“What are the best places to use my credit card?”

Debit or credit?” You hear it just about every time you check out. But which is best for you and your wallet? Here are 5 scenarios when choosing credit might be your best payment option.

If you’re shopping online.

When shopping online, paying with a credit card can be your best option. Using a credit card provides an extra layer of protection against fraud and it makes getting a refund easier. When you pay with your credit card, you may have the ability to withhold payment or dispute a charge if there is an issue with your purchase. When you pay with your debit card, the funds are immediately withdrawn from your account,leaving you without the cash until you can settle the dispute with the merchant on your own.

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If you’re making a large purchase.  

Whether you’re buying a big ticket item like a new TV, computer or major appliance, credit cards may provide several benefits that extend beyond their grace periods. Some credit cards feature consumer protection benefits like extended product warranties which may extend the manufacturer’s warranty, and purchase protection that provides coverage for recently purchased items if they are damaged or stolen within a specific time period after purchase. Some credit card companies, like Discover, also offer extra perks like return guarantee  and price protection. 

When you’re booking travel or on vacation.

When reserving a hotel room or a rental car, it’s often a good idea to use a credit card. Why? Because car rental companies and hotels sometimes only accept credit card reservations. If they will accept a debit card, a hotel or car rental company will sometimes place a hold on your account as a form of security deposit to ensure you have sufficient funds to cover the costs. This hold can tie up funds in your checking account long after your stay has ended. If you are considering using your debit card for car rental, make sure to ask if they will be running a credit check. If they do, opt to pay with your credit card instead to avoid any dings to your credit score. 

Choosing to use your credit card when traveling is a surefire way to better protect yourself from fraud in case your card becomes lost or stolen. If your debit card gets stolen, the thief may gain access to your checking account.  While debit cards offer anti-fraud benefits, you are immediately without the cash amount until you can provide evidence of theft. Also, the best travel credit card can qualify you for extra travel perks like complimentary travel insurance, exclusive discounts and even cash back on hotel accommodations and car rentals.

If you want to maximize your rewards.

If you have a rewards card, charging many of your everyday purchases can quickly add up to some hefty rewards. Most rewards cards offer rotating rewards categories featuring double points or 1%-5% cash back at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, clothing retailers and more. Adding recurring payments to your credit card can also help you earn more rewards, ensure your bills are paid on time and prevent unnecessary fees if your checking account becomes too low or overdrawn due to overlapping monthly payments.

Credit cards aren’t just convenient— they offer increased protection, purchasing power and generous cash rewards. However, it’s important to remember the benefits of paying with credit can become lost in interest and unnecessary fees if you do not use your card responsibly.

*For full terms and conditions (including definitions and information on how to file a claim), please go to discover.com/cardbenefits or call 1-800-975-0428. Exclusions and limitations apply. Price Protection and Return Guarantee coverage are underwritten and administered by Connexions Loyalty, P.O. Box 6175, Westerville, OH, 43086. Purchase Protection and Extended Product Warranty coverage are underwritten by Federal Insurance Company, a member issuer of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Box 1615, Warren, N.J. 07061-1615, and administered by Crawford and Company, P.O. Box 4090 Atlanta, Ga. 30302. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued. Exclusions and limitations apply. Items stolen from vehicles are not eligible for Purchase Protection coverage.

Discover card believes that consumers should be armed with the information they need to help them make informed credit decisions.

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

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