The following is a guest post from AskMrCreditCard:
If I had it my way, we should all use credit cards for everything (to earn rewards) as long as we pay our bills fully and do not spend frivolously. But some folks do not really like credit cards because they might cause them to overspend. Even if you think about it this way, I would say that there are certain things where it pays to use the plastic in your wallet. Here are the things I have in mind and why.
Things you should charge to your credit cards:
Jewelry and Antiques: Assuming that these purchases are bargain deals in the first place, purchasing items like jewelry and antiques on a credit card may give you an added amount of safety in delivery insurance or damage or loss protection. The worst thing is to realize you have bought a dud and could not replace it.
Vacations: If you have a rewards card that will earn points or cash back, putting your vacation on your credit card can actually be something that you benefit from, depending on the rewards program. Don’t forget hotel stays even if you aren’t necessarily on vacation.
Airline Tickets: Besides the rewards that are earned from purchasing with a credit card, buying airline tickets on credit will usually include coverage by the travel insurance with the credit card company which can cover anything from flight cancellations to baggage loss. From my experience, the baggage insurance can really come in handy. Obviously, earning points or miles from an airline credit card does not hurt as well.
Hotels and Car Rentals – Most hotels require that you give a credit card number to make advance bookings. Frankly speaking, you really do not want to be using a debit card because if there is any mistake, you will have a more difficult time getting back your money whereas with a credit card, all you need to do is to lodge a dispute.
Some Car Rentals can simply make your life difficult if you do not have a credit card. They might require things like a recent utility bill to “prove” you can pay your bills and that you are credit worthy!
Sporting Events and Concerts: Earn rewards for your favorite sporting events and concerts when purchasing with your credit card, which can usually be redeemed for exclusive tickets in the future. The catch is to check with your credit card company to see which events are included. I have had trouble with companies scamming me before and having the expense charged to a credit card and being able to halt the charges sure came in handy.
Gasoline – Many of the better credit cards pay cash back on gasoline purchases. Very often, it is as high as 3% to 5%. With gas prices always fluctuating and more often than not increasing, earning those precious rebates is one smart way of saving money.
Supermarkets – The supermarket is one place where you definitely want to use your cash back credit card. When you stack up your manufacturers coupon with your store coupon, you will save lots of money. Earning cash rebates would then be icing on the cake. I call this the Triple Stack!
Online Shopping – Many cash back credit cards these days have new online shopping portals. Gone are the days where credit cards offered say 5% on gasoline spending the whole year round. Instead, what they offer now are online shopping portals. This is how it works. You log into account and go into their shopping portal. From there you go to the merchant partners site and as long as you shop with your credit card, you will earn extra rebates. For example, GAP.com may be a merchant partner. Rather than going to GAP.com through your browser, going there through your credit card’s shopping portal (it’s the same site and same products BTW), your purchases will be tracked differently for the purpose of earning you the rebates. Issuers like Discover and Chase all have shopping portals.
Expensive Appliances and Electronic Gadgets – Many of the better credit cards offer features such as purchase warranty and extended warranty features. A typical purchase protection feature means that if a product is accidentally broken and the retail store will not accept it, the purchase warranty protection kicks in and protects the buyer from monetary losses.
More importantly is the extended warranty protection. Many extended warranty feature extends the length of the manufacturer’s warranty for up to one year. This can save you money because you typically have to pay for an extended warranty protection from either the retail store or from the manufacturer themselves.
Parting Words – Even if you are not a credit card fan, there are times when using them really makes sense. Hopefully, these examples will convince you. Obviously, paying your credit card bills in full is a prerequisite.
(see a full comparison of all reward and cash back cards with this cash back card comparison tool)