With everything going on financially, it’s safe to say credit card spending is about to go up. Experts say you’re probably fine to put most everyday expenses on a credit card, but there are a few things they’d recommend avoiding putting on plastic. If you’d like to skip adding credit debt to your growing list of stressors, here’s what to avoid.
Your monthly rent or mortgage payment. Since it’s a big expense, lots of people think putting housing costs on a credit card might be an easy way to score some cash back rewards. But financial planner Priya Malani says “there’s usually a 2% to 3% processing fee that negates all of the benefits and then some.” The only time experts say you should use a credit card for rent or mortgage is to meet a minimum spend to earn a welcome bonus.
Large purchases that will wipe out available credit. Remember that the rule of thumb when it comes to credit cards is to only buy things you can pay off during your next bill. It might be tempting to make a big purchase to hit a bonus, but it’s not going to do anything good for your credit score if you max out your card.
Taxes. Do you want to pay extra taxes? No? Well then don’t use your credit card to pay them. Unlike using a bank account transfer, credit card payments generally aren’t free, so you could end up paying a fee on top of your tax payment. Avoid the double-dip.
Medical bills. It might be tempting but sticking unexpected medical debt on a credit card is only going to rack up interest. Hopefully, you never have to deal with this, but the only way to stop this issue is to prepare for it. Malani advises you to “set aside an emergency stash” now so you don’t have to deal with debt later.