Cash, credit or debit? You have options when it comes to how you pay—and options are a wonderful thing. But when it comes to these 5 types of purchases, using a credit card can really pay off.
1. Electronics and Appliances
Big-ticket items like TVs, refrigerators, washers and dryers, etc., can help rack up cash back or airline miles for rewards cardholders. But for many people, that’s just an added bonus compared to this benefit extended warranty.
Along with the manufacturer’s warranty, many credit cards offer extended product warranties if your product goes belly-up during the first few years of purchase. Some cards also offer price protection in the event that the purchase price gets lowered within a certain time frame.
2. Flights and Travel
It’s common for a credit card to be required for travel reservations, so using plastic is pretty much a necessity. Fortunately, many cards throw in extra bonuses, such as lost luggage insurance, trip cancellation/interruption coverage, travel assistance services and, in some cases, lounge access.
Plus, with certain travel rewards cards, you’ll earn extra miles when booking flights, which makes it even easier to say “bon voyage.”
3. Online Shopping
When you make purchases online, credit cards typically offer protection against fraudulent charges along with coverage for items lost or damaged during shipping. And if there’s a problem, you keep your cash in your pocket while the dispute is settled. Not the other way around.
4. International Purchases
No matter what language you speak, wide acceptance, ease of use and potentially better exchange rates are all very appealing. You can even find cards with no foreign transaction fees, which is a feel-good perk wherever you may roam. Plus, when you’re on foreign soil, using a card instead of cash may draw less of the wrong kinds of attention.
You may also want to notify your credit card company before traveling abroad so your card doesn’t get declined on an international purchase.
5. Paying Service Providers
Contractors who accept credit cards also agree to the legal terms set by the credit card companies. That’s a very good thing because, in the unfortunate situation that work isn’t completed or is subpar, you can dispute the credit card charges. You can’t put a price on that kind of confidence.
One last thing—check to see if your credit card has these benefits. While many cards do, it’s not a given. And as always, when it comes to credit cards, responsible use is the best policy.