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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Your Credit Card For Everything

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Your Credit Card For Everything

Credit cards aren’t just used to pay off major purchases anymore. You might feel silly using a credit card for a small purchase, but there are benefits to this transaction! Why else are companies putting credit card slots on drink machines? You should be using your credit card for everything—and here are ten reasons why.

1. It builds a great credit rating.

Buying things with your credit card and then paying them off each month will help you build credit. It will either help you establish a good credit score from the start, or rebuild a good credit score if you’ve had problems in the past. Make sure you’re still spending within your limit, and can afford to pay the bill off in full each month so the interest doesn’t add up and make your bill exponentially larger.

2. It’s quick and easy.

No more hunting for exact change! Credit cards make checkout easy. Just swipe your card, sign your name, and you’re done! Now with smartphone apps, you can pay with a pass on your phone. There are also cards that allow you to just “tap” the checkout machine, and the money is automatically paid!

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3. It’s great for accounting records.

It’s hard to keep up with receipts, but if you’re sticking to a budget, doing your own taxes, or just making sure you don’t get overcharged for anything, then you need to keep track of those slips of paper. If you use your credit card, however, you have a built-in list of everything you’ve purchased. You can sign on to your bank account online and see what you’ve spent over the past month to make sure you’re still on budget. You can double-check your bank balance and make sure there was no unauthorized spending. You can do all of that—and you don’t have to keep track of anything!

4. There’s no need for cash.

Forget trying to find an ATM, or paying ridiculous fees to access your own money! With a credit card, there’s no need to carry cash. Most companies have put credit card slots on drink and other vending machines, so you won’t even have to scrounge for change! This is also a security issue, because if you get robbed, you won’t be losing cash that will be unaccountable when you make a police report.

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    5. It has automated billing.

    When you get your credit card, sign up for automated billing! This means your utility bill, cell phone bill, and anything else you pay monthly can be paid automatically by your credit card. It’s a load off your mind, because you don’t have to remember countless due dates, or try to think back if you paid a certain bill or not. Then you’ll just have one date to remember—the due date for your credit card!

    6. You’re establishing good payment habits.

    Paying off your credit card balance every month will help you establish good payment habits. You’ll be paying bills on time with automated billing, and paying your balance each month, whether it’s paying it in full or paying enough to keep the interest down.

    7. You earn frequent flyer miles.

    Using your credit card will earn you all sorts of perks. Make sure you look into your specific card and see what benefits you can get. If you travel a lot, each credit card purchase will earn you frequent flyer miles, or free stays in hotels. You can also get cash back or discounts on major payments.

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    8. You can get purchase protection.

    Buying with a credit card means there’s a potential for purchase protection. Your credit card company will handle disputes for you, so if a store won’t take back a defective product, there’s a good chance your credit card company will either fight for you, or reimburse you. There’s also a built-in protection against card theft—most credit card companies will call you when they see suspicious activity. Some even block the card so the purchase won’t go through without your authorization, or reimburse you for purchases that went through with a stolen card.

    9. You get low-cost loans.

    You don’t have enough cash for groceries and bills this week, but you need them both. Use your credit card! Credit cards are like low-cost loans, because you can buy something now that you don’t have cash for, and pay it back at the end of the month when your credit card bill is due. Just make sure you know your budget and don’t go overboard by buying things you’re unable to pay back.

    10. You have a buffer for emergencies.

    Just like using your credit card as a loan system, it’s great as a buffer for emergencies. Things will happen that demand your financial attention, like your heater going out in winter, or your fridge breaking down. Can you afford to buy either of those major appliances in cash? What about hospital bills you didn’t expect? Most people don’t have that kind of cash on hand, but again, with a credit card, you can take out a type of loan. Buy what you need and start to pay it off over time on your credit card.

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    Featured photo credit: mueritz via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on March 4, 2019

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

    I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

    Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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    Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

    Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

    Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

    I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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    I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

    If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

    Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

    The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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    Using Credit Cards with Rewards

    Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

    You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

    I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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    So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

    What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

    Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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