Let’s get this straight: every website needs to have “HTTPS” or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. These five letters in the address bar are essential for any website and if it doesn’t have them, it means it’s not secure. HTTPS is basically a protocol that ensures data security over a computer network by establishing an encrypted link between the browser and the server or any two systems. Its main purpose is to verify the authentication of a website and ensure that the data exchanged is protected. So, if the website you are using to make an online purchase doesn’t have HTTPS in the address bar, then it’s more than likely that it’s not secure. You would be better off opting out of making that purchase. If you really need to use it, then try utilizing a third-party payment system like PayPal.
2. Mortgage Payments
If you’re planning on paying for mortgages with your credit cards, think twice about it. Because this essentially means you will be borrowing from one to pay another, and that’s not exactly a smart financial move. You’re already being charged interest on your mortgage, so why should you be paying more interest on your credit card balance? More importantly, if, for some reason, you fail to pay off your credit card balance at the end of the month, you’ll end up compounding your mortgage debt and eating up a lot of your available credit.
Also, most mortgage companies don’t allow making direct payments with a credit card. You can use some third-party company to make the payment but they usually charge fees for this convenience which will only add to your bills at the end of the month.
3. Wedding Expenses
Whether you are planning your own wedding or for one of your loved ones, the expenses shouldn’t go on a credit card. It might be tempting to charge all the hefty expenses of the wedding on the credit card, but you can easily lose track of how much you’re spending if you go down that route. Before you know it, you might have put the payments for the venue, the dress, and the decoration on your credit card and this will eventually leave you with massive debt.
A much better and safer idea would be to save up money ahead of time and set up a wedding fund.
4. Small Indulgences
It’s so convenient to whip out your credit card when you are having that cup of coffee or buying a book you just saw. While using the card to make such small payments from time to time is okay, you shouldn’t be doing it for every little purchase. This convenience can soon become a habit and you will end up using your credit card for regular, everyday purchases.
Little expenses like these can soon add up over time without you realizing it. And when you open your credit card bill at the end of the month, you will be shocked at seeing the balance so high. The higher your balance, the harder it will be to pay off, so instead of taking out your credit card to pay for small items, try using cash. That way, you are likely to be spending a little more mindfully and will be sticking to a budget.
5. Medical Bills
Healthcare costs are soaring and they are unlikely to slow down anytime. This is why you should avoid using your credit card to pay for medical treatments. That’s because paying for those bills with a credit card that charges high interest will only add to the cost. If you need a treatment you cannot actually afford, it would be better to take out a personal loan for it because the rates are generally lower than credit card rates. You can also contact the hospital’s financial office and they might help you set up a low- or no-interest payment plan.
6. Vacation Expenses
Just like wedding expenses, you shouldn’t be using your credit card to pay off your vacation costs, as tempting and convenient as it might be. You should pay your hotel bills and plane tickets with a credit card only if you have the funds to pay for them later. If you don’t have the money to back it up, it will be dangerous to accumulate a hefty vacation tab on your credit card. Because later on, you won’t just be struggling with post-vacation blues but will also be under extra pressure of a piling debt amount.
Also, let’s not forget the fact that additional charges and currency conversion expenses can only add to your credit card expenses.
7. Online merchants with no reviews or previous listings
So you came across a new website selling cheap vintage furniture and you are immediately tempted to use your credit card to make a couple of purchases for your home. But, wait. Before doing so, look that website up online. If it has no reviews or previous listings, and no social media accounts, then you should think twice about making the payment. It might well be a fraudulent online merchant that's looking to pinch your credit card details. It would also be a good idea to check for the address and phone number of the online merchant on their website if you’re not sure of them. If things look fishy, it won’t be worth taking such a risk.
8. Cash Advances
Your credit card company might have often reminded you that your card can be used for withdrawing cash from ATMs, also called a cash advance. But be careful. A cash advance is essentially a short-term loan you borrow against your credit card account. While this may be handy in some situations, you should avoid taking a credit card cash advance because banks usually charge much higher interest for this service. So unless you don’t have a debit card at hand during an emergency or don’t have the time to withdraw money from your bank account, you should almost never use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. It would also be prudent to look for credit cards with low rates on cash advances.
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