Expenses You Should Never Put on Your Credit Card

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By: Aquib Nawab


1 - Bills with high interest rates

Things like utilities, cable bills, cell phone bills, and others often charge very high interest rates and fees for late payments. Putting them on your credit card seems convenient but then you end up paying even more in credit card interest and late fees. Pay these regular bills directly from your bank account via check, auto-pay, or your bank's bill pay service.

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2 - Groceries

Groceries are an essential recurring expense that you have to pay every month. Putting your $400 grocery bill on a credit card one month might be fine, but doing that every month can quickly create credit card debt that is difficult to pay off. Get in the habit of using cash, debit, or a grocery rewards credit card that you pay in full each month for groceries. Avoid making groceries an ongoing credit card charge.

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3 - Gas

Like groceries, gas is a regular purchase that can really add up over time. Stop by the ATM and take out cash to prepay for gas each month, or use a gas station rewards credit card that you set up auto-pay on to pay off monthly. Do not use a general credit card that allows debt accumulation for gas.

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4 - Medical bills

Doctor's visits, prescriptions, and other medical expenses often come with high interest rates when left unpaid for long. Avoid charging medical bills to your credit card. See if the provider can offer a no-interest payment plan and pay it down ASAP instead.

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5 - Luxury goods

Items like expensive jewelry, designer clothes, 4K TVs, game systems, and vacations are wants, not needs. If you cannot afford to pay for luxuries upfront and have to use credit, you cannot afford them. Save up to pay cash for luxury splurges rather than creating long-term credit card debt.

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6 - Bills you can't afford

If you cannot pay off a bill in full, putting it on a credit card only delays facing the issue. Call the company to explain your situation and reduce the bill, or look at your budget and find areas you can cut back on spending to afford it.

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7 - Bills for others

Never put bills like rent, utilities, school expenses, or anything else for friends, significant others, or relatives on your credit card. Even if you intend to pay it back, you are legally responsible for the debt.

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8 - Cash advances

Withdrawals and cash advances from your credit cards have fees in addition to an often 20%+ APR. Do not take out cash advances for things like rent or extra spending money. Look into alternatives like a personal loan.

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9 - Anything you'll struggle to pay off quickly

Get in the habit of only charging expenses you know you can pay off in full each month. If you cannot quickly pay off a purchase, wait and save up to buy it with cash instead of with credit.

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