Can You Pay Car Insurance With a Credit Card?

Quick Answer

Most auto insurance companies allow you to pay your premium bills with a credit card. You might earn rewards from the card and get discounts if you pay upfront or use autopay. But sometimes an alternative payment method could be a better choice.

A woman using her credit card to pay for car insurance

You can generally pay your car insurance bill using a credit card. It could be a good way to earn rewards or qualify for a welcome bonus on a new credit card, and you might receive a discount if you pay your entire premium upfront or use autopay.

However, if you can't pay your credit card bill in full, the revolved balance and new purchases will start to accrue interest. Some insurance companies also might give you an additional discount or charge lower fees if you pay using a bank transfer instead.

Auto Insurance Companies That Accept Credit Card Payments

Here are some popular auto insurance companies that accept credit card payments:

  • Allstate
  • Bristol West
  • Clearcover
  • Farmers
  • The General
  • Lemonade
  • Mercury
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA

Advantages of Paying Car Insurance With a Credit Card

Some of the benefits of using your credit card to pay your premiums include:

  • Receive a pay-in-full discount. Many insurance companies offer a discount if you pay your policy's premium upfront and in full every six months or year. Even if there isn't a pay-in-full discount, paying in full might save you the cost of additional service charges that get added to monthly payments.
  • Get an autopay discount. If monthly payments work better, you might still receive a discount for setting up autopay. Plus, you can avoid accidentally missing a payment and getting charged a late fee.
  • Earn credit card rewards. Most states and auto loan lenders require you to have auto insurance. By paying with a rewards credit card, you can earn cash back, miles or points for a bill you were going to pay anyway.

Disadvantages of Paying Car Insurance With a Credit Card

There are also potential cons to paying your bill with a credit card:

  • Additional fees can add up. You might have to pay an extra service charge or fee if you make monthly payments with a credit card instead of a bank transfer.
  • It might affect your credit score. Credit scores consider your card's reported balance relative to its credit limit—also called its credit utilization ratio. A higher card balance can hurt your credit scores, especially if you don't have a high credit limit. You could avoid this potential impact by immediately paying down your card's balance after paying your insurance bill.
  • It could lead to interest charges. You can avoid paying credit card interest on your purchases if you pay your bill in full each month. However, if you're carrying a balance, the amount you don't pay and your new purchases may accrue interest daily.

Should You Pay Your Car Insurance With a Credit Card?

Considering the advantages and disadvantages, paying your car insurance bills with a credit card might often—but not always—make sense.

  • Yes, if you can prepay and pay in full. Using a credit card will likely be a good idea if you can prepay your entire premium to get a discount and then pay off the balance in full. That way you can receive rewards without paying a higher cost.
  • Yes, if you need to finance your monthly payments. You need insurance to drive, and paying with a credit card might be the best option if you can't afford the bill at the moment. You can also look into ways to lower your auto insurance premiums and use the 211 hotline to see if you qualify for any auto insurance assistance programs.
  • Maybe, when you have a new card with a welcome offer. Credit card intro bonus offers often require you to meet a spending requirement within the first few months of opening a card. Ideally, you can do this with purchases you were going to make anyway, such as a large insurance bill.
  • No, if you'll get more discounts without a credit card. If you're making monthly payments and will receive a discount or avoid paying service charges by using an alternative payment method, then that may be better than using your credit card.

How to Pay Car Insurance With a Credit Card

It's often easy to make a one-time payment or set up autopay with a credit card. The steps might differ depending on the insurance company, but generally you can:

  1. Log in to your online account or app and locate the billing section.
  2. Find the bill you want to pay via credit card.
  3. Fill in the payment information, such as your name, card number, CVV, expiration date and billing address or ZIP code.
  4. Receive a copy of your payment confirmation via email or download.

You also may be able to change your existing payment method, add a new credit card to your account and set up autopay online. If you have questions or don't want to enter your information online, you can call your insurance agent or company to make a payment over the phone.

Alternative Car Insurance Payment Methods

There are several potential alternatives payment methods for car insurance bills if you don't have or want to use a credit card:

  • Debit card: You might be able to make payments online and set up autopay with a debit card to have the funds taken directly out of your bank account. However, the insurance company may charge the same processing fees for debit and credit cards.
  • Check or money order: You can mail a physical check or money order to the insurance company. However, there's been an increase in mail theft and check fraud, so mailing payments might be risky.
  • Western Union or MoneyGram: Some insurance companies will also accept payments from Western Union or MoneyGram stores. The store may charge an additional fee.
  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT): You might be able to connect your bank account to schedule EFTs directly from your account. Some insurance companies give you a discount or charge you lower service fees if you pay by EFT.

Compare Auto Insurance Quotes

A lower auto insurance premium can help you afford your premium bills and take advantage of the benefits of paying with a credit card. You can use Experian's auto insurance comparison tool to get quotes from multiple companies to see if you can save money by switching without lowering your coverage.