Plus card. Transaction was initially declined by AMEX for fraud but after verifying the transaction it was processed successfully the 2nd time. Balance immediately shows on my Cirtru account. I had to verify my address and last 4 of my SSN and it says balances are paid daily to my checking account. I hope I receive my deposits before this company goes bankrupt.

Santosh Purohit
Santosh Purohit

Just did the same for 7600 with SPG (Business) , Lets see if I could withdraw the amount ..

I setup two accounts and “paid” using the tenant account yesterday. It shows as a recent payout in my Stripe account, but nothing has come into my checking account yet. I used debit card for instant transfer and have a BoA account.

Test transaction on my AMEX Plat posted, coded as the following:
CIRTRU – NEWARK, DE
NEW MERCHANT
Category: Other – Miscellaneous

Same situation here. Used an Amex Plat as well. It’s been about 24 hours since I did this. Set it up to a Chase checking account (not debit card), and there’s no evidence yet of it pending there. So I’m curious how Stripe is defining “daily payouts.”

I do not think anybody here will get funds earlier than 7-10 days payout period, as described in Stripe policy.

It doesn’t even look as there might be any exceptions to this rule.

See here:
https://stripe.com/docs/payouts#payout-schedule

I advise everyone to refrain from contacting stripe/cirtru about payouts until 7-10 days pass.

Unfortunately this gives time to stripe/cirtru not only to close the loophole, but even to reverse/cancel/put a hold on all transactions that were already processed.

That was my initial thought, but at least one person here (Joe) has already seen the payout, or he claims to see it anyway. I’m uneasy about the whole thing. It’s not cool for Cirtru to claim instant payouts if that’s not really the case. I mean, I guess we’re gaming their system, so I won’t complain too much, but I want to make sure I either get the money in my account or they cancel the charge so it comes off my credit card. And in a timely manner.

Update DP: payment in BOA no longer showing as “processing”. Money is cleared into my BOA…I definitely experience instant payout with a few days of “pending” but technically already in the BOA account. Paid with CSR. Did NOT code as 3x. Was thinking of listing another property and doing a bigger amount like $10k. My initial amount was only $2.5k. Maybe this is the reason payout was instant? Seems like others doing much higher payments.

Curious did anyone receive an email from Stripe saying “unable to verify the information you provided” but the funds are still available, and i used the payout as debit and next to it says cancelled in stripe recent payouts section.

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