“Everything!” is, unfortunately, not the correct answer, for two reasons:
Strategic deployment of your credit card maximizes its value – you’ve got to know when to charge purchases on a card and when to pay with cash. Here are some tips to spur your thinking.
Credit cards, gleaming new ones, are the perfect way to buy expensive appliances and electronics. You want a new card with a signup bonus and a 0% introductory APR for at least 15 months. When you splurge at the big box store, your credit card helps in several ways:
By putting recurring monthly bills on your credit card, you can earn rewards for items you have to pay for anyway. These include utilities, cellphone service, cable TV, internet, streaming services, insurance, and student loans. If you rent, some landlords accept credit card payments, and third-party payment services can also arrange rental payments.
Many great credit cards offer extra perks for travelers, including high bonus rewards for travel purchases as well as generous travel-related benefits. Depending on the annual fee, you can get travel credit cards that provide the following:
In addition, several credit cards increase the value of their reward points when you redeem them through the issuer’s travel agency.
Many contractors accept payment via credit card, thanks to the availability of mobile payment apps. Using your card is a good idea because it gives you leverage should problems crop up. You’ll have the credit card company to advocate for you and help work out the issues.
Finally, avoid putting certain items on your credit card, including cash advances (too expensive), expensive events (too easy to overspend), medical bills (a payment plan is cheaper), and a car (vehicle loans are less costly). Treat your credit card right and it will reciprocate.
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