There are quite a lot of Filipinos who are wary about using credit cards to make purchases and payments. Aside from the fear of ballooning debt, some people are also wary of privacy issues and scams.
Obviously, you definitely shouldn’t use your credit card to pay for every purchase. However, there are also times when swiping is better than paying in cash. There are also plenty of benefits when you shop or pay bills using your credit card, Philippines or abroad, in-store or online. These include rebates or cashbacks, airline miles, and rewards points.
That said, here are some purchases that are sometimes or always better off paid with your credit card:
Big Ticket Appliances
Big ticket appliances such as TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines are best purchased using your credit card. There are many reasons why this is the ideal choice. First, it doesn’t deplete the amount of cash you have on hand. In case there are important or emergency transactions that only accept cash for payment, then you’ll have something to spend.
Second, there are a lot of credit card payment options that can help you better manage your monthly payments. These installment plans can also give you more wiggle room if there are other obligations that come up. Finally, buying big ticket items using your credit card allows you to rack up more rewards points that you can use later for perks and other benefits.
You might think that it’s impractical to use your credit card for groceries. However, it’s actually the wiser option. Whether you shop online or at a brick-and-mortar store, using a credit card for your groceries will yield a lot of benefits.
If you have two (or more) credit cards, it’s best to have a dedicated card for groceries. This way, it’s easier to track and manage your budget. There are also credit cards that have partnerships with supermarkets, which means you’ll get more rewards, discounts, cashback, and other perks.
Filipinos love online shopping. Filipinos love COD or cash-on-delivery even more. However, if you have a credit card, it’s actually better to use it for your online purchases. For one, using your credit card ensures that the payment goes straight to the seller’s accounts. In fact, there are sellers who don’t allow COD or other payment methods except for credit cards for their own protection.
You also don’t have to worry about the security of your financial information. There are plenty of protection measures in place to help prevent this from happening, such as two-factor authentication and SSLs. Just in case your information gets stolen and used for fraudulent transactions, you can dispute the charge and get your money back in full.
There are also plenty of promos exclusive for online credit card purchases. Make sure to do your research so you can maximize the points and discounts.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, it’s ideal to charge your purchases and reservations to your credit card. Many hotel chains and online rentals usually prefer credit card payments. The same goes for car rental companies (if you’re planning to drive).
For shopping, it depends on your preference. However, do take note that you can earn bonus points and miles when making international purchases using a travel-focused credit card. In addition, the exchange rates are also better. It’s best to reserve your cash for purchases that you can’t use your card, such as for buying street food. Just remember to give your bank a heads up that you’re traveling so that they won’t flag your card for suspicious activity.
If you’re traveling locally, it’s still a good idea to pay for your tickets and room reservations using your credit card. You can then allocate your pocket money for food, entrance to paid attractions, and buying local products and pasalubong.
Are you looking for a product that’s only available in other countries? Thanks to e-commerce, you’ll be able to purchase them straight from the merchants (and no need to wait for pasa-buy). However, it’s most likely that you’re only going to be able to use a credit card. In this case, you really don’t have a choice.
The good thing is that many payment gateways have protections in place to ensure that you receive your purchase on time and in good condition. If you don’t, you can get a full refund.
If you own a car, you may also want to consider using your credit card to pay for fuel. There are some banks and credit card companies that offer discounts for fuel and products such as engine oil, as well as rebates on toll fees.
The bottomline is that you shouldn’t be afraid to use your credit card for making purchases. It’s a useful tool that, when used wisely, can help you manage your finances. Study your spending habits carefully, make a plan, and start using your credit cards for your purchases. Pretty soon, you’ll be enjoying not just financial freedom but also more and more perks.