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Best Things to Use Your Credit Card For

Credit can be a great tool when used wisely. Whether you’re a seasoned credit card user or newly approved for one, you might be wondering what should you use a credit card for? 

Follow these tips below for what to charge and how you can make your credit cards work for you, not against you!

Safety First 

Credit cards offer the most secure option for payment. It’s now more common than ever for credit cards to be accepted almost everywhere. Credit cards are safer to carry than cash and offer stronger fraud protection than a debit card could online and in-store. 

If your card is lost or stolen, it’s easy to notify us with a call and cancel it. If your card is used fraudulently, you’re much more likely to get the money back. Be sure to report fraud as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation. 

At UCCU, we work with card issuers to ensure all funds are returned even if it takes some time to resolve the theft.

Set Up Recurring Charges

Streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu accept credit cards without charging additional fees. As long as you have worked into your budget the expenses for these services, it’s the perfect recurring charge to link to your credit card. 

Be sure to keep track of these costs, especially if you have them set up on autopay. If your income fluctuates and you don’t have enough to cover them after essentials such as groceries, mortgage or rent, and a car payment, you’ll want to cut back to avoid costly interest charges on your credit card.

Earn Rewards Quickly

Rewards on credit cards exist to encourage you to use your card often and consistently! 

At UCCU, we offer a variety of Visa cards designed to maximize your purchases on everyday spending like travel, gas, and groceries. 

A good rule of thumb is to avoid spending more than you can afford and pay your total purchases off in full at the end of each billing period. Once you start paying interest, you miss out on any value from these rewards because any interest accrued will exceed it. 

Buy Now, Pay Later

Credit cards let you pay off a big purchase over time, which is a form of financing. If you go this route, do your research to choose a card with the lowest interest rate you can get. 

Make it a plan to figure out how to pay it off as soon as you can so your credit card doesn’t accrue too much interest. You can also make it easier on yourself if you don’t put anything else on that card until your purchase is paid off. That way you won’t get trapped into adding to your debt.

Booking Travel

You should use your credit card for all things travel-related. It’s the easy way to book airline tickets, and our Visa cards at UCCU offer up to 4% cashback reward perks! 

Most hotels require a credit card to check in anyways, but you may receive perks that can include special concierge services and exclusive lounge areas when you use a preferred card. If you’re traveling overseas, some cards waive foreign transaction fees. 

Pay On Time and In Full

We’ve covered some of the best uses for your credit card so far. But we can’t miss out on including some best practices with managing your credit. 

Try to make a habit of paying your balance in full and on time every month. This will help you avoid debt and extra fees, and can keep your credit healthy. 

Avoid late payments, which can result in late fees, and could impact your credit score. If you’re a seasoned card user with multiple cards, be strategic with your payments. Pay off cards with higher interest rates first so they can help you save more money over time.

Track Your Spending

Keeping tabs on your budget can be a challenge no matter how you spend your money. 

Figuring out where cash goes can be difficult, but it is far more simplified if you use your credit card as a cash flow tool to help you manage monthly spending. Putting most of your expenses on one card makes it easy to see your total spent to date by viewing your account online. 

Check your online banking and categorize where your money is going throughout a billing cycle. This allows you to identify areas where your money went, such as food, gasoline, or clothing. Use this to see where you’re overspending and where you can stand to splurge a little.

Choosing Your Best Credit Card Option 

Our credit card options at UCCU offer a secure and convenient way to help build credit, make budgeting easier, and earn rewards! You don’t have to go into debt or pay interest when choosing from our variety of Visa cards.

Click below to view what we have to offer!

See Our Credit Cards