When you open your wallet, or your mobile wallet, do you have a Credit Card earmarked for emergencies or large purchases? It’s common to use Credit Cards this way. When that emergency arises, or you’re making a purchase above your Debit Card limit, most will reach for that Credit Card.
Those who primarily use Credit Cards for the above reasons often choose a Debit Card for day-to-day purchases. If that’s you, have you considered what benefits or perks you’re missing out on—especially if you have a rewards card? Adjusting how you use your Credit Card not only helps you build credit, but you can maximize your rewards.
Earn points and get cash back. Most rewards cards, like our Visa® Platinum Cashback Plus Credit Card, offer cash back on purchases as well as other options like travel perks, fuel rewards, or merchandise. If you use a Credit Card for everyday purchases and pay off the balance before your bill is due, you benefit from 1% cash back, or 1 point for every $1 spent, without paying any interest.
Special offers. Often rewards cards will have ongoing or rotating bonus offers where you could earn higher points on certain types of purchases. For example, if your rewards card offers bonus points on purchases you would usually make—like groceries or gas—you can snag those extra points and still stay within budget.
Track your spending and stay on budget. Purchases made with your Credit Card can be viewed in your account activity, just like your Debit Card. This makes it easy to stay on budget and make adjustments throughout the month or between paychecks, so you don’t end up overspending.
Keep in mind it can be an adjustment to switch from a Debit Card to a Credit Card. You’ll want to make sure you are using it wisely by:
- Commit to paying off the balance each month. Or, if you will temporarily carry a balance, keep your utilization ratio below 30%. Never max out your Credit Card.
- Don’t buy things you can’t afford. You wouldn’t overdraw your account with a debit purchase, so use that same thought process when using credit.
- Make on-time payments every month. Any late or missed payments could negatively impact your credit—whereas making timely payments helps build a positive credit history.