I charge absolutely everything to my credit card. Everything. Even $3 purchases if I can. Why, you ask, in a world where credit cards are “evil,” would I do such a thing?
I am a credit card junkie (and have been for many years) for a number of reasons:
7. It builds up a great credit rating.
By charging and paying off up to thousands of dollars in expenses each month, I have built up a rock-solid credit rating — the best one possible. So whenever I have sauntered into the bank for a loan, I have been accepted right away, and at the lowest possible interest rates, with no security deposits required. (See also: 10 Surprising Ways to Negatively Affect Your Credit Score)
6. It’s quick and easy.
Swiping a card these days is often as quick as (if not faster than) paying with cash and counting out coins.
5. It’s great for accounting and spending reports.
Since I don’t dole out cash, or make purchases on my debit card (and I rarely use checks), all my monthly spending is nicely bundled into one report — my monthly credit card statement. Not only that but my current credit card of choice actually categorizes my spending for me, so at a glance I can see how I’ve spent my pennies for the month and year-to-date.
4. I don’t need to carry cash.
Trips to the bank machine are few and far between, as $60 can last months depending on my spending needs.
3. Automated billing is great.
Cell phone bills, utilities, cable, you name it. If I can sign up for automatic billing, I do. It doesn’t mean I don’t look at each carrier’s statement to ensure the charge is correct. But it does mean that on a monthly basis I don’t have to worry about paying any bills (other than my credit card!) – they’re already paid.
2. Almost everybody takes Visa.
From the coffee shop to the grocery store to online spending to travelling, to…well…everywhere. I have various credit cards, but I find that Visa is most widely accepted worldwide.
And my number one reason for charging everything to my credit card (drum roll, please):
1. Frequent flyer miles.
Since I started to charge all expenses to my credit cards, I have collected and redeemed miles for everything from fancy dinners to sports gear, to multiple flights all around the world. Hey — just for spending money I would always have spent, I’ve been able to take advantage of all sorts of free swag. What’s better than free?
Note: The trick to a spending plan such as the one I have laid out here is a rock-solid budget. I never (read: never ever) spend beyond my ability to pay off the bill in full each month. As Sarah mentioned in her article, credit cards are best viewed as thinner versions of your checkbook.