We have all heard the evils of credit cards listed again and again, but there are times when charging a purchase to your credit card can be a good thing, especially large purchases. My mom is going through a situation right now where she got work done on her teeth and paid with her debit card. She is unhappy with the work (three months later she still can barely eat!) and the dentist is not returning her calls. She says she won’t be going to see him again, but you know what’s even better than avoiding a bad dentist? Getting your money back! If she had paid with her credit card, she would have a better chance of getting her money back, and fast. Why? Because it takes longer for a dispute to run its course when your checking account is involved, and most credit card companies offer a money back guarantee for situations such as this.
What are some other times it’s good to use a credit card? I personally use them for travel expenses, including but not limited to hotel rooms, rental cars, and the like. That way my account is not held up with a pending charge (rental companies often require a security deposit) or if the clerk makes a mistake and double charges me (which can take up to seventy-two hours to resolve) I am not at risk for overdrawing my account.
It’s also better to charge purchases when you are low on funds rather than risk over-drafting your account. An overdraft can cost up to $40 per occurrence, and some banks now charge a daily fee for each day your account remains overdrawn. It is much safer in those scenarios to use your credit card wisely and minimally so that you can pay the balance off within thirty days to avoid interest charges. Remember, credit cards are not evil! You just need to be more informed so that you can use them wisely!