What Should I Use My Credit Card For?

Written By
Julija A.
July 11,2023

There are many myths about credit cards. Some people say you should never use them, while others believe they are the best way to pay for everything. In truth, some purchases are better paid for with a credit card. 

In this article, we will list five of those purchases and explain why it's a good idea to use your credit card for them.

On the other hand, we will also list a few purchases you should not make with your credit card, as they could end up costing you more money in the long run. So, if you're still asking yourself, "What should I use my credit card for?" read on to find out.

Purchases You Should Always Make With a Credit Card

When making major purchases, you should always use your credit card. This is because most credit cards offer some sort of purchase protection. That means that if you buy something and it gets damaged or stolen, you can usually get your money back from the credit card issuer.

Here are some ordinary, everyday purchases you should always make with a credit card:

1. Online Shopping

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s swift and convenient, you can find great deals, and you can do it from the comfort of your home. However, there are also some risks you should be aware of when shopping online with a credit card, such as identity theft and fraud.

One way to help protect yourself when shopping online is to use a credit card. Credit cards offer several advantages that make them well-suited for online purchases. For one thing, they provide an extra layer of security against fraud.

Furthermore, many cards offer protection against identity theft. And if you do run into problems with a purchase, you can usually dispute the charges with credit card companies.

In short, using a credit card for online shopping is a smart way to protect yourself and your finances.

2. Airline Tickets

If you’re unsure what to use a credit card for, here’s another good one: airline tickets. When you book a flight with a credit card, you’ll usually get some extra protection that you wouldn’t if you’d paid with cash or a debit card. 

This is because most credit cards offer some form of travel insurance, meaning that if your flight is canceled or delayed, you may be able to get reimbursed by your credit card company.

Credit cards also offer premium rewards and points, and using them to purchase tickets can help rack up points quickly. And these are not even all of the credit card benefits you can enjoy when booking airfare.

Using a credit card can also help you take advantage of special deals and promotions that airlines offer from time to time. So, next time you're booking a flight, be sure to consider using your credit card. It just might save you some money and help you earn rewards too.

3. Car Rental

Many people debate whether to use their credit cards or cash to rent a car when planning a road trip. If you are one of those people wondering if car rentals are the best way to use a credit card, the answer is yes, and there are several good reasons why.

For one thing, most credit cards offer insurance coverage for rental cars, providing valuable protection in the event of an accident or theft.

In addition, using a credit card can help you avoid costly fees. Some rental companies charge extra for customers who pay with cash, and others require a large deposit that may not be refunded if the car is returned early.

Finally, using a credit card to rent a car can give you peace of mind in knowing that you have a backup if your primary form of payment fails. Whether renting for business or pleasure, using a credit card can help make the process smoother and hassle-free.

4. Electronics

These days, it's hard to imagine life without electronics. They have become an essential part of our lives, from smartphones to laptops and everything in between.

This is another area where credit card payments are the best option because most credit cards offer extended warranty protection on electronics purchases. It means that if your new device breaks within the first year or two, you may be able to get a refund or replacement from your credit card company.

In addition, using a credit card can help you take advantage of special deals and promotions that electronics stores offer from time to time. So, next time you're in the market for a new gadget, be sure to use your credit card.

5. Medical Bills and Emergencies

For many people, the idea of using a credit card for medical bills or emergencies is a no-go. After all, medical debt is already one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. However, there are several good reasons to use credit cards for medical expenses, even if you have to pay off the balance over time.

First of all, credit cards offer a degree of protection against fraud and identity theft. If your medical insurance information is stolen, you could be in trouble for thousands of dollars in fraudulent transactions. However, if you use a credit card for your medical expenses, you can dispute any unauthorized charges and avoid financial liability.

Additionally, credit cards can help you take advantage of early payment discounts. Many hospitals and doctors offer a discount for patients who pay their bills in full within 30 days. By using a credit card, you can take advantage of this discount and save money on your medical bills.

If you’re still unsure when to use a credit card, consider this: in a medical emergency, you may not have time to arrange other forms of payment. 

By using a credit card, you can get the care you need without delay. If you have to go to the emergency room or undergo an unexpected medical procedure, being able to put the cost on a credit card can make things much easier. 

While being smart about using credit is important, certain purchases simply make a lot of sense to charge to your card. By using a credit card for your everyday spending, you can take advantage of rewards points, discounts, and other perks.

So next time you're wondering whether to pay with cash or credit, remember that with a credit card in hand, you’ll always be prepared.

When Should You Avoid Using a Credit Card?

Now that we've covered the things you should use your credit card for, let's talk about a few cases when you should avoid it. So, what shouldn’t you put on a credit card?

If you're considering making a large purchase, such as a car or a house, you should avoid using a credit card. In these cases, getting a loan from a bank or other financial institution is usually best, but that will be difficult when you're already carrying debt. 

Another situation in which you should avoid using your credit card is when you're paying taxes. While you can technically put your taxes on a credit card, it's not a good idea. 

This is because the IRS charges a processing fee for credit card payments, which can add up and make your credit card debt worse.

If you’re unsure what to use credit cards for, here’s another area to avoid: school tuition. 

While it may be tempting to put your tuition on a credit card and pay it off over time, most schools do the same as the IRS - charge a processing fee for credit card payments. This fee can add up, so it's usually best to use another payment method.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of different opinions about credit card usage. Ultimately, the decision about what to buy with a credit card comes down to your individual financial situation and spending habits.

Did you know that nearly one in two people don’t pay off their credit balances each month? This is a massive problem because it means they are racking up interest charges that add to the cost of their purchases. 

If you decide to use a credit card, be sure to only spend what you can afford to pay back and never go over your credit limit. 

Also, always ensure you read the fine print before proceeding with any purchase and use your credit card responsibly. This way, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the benefits of using credit cards while avoiding credit card debt.


Is it okay to use my credit card for small purchases?


Yes, you can use your credit card for small purchases. It's a good idea because it helps you build credit and improve your overall credit score.

Still, you should be aware that there are some risks associated with using a credit card for small purchases, and if you're not careful, you could end up paying more in interest charges than what the purchase is worth.

Is it better to pay your credit card early?


Paying your credit card off early is a good idea because it shows you're using it responsibly. This can help your credit score and make it easier to get approved for loans in the future.

However, you should know that this can also lead to extra fees. Some credit card issuers charge a fee for making early payments, so you'll need to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to pay your credit card early.

How many times should I use my credit card per month?


There's no set number of monthly payments you should make on your credit card, but using it regularly can help you build credit. And whenever you ask yourself, "What should I use my credit card for," remember that you can use it for more than just big purchases. 

If you plan to use your credit card frequently, be sure to pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid paying interest and fees. You should also make sure you're not spending more than you can afford to pay back. 

About author

Albert Einstein is said to have identified compound interest as mankind’s greatest invention. That story’s probably apocryphal, but it conveys a deep truth about the power of fiscal policy to change the world along with our daily lives. Civilization became possible only when Sumerians of the Bronze Age invented money. Today, economic issues influence every aspect of daily life. My job at Fortunly is an opportunity to analyze government policies and banking practices, sharing the results of my research in articles that can help you make better, smarter decisions for yourself and your family.

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