Having a credit card can be a great thing. But, if you’re not sure what to use a credit card for, you can miss out on so many amazing features and protection policies that many credit companies offer.
That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 5 purchases that you should always use your credit card for. These purchases can quickly turn into a mistake if you purchase them through your bank card and can make you miss out on a lot of money if something goes wrong.
How to Use a Credit Card the Right Way
Through many horror stories, I have personally found these 5 purchases should always be made with your credit card. Whenever you use cash or your bank card for one of these purchases, you lose out on almost all consumer protection.
While some banks offer consumer protection for debit cards, most credit cards offer protection far and above most banks. In fact, 9 times out of ten, credit card companies will refund your purchase without issue, while banks require a slew of paperwork and a huge headache just to get your money back.
What Purchases You Should Use Your Credit Card For
There was this huge scandal with the WordPress theme I had been using a few weeks back, so it left me searching for a new theme. I had no idea where to find a new blogging theme, but I tried three. All three themes offered money-back guarantee had I not like them, so I figured I wasn’t out of anything to try them.
Of course, the first two themes weren’t what I wanted, so I contacted the company and they issued a refund right away. The third company gave me a run-around and refused to refund my money. I immediately opened a claim up with my credit card company and they found me in favor and refunded my money.
Had I used a bank card for my online purchase, I would have been up the creek without a paddle and wouldn’t have had the option of getting my owed money back. Thankfully, most credit card companies have your back when it comes to purchasing protection with online purchases.
Credit cards are also really good at getting money back when an online company doesn’t ship your item or loses your item and refuses a refund.
We were in Gatlinburg a few years ago, and I was paying cash for everything. I decided to book our hotel room and when we got there, I paid cash. That turned into a huge mistake.
By the time we got up to our room, it was gross and our bed blankets were stained and the room was not as advertised. I tried to get out money back, but the hotel refused to give me any money back. In the end, they let me cancel my remaining two nights but charged me an outrageous price for the one night that should have been a lot less. Since I paid with cash there was nothing I could do to get my money back. I was not bound by any consumer protection and there was nothing I could do to fight them for my money back.
Monthly Subscription Service & Free Trials
I often hear people telling horror stories about the time they tried to cancel a monthly subscription service or a free trial, only to have it keep renewing and charging them. If you don’t already, knowing how to use a credit card for these purchases can save you a lot of headaches and a lot of money.
In the past, I signed up for a free trial of a new subscription service, canceled it, and just forgot about it. A few weeks later, I was looking at my credit card statement and noticed charges coming out for that service I canceled, so I immediately contacted my credit card company. The credit card company not only took away the charges for that month, but they went back and made sure I wasn’t charged later for that company.
When you use a credit card the right way, you don’t have to be afraid to sign up for new subscription services or free trials because your credit card company has your back.
A few years ago, my husband and I needed a rental car. This was our first time renting a car, so we had no idea what we were doing. We let the salesman talk us into buying the company’s expensive rental insurance, even though we used our credit card because we had no idea we didn’t need it.
It wasn’t long before we were told that the salesman sold us something we didn’t need – and he probably knew it. Most credit card companies actually include some kind of rental car insurance, so purchasing extra is unnecessary.
Knowing what your credit card offers before you use your credit card can potentially save you a ton of money.
Did you know when you make a purchase with your bank card, most bill companies can take money from you, even if you cancel your debit card you paid them with*? A few years back, my husband and I found this out the hard way. We had canceled a television plan and we wanted to pay the cancelation fees with another credit card because, at the time, we didn’t have the money in our bank account. We canceled the television contract and the debit card we used to pay the account. We thought we had taken every precaution so they couldn’t charge us on our debit card. Fast forward a few weeks later (and no still no bill), I open up my bank account and see an almost $300 charge for the television company.
I called my bank and was told they gave my new debit card information to the company! Apparently, this is a service most banks offer and I had no idea! I tried to fight with my bank for my money back on an unauthorized charge, but since banks don’t give the consumer protection credit cards do, they basically said since I owed it, they could take it. When you pay your monthly bills with your debit card, this could happen to you, too. In fact, I talked to 2 other people who had something similar happen with this major television company.
Needless to say, I learned the hard way the difference between the consumer protection of a debit card and a credit card.
Although not all credit card companies are the same, knowing the right purchases you should make with a credit card versus a debit card can potentially save you a lot of headaches.
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*Disclosure: Not all credit card companies are amazing, please check your credit card terms and conditions. I am in no way guaranteeing refunds, just sharing my experience. Not all banks will update your debit card number to your monthly bill companies, but some do.