If you have a rewards credit card, using it to pay your bills might seem like an excellent way to maximize your rewards. However, does that mean you should do it?
According to Credit Karma, it’s okay — as long as you don’t charge your card because you can’t cover that month’s amount, and you pay your entire balance on time.
If you cover the cost of a payment you can’t afford with your card, you risk paying significantly more in interest. But if you use your credit card to pay smaller expenses, then there are some advantages.
So which bills are fine to charge to your card? And which ones will hit you with additional charges for doing so? Credit Karma explains which bills you should pay with your credit card.
Chances are, your home loan is the most expensive monthly bill. At first, mortgages seem like a great way to reach a welcome bonus or rack up big rewards.
But unfortunately, almost no mortgage servicer accepts credit card payments because they don’t want to pay the cost of processing credit card payments.
If your mortgage service does accept credit card payments, you will have to pay a sky-high convenience fee. More likely than not, this extra charge will outweigh any rewards you would receive.
If you aren’t a homeowner, you might also want to know if you can use a credit card to pay your rent. However, it’s your landlord’s decision, and very few are willing to accept anything except cash or checks.
But if you happen to rent from a landlord or property company that does take credit card payments, consider charging your rent bill to your card — particularly if you don’t have to pay any convenience fees.
Very few auto lenders accept credit card payments due to the high processing fees. But, as Credit Karma explains, you could get a credit card with zero APR for balance transfers and rollover your car payment onto this card. However, there are several drawbacks to consider before you do so.
Namely, this move will only benefit you if the card has a 0% APR offer for balance transfers. Additionally, you will have to pay down the full balance before the standard rate kicks in after the introductory period. The last thing you want is to pay credit card interest on a car payment.
Also, depending on your credit limit, you may not be able to put your whole car loan on a balance transfer card. Additionally, many card issuers have a balance transfer fee, which is an extra expense to deal with. Transferring your car loan onto a credit card also increase your credit utilization rate, which can negatively impact your credit.
With all of this in mind, you may want to think twice about using your credit card to make your monthly car payment.
Home And Auto Insurance
Most insurance providers accept credit card payments but make sure by doing so, you don’t get hit with surprise fees. Not every insurance company charges convenience fees, but some, like Nationwide, only waive fees if you pay the whole premium instead of monthly installments.
Ultimately, if you can dodge these fees, then using your credit card to pay your insurance bills may not be a bad idea.
You can use your credit card to cover certain taxes, but the IRS will probably charge you for the convenience. For instance, you can use a credit card to pay your income taxes (for a fee). It also depends on how much you owe and which kind of federal taxes you need to pay.
Utilities, Phone, Internet, Cable
Many of these service providers accept credit card payments since they save time and hassle for both parties. This also includes subscription service providers. Not only is it simple to pay these bills with your card, but most of these services don’t levy extra charges.
However, your utility companies may be a different story. While you can pay your bills with your card, some will charge convenience fees. Generally, the larger your utility bill, the more beneficial using your credit card can be, despite extra fees.
You may be able to use your credit card to make your monthly student loan payment, but it depends on your lender.
If you have a cash back rewards card, Credit Karma recommends paying your loan, earning cash back, then using your rewards to pay down your loan faster.
Using your credit card to pay your monthly expenses is a good idea — in some cases. If you do, you must pay your balance off every month to avoid falling behind on interest payments.
If you use your card responsibly and create a solid plan, you can cover a large portion of your monthly expenses with your card. Doing so allows you to earn more rewards, reach that welcome bonus, and potentially have a little more time to pay your bills.
- Terry, Jill. “Should I Be Paying Bills With a Credit Card?” Credit Karma, 10 Dec. 2020, www.creditkarma.com/credit-cards/i/paying-bills-with-credit-card.