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Why nearly every purchase should be on a credit card


Credit cards add a lot of convenience to our lives, and when used responsibly, they can be a very powerful financial tool. In fact, we would argue that most, if not all, purchases should be made with a credit card. Here are some reasons why.

Building credit

A strong credit score is one of the keys to a secure financial future, and using a credit card can help you build credit. The key is to make regular purchases with your card before paying off your balance in full each month. With your monthly payments reported to the credit bureau, potential lenders will see that you’re a responsible borrower.

Making all of your purchases on a single credit card can also help you monitor your spending, as you can view all of your transactions in one place.

Related: The best first credit cards

Earning rewards

A credit card can be a great way to earn rewards through cash back or travel points and miles. Some cards, such as the Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees), earn a flat percentage of cash back. Other cards offer rotating bonus cash-back categories, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ .

And there are cards with consistent bonus-earning rates in select categories, such as dining, airfare and groceries. The American Express® Gold Card is a good example.


Ideally, many purchases you make will qualify for bonus points. You can even earn bonus rewards when you pay your monthly rent with a Bilt Mastercard®, up to 100,000 points in a calendar year (cardmembers must use the card five times each statement period to earn points; see rewards & benefits).

Just remember that most reward earning is limited to purchase transactions. Cash advances, gift cards and sending money from your credit card through apps like Venmo, Zelle and PayPal don’t count.

Related: How many credit cards should I have?

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Welcome offers

Many credit cards come with welcome offers for new cardholders. Offers include large amounts of bonus cash back, points or miles after you spend a certain amount on the card within a specific period. To qualify for a welcome offer, use your card exclusively until you meet the spending requirement.

Related: Here are the best credit card welcome offers


Credit cards offer more security than a debit card or cash can provide. For starters, every credit card offers zero-fraud-liability protection. With a debit card, if your card is used fraudulently, the money comes out of your bank account, and the corresponding fraud investigation can take time to resolve. Also, there is no guarantee that you will get your money back.

With a credit card, no money comes out of your banking account, and you won’t be held responsible for the charges.


I recently had to dispute a purchase that didn’t arrive, which I inadvertently made on my debit card. This process took three weeks to resolve. In the past, when I have had to dispute a credit card purchase, it was usually resolved in a couple of days and always in my favor.

Related: How to identify and prevent credit card fraud

Protection and insurance

Many credit cards offer protection and insurance when you make purchases or pay bills with your card. Some popular ones include:

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Baggage delay and lost baggage insurance
  • Primary and secondary rental car insurance
  • Trip delay and cancellation insurance
  • Cellphone protection and insurance

If something goes awry, these protections can give you added peace of mind. Also, they are complimentary, so you receive coverage without paying additional fees (beyond the card’s annual fee.)

Related: Best credit cards with travel insurance

Bottom line

Using a credit card for the majority of your purchases carries several benefits. In addition to helping you build and maintain a good credit score, credit cards offer valuable rewards and purchase security. Some even include generous welcome offers.

Used responsibly, credit cards deliver peace of mind and more money in your pocket.

For rates and fees of the Bilt Mastercard, click here.
For rewards and benefits of the Bilt Mastercard, click here.


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