advantages of using a credit card for everyday payments
If you’re not using your credit card for your everyday expenses, you may want to change your ways. There are benefits to using credit cards responsibly for regular purchases. Credit cards are powerful financial tools. They allow us to pay for expenses that we need without having to carry around cash. They also make it less stressful to pay for emergency expenses. But do you still find yourself reaching into your wallet to use cash or a debit card when you’re in the checkout line? If so, you may want to change your ways, because getting into the habit of using your credit card regularly can have its advantages. Here’s why you should use a credit card for almost every payment.
Here’s a brief overview of how you benefit by using your credit card for almost every expense:
- Maximize rewards on purchases you’re already making.
- Provide protection if your card is lost or stolen.
- Help you build a positive credit history and healthy credit score.
- “Free” short-term financing when you pay your bill in full every month.
- Provide more flexibility when booking a hotel or renting a car.
maximize your credit card rewards
If you already go to Starbucks for your daily latte, you might as well earn some rewards on the money you’re spending. By charging your everyday purchases, regular payments and ordinary bills to your credit card, you’ll be able to maximize your credit card ScoreCard Rewards. The sooner you reach your rewards goals, the closer you’ll be to a great redemption. For example, when you use a card like the BlueOx Credit Union Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn one point for every $1 spent. Then you can redeem points for merchandise, travel and experience rewards. Even better yet, combine points with other household BlueOx Credit Cards that you are joint on, to maximize points earned. If you have a credit card that earns great rewards, yet you continue to use your debit card for these purchases, you’ll be missing out on more points and greater rewards.
it’s a safer option
Credit cards are typically a safer option when it comes to fraud. When you regularly use a debit card, it puts you at risk of losing the money in your checking account. If fraud occurs, someone can empty your account quickly. With credit cards, you’ll be able to take advantage of included fraud protection. Plus, most top credit cards these days have fraud alert systems and free card controls security services in place so that you’re able to detect fraud quickly and put a stop to ongoing fraudulent activity. With a credit card, there’s no need to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at checkout, which makes your transactions more secure.
For even more security, leave your purse or wallet at home, add your card to your mobile wallet and shop with your phone. Mobile Wallet provides a faster, cleaner, safer, touchless way to pay. It’s safer than swiping a physical card and you still earn ScoreCard Rewards on mobile transactions, just like you do with an actual card.
build positive credit history
Though credit cards sometimes get a bad rap, they’re actually one of the best ways to build healthy credit. When you use a debit card, the money comes directly from your checking account, so it’s not seen as a line-of-credit. Credit cards, on the other hand, show up on your credit report. Regularly charging your credit cards and paying off your credit card debt will help you build credit fast, which can help increase your credit score. The better your credit score is, the easier it will be to take advantage of financial opportunities in the future, like taking out a mortgage or financing an auto loan.
take advantage of “free” short-term financing
When you use a debit card, the purchase is deducted from your checking account within a few days. When you use a credit card, you get a “grace period” – you don’t pay for a purchase until your billing cycle ends and your statement balance is due. And with most credit cards, you’ll avoid interest completely if you pay your bill in full.
travel without worry
When you’re on the road, debit cards can be problematic. Many hotels, gas stations, and rental car companies place “holds” on customer cards that claim an amount of money until the final cost becomes apparent. Let’s say you’re checking into a hotel for five days. If the hotel charges $200 per night, the hotel will likely place a hold on $1,000, plus extra money for incidentals. If you’re using a debit card, that money will be frozen until you check out — and that’s even if the company accepts it (many require credit cards). Not exactly the making of a stress-free vacation, is it? On the other hand, when you use a credit card, a hold reduces your available credit — and not the money in your checking account — which means it won’t put a damper on your vacation budget.
smart tips for success
- Don’t overcharge your cards. You only want to charge purchases that you can afford. Stay within your budget and don't be tempted to overcharge for items you don’t need. That could lead to a debt problem, and it can negatively impact your credit.
- Budget out all of your regular expenses for the month. It can be beneficial to outline all of your bills for the month to know exactly how much you’ll be spending.
- Pay your credit card balances in full. Each month, make sure that you pay your credit card balances in full. That way, you’re not getting charged interest, and your earned credit card rewards are worthwhile.
When used regularly and correctly for ordinary spending, credit cards can be beneficial. So, the next time you grab your debit card, think again and consider using a credit card instead.
wipe out interest for 6 months
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card from BlueOx Credit Union can help you take control of debt and allow you to pay 0% interest for a whopping 6 months! It'll allow you to pay 0% APR* on balance transfers for half a year, and you'll pay no annual fee – ever! Plus take advantage of a 25-day grace period on purchases and so much more!
don’t have a credit card?
*APR=Annual Percentage Rate. After the six-month introductory period, the rate is the same as the purchase rate. There are no Balance Transfer or Cash Advance fees. All rates are variable, based on Prime Rate. Actual APR based on credit history. Subject to credit approval. Rates are subject to change without notice.
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