12 Things To Never Buy with a Credit Card

woman using credit card on computer.

Having a credit card is a great way to build up your credit, and you can rack up some pretty nice rewards too, if you play your cards right, pun intended. However, there are some things that you should never buy with your credit card. 

Mortgage Payments

buying a house.
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You shouldn’t make your home mortgage payments with your credit card unless you can pay off the balance on the card at the end of the month. You are already paying interest on your mortgage and on your credit card balance, so why pay the interest on the same thing twice? Paying your mortgage with a credit card also reduces the amount of credit available to you and could lower your credit score. 

Medical Bills

older lady paying for something with credit card on phone.
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Healthcare is expensive, and paying off those exorbitant bills with your credit card can be tempting, but you shouldn’t do that. Paying interest on already high bills will cost you more money.

Instead of using your credit card to pay your medical bills, contact the hospital’s billing office to negotiate a payment plan. If you are uninsured, tell them there are different (lower) prices for people with no insurance. The payments you negotiate will be cheaper than the interest on your credit card. 

Big-Ticket Items You Can’t Pay Off Quickly

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When it comes to purchasing things with your credit card, there are good reasons to purchase big-ticket items like furniture and electronics with them. Paying with your credit card offers you great purchase protection, and that large purchase can help you rack up rewards points. However, you should only use your card for these items if you can pay it off quickly. Otherwise, the interest you will pay on the balance is a bad idea. 

Cash Advances

envelope of cash.
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Cash advances are another thing you shouldn’t use your credit cards for. Not only will it reduce the amount of credit you have available quickly, but there are usually high fees associated with them too. In some cases, the interest can be as much as 25%, and there is usually a transaction fee as well. 

Household Bills

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Unless you can afford to pay your balance off at the end of the month, you shouldn’t be using your credit card to pay your monthly bills. Service providers make it easy to connect your credit card to your account and have your bills come out automatically. However, since it is automatic, your card balance can get closer to your limit without realizing it. If you go over the limit the fees, and interest charges will outweigh any benefit. 

Down Payments

calculator down payment.
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You should never use your credit cards towards a down payment on large purchases like a home, car, or boat. If you can’t make the payment without your credit card, chances are you can’t really afford it, and you may need to re-evaluate your finances first.

College Tuition

woman calculating college tuition.
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Don’t use your credit cards to pay for your college tuition unless you have regular checks coming in to help pay off your credit card balance. In addition to the interest payments you may accrue, there are often fees associated with paying by a credit card of 2-3% for charging it. That can add up quickly! If you need help, talk to your school’s financial aid office, there may be options you don’t know about.


tax forms and calculator.
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Taxes are another expense you shouldn’t use your credit card to pay. It’s not illegal or anything like that, you CAN pay your taxes with a credit card, but there are fees associated with doing so. Not only do you risk interest payments on your card, you also have to pay a 2-3 % convenience fee.

Shopping Sprees

woman shopping spree.
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Everyone needs a little retail therapy occasionally, but you shouldn’t be using your credit card to finance it, unless you pay your balance off in full every month. It can also be tempting to use your credit card for that daily coffee, or takeout but that’s a great way for your balance to get out of control. Consider making those purchases with cash to keep you more mindful of your budget. 

Credit Card Bills

man overwhelmed with credit card bills on table.
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You should never use one credit card to pay off another one. Not only are there a lot of fees involved with cash advances, but your credit card is not an ATM, so you shouldn’t use it like one. Something you can do is transfer your credit card balance to a card with a lower interest rate to help save you money over time while you pay it off. 

Business Expenses for a Start-Up

business audits and expenses concept.
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Using your credit card to finance your business start-up costs might seem like a good idea, but there may be a better, less costly way. Most businesses take several years to become profitable, which may leave you paying interest on those start-up costs for quite some time. Instead consider a small business loan where interest rates will be cheaper, you could also start a campaign on a crowdfunding site to raise money for your start-up costs. 

Car Loans

man buying a car.
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Most auto-lenders won’t accept credit card payments because they don’t want you paying debt with debt, and who wants to pay the interest on a loan twice? The exception to this would be if you are paying off your car and you have a 0% interest offer. Then you could transfer the balance of the car loan, and pay it off before the interest payments start to save money. 

10 Unnecessary bills you need to get rid of in 2024

woman confused credit card bill
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Are you trying to improve your financial health this year? One way to improve your bottom line is to cut out unnecessary expenses. You can take the money you save and pay off debt, save for a vacation, or just use it for necessary bills. Here are some unnecessary bills that you should get rid of in 2024. 

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Theresa Bedford is a travel and lifestyle writer with an obsession to simplify life and travel more. She writes about simple living, money, travel destinations, family-friendly activities, and more. Her work has been featured on the Associated Press wire, MSN.com, GoBankingRates, Wealth of Geeks, Savorteur, and more.

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