It's January which means that you may have resolved to beef up your budgeting prowess and get your debt under control. Great! But don't cut up all your plastic just yet. There are some very good reasons to (responsibly) use a credit card. We fill you in on some perks you may not have thought of.
Electronics — Check the fine print! Most cards provide extra protection or an extended warranty (often double) on many categories of purchases and almost always on electronics. You'll save the price of an extended warranty and have the peace of mind that you'll get the most out of your purchase for longer.
Travel expenses — When traveling abroad, you should absolutely get some local cash ASAP for taxis and snacks, but when you reach your hotel, charge it. Your credit card company will almost always offer a better exchange rate and fewer fees than the cash price, so save your paper money for incidentals and charge what you can. Also, your plastic is so much safer to carry since your card is protected against thieves and fraud; once your cash is pick-pocketed, it's gone forever.
Rental cars — Fun fact: I recently rented a car and realized that I didn't need to buy insurance because my credit card provided it automatically. Score! Check your card's benefits, of course, but it was a fun little discovery that you may not be aware of.
Bills you pay every month — This one is just about convenience. Ten separate paper bills, checks and stamps to remember each month? If you're still facing that hassle, then it's reeeally time to get online and put those suckers on auto-pay! One thing to remember: if you need to cancel your card for any reason, you'll need to update your billing information or you'll be facing a logistical mess of late fees. Keep a list of what you're signed up for so if you do need to switch out your payment, you won't miss any by mistake.
Reimbursable expenses — Sure, you save your receipts so your company can pay you back or you can claim certain benefits on your taxes, but being able to track what you paid electronically gives you an extra level of protection that, should there be a mix-up, will help you know exactly how much you paid and to whom.
What other handy tips can you share about your cards? Fill us in!