In Today’s 'Money Matters', Nicole Lapin discusses 5 things you should always put on your credit card, and why.
1. Appliances and Electronics
Many credit card issuers now offer complimentary extended warranty programs for the things you buy with your card. These programs vary in terms of what they cover and how long the warranty lasts, but generally, they can be used to repair or replace an item if it’s damaged. Some credit card companies also offer purchase protection, which covers loss and theft, and price matching for the things you buy. For example, if you see the washer and dryer you just bought on sale somewhere else, your card issuer will refund the difference to your account.
2. Travel Arrangements
Credit cards are good for travel because many card issuers offer things like travel insurance, trip cancellation service, emergency services, medical assistance and rental car insurance at no additional charge. Many credit cards also let you earn rewards when you use your card to cover travel expenses. You could earn free flights or hotel stays, discounts on car rentals and vacation packages, free upgrades and access to VIP programs or even cash back. Some cards also offer added perks like free concierge service and special access to discounts on entertainment and sporting events. So it pays to shop around for the right card if you’re a frequent traveler.
3. Tax-Deductible Expenses
Claiming certain expenses as a tax deduction is a great way to minimize the amount you owe to in taxes, but you have to be able to prove your deductions. Using a credit card to pay for your deductible expenses is an easy method of record keeping. Depending on your situation, you’ll want to use your card business expenses, charitable donations, health care expenses, childcare expenses and qualified education expenses. Be sure to fil away your statements each month so you’ll have the records you need when tax time rolls around.
4. Online Purchases
Shopping online is convenient but it also comes with certain risks as far as who can see your personal information. Credit card issuers typically offer some type of fraud or identity theft protection for if your information is stolen. Depending on the card, the coverage may be better than what your bank offers for purchases made with your debit card. You also don’t have to worry about would-be criminals gaining direct access to your bank account when you pay with credit.
5. Recurring Bills
If you’re diligent about paying your credit card off in full each month, then using it to pay all of your recurring bills is a good way to streamline your finances. This way, you’ll know that everything is paid on time and you’ll only have to deal with paying one credit card bill each month. If you’re using a cash back rewards card, you could even earn money back for every dollar you charge to the card.
Follow Nicole Lapin on Twitter: @NicoleLapin
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