Personal finance professionals frequently warn against credit cards because they are an easy way to rack up a large amount of debt. However, if you can be responsible with your credit card, you can enjoy many more benefits than your debit card could ever offer. Investopedia offers ten reasons why using your credit card can be beneficial.
1. Credit Cards Have Generous Sign-Up Bonuses
Most of the time, credit card companies offer a one-time initial bonus to applicants with good or excellent credit. These bonuses could be worth around $150 or more just for meeting the spending requirement within the first few months of opening a new account. Depending on the card, this requirement can range from $500 to a few thousand dollars.
Credit cards offer other bonuses as well, such as travel miles, reward points, gift cards, or merchandise.
2. Credit Cards Provide Cash Back Deals
Using a cash back credit card is relatively straightforward: once you use the card, you will receive a 1% reimbursement for your purchases as cash back. Discover was the first company to put this card out there in the USA. Since they did, credit cards now offer various percentages for cash back, ranging from 2% to 3% and even 6%. Most of the time, it’s on select purchases, and there may be annual spending caps.
3. You Can Save More With Rewards Points
With a rewards credit card, you can earn one or more points for every dollar spent. You can even earn bonus points for spending money on specific items or places such as restaurants, groceries, or gas. You can redeem your points once you’ve compiled a certain number of points for things like travel, restaurant gift cards, or various merchandise.
There are countless options when it comes to your credit card rewards. If your card provider partnered with another business like a hotel chain or gas card, you can put your everyday spending at an advantage by earning rewards daily.
4. You Can Earn Frequent-Flyer Miles
American Airlines was the first major airline to start offering frequent-flyer miles on everyday purchases beginning in the 1980s after partnering with Citibank. Nowadays, you can find almost any airline with a credit card partnership to help you reap the benefits of earning those miles while still on the ground.
When earning frequent-flyer miles, you can get one mile for one or two dollars spent.
5. Credit Cards Offer Safety And Security
If someone were to steal your credit card and use it to make a fraudulent purchase, the money in your bank account is gone almost immediately. However, with a credit card, you have many more protections against theft and fraud. If your debit card is stolen, the lender could charge you for insufficient funds, plus an overdraft. But with a credit card, you don’t need to worry about thieves directly accessing your funds. Instead, you can let your credit card company know the situation and let them resolve the matter on your behalf.
6. Credit Cards Can Protect Your Money In A Dispute
When you hire someone for a job, you expect them to complete it on time, on budget, and to your standards. However, if a vendor charges you for a job but doesn’t finish it or meet your expectations, there isn’t much that you can do to get your money back. That money may as well be gone, even if you dispute their work. But if you pay for a significant project with a credit card, the credit card company will manage the dispute and return your money.
7. You Have A Longer Grace Period
You have a grace period when you buy something with a credit card rather than a debit card. When you pay with a debit card, your money is gone immediately. When you pay with a credit card, your money is still there in your checking account until you pay your monthly credit card statement.
8. You Get More Consumer Protections
Something you may not have known is that credit cards also offer a bunch of consumer protections such as travel insurance, rental car insurance, and product warranties.
9. Credit Cards Are Universally Accepted
When traveling, it’s essential to bring along your credit card because not every merchant you encounter will accept your debit card. Hotels and rental car companies prefer if you book with a credit card because if you cause any damage or meet unexpected charges, it is easier to take that from a credit card than a debit card.
10. You Have A Chance To Build Your Credit
Finally, credit cards will help you build up your credit by establishing your credit and building up your score. Of course, that only happens when you use your card responsibly.
- Fontinelle, Amy. “10 Reasons to Use Your Credit Card.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 10 Oct. 2020, www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/10/credit-card-debit-card.asp.