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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

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The 3 Best Times to Use a Credit Card

[December 22nd, 2015]

Most of us have at least one credit card in our wallets, and many of us have more than one. Credit cards are a handy way to pay for purchases and rack up reward points, but they can also be a way to buy things without thinking about how you’ll pay for them, or if you can really afford them. Because of that, some people are hesitant to use credit cards at all.

If you’ve ever gotten into debt over your head because of using a credit card, you may be reluctant to use your card—or cards. But if you’re not using credit cards, you could be missing out of a few of the big perks of a card. Read on and discover when it’s better to use a card instead of cash.

There are many reasons to use credit cards, but here are the three best times to use a card instead of cash.

1. You need a quick line of credit while you wait to get paid. If you get paid on a schedule and know your paycheck is on the way, but you need a little cash now, this is a good time to use your credit card. Don’t get a cash advance with it—those are never a good idea, as they’re expensive due to high interest rates and fees—but go ahead and put your purchases on the card until you get paid. This is when you absolutely know you’ll be able to pay off those purchases as soon as the direct deposit hits your bank account, or the paycheck hits your mailbox. Just be sure to make a mental note of what you’ve spent, so that as soon as your pay comes in, you’ll set aside the money to pay off your purchases. When you pay them off within the first 25-30 days, you’ll be covered by a grace period and won’t owe any interest.

2. You want to finance a larger purchase with a zero-interest offer. Many cards offer a no-interest introductory promotion that allows you to make a more pricey purchase and pay it off with no interest over a period of months. Something like buying new kitchen appliances, paying for a child’s orthodontic work, or going on a vacation might be a great time to look into applying for a new card with an interest-free promotional offer. Be sure you have a payment plan agreement with yourself, so you’ll pay off the purchase completely before the 0% APR expires.

3. You want to earn rewards. There are so many great cards out there for earning free airline miles, hotel reward points, cash back, and points that can be redeemed for gift cards. If you shy away from using credit cards at all, you won’t get to reap the benefits of these terrific offers. The trick to getting the most from these reward cards is to pay off your balance in full each month. As long as you do that, you won’t be paying anything extra by using the card, and you could soon be enjoying free flights, hotel stays, and more.

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