Credit Cards Credit Cards 101 How to Use Your Credit Card for Everything By LaToya Irby LaToya Irby Facebook Twitter LaToya Irby is a credit expert who has been covering credit and debt management for The Balance for more than a dozen years. She's been quoted in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and the Associated Press, and her work has been cited in several books. learn about our editorial policies Updated on May 18, 2022 Reviewed by Thomas J. Catalano Reviewed by Thomas J. Catalano Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas' experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning. learn about our financial review board Fact checked by Hans Jasperson Fact checked by Hans Jasperson Hans Jasperson has over a decade of experience in public policy research, with an emphasis on workforce development, education, and economic justice. His research has been shared with members of the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and policymakers in several states. learn about our editorial policies Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images Even if you are wary of spending too much on a credit card, there are benefits that make using your credit card as your main method of payment worthwhile. Using your credit card responsibly improves your credit score. Active and responsible credit card use helps you build a good credit score. After months of using your credit card and paying the bill on time, your credit rating goes higher and higher, allowing you to qualify for the lowest interest rates on new credit cards and loans. Below are a few of the benefits. Earn More Rewards The benefits of using your credit card for everything increase when you use a credit card that has rewards. You can rack up hundreds in cash rewards, miles, or points by using your credit card for all your monthly expenses. Of course, if your credit card has a cap on the number of rewards you earn or use, you may have to switch to another card to maximize your rewards benefits. Purchase Protection Credit cards come with a number of perks, including purchase protection, which will replace your purchase if it’s damaged or stolen. The catch is that you have to use your credit card to get the benefit. Using your credit card for everything automatically gives you purchase protection for all your purchases. Ability to Dispute Transactions and Withhold Payment Federal law gives you the right to dispute credit card billing errors, in writing, and to withhold payment for the amount you’ve disputed while the credit card issuer does an investigation. You don’t get the same benefit when you use your debit card. Instead, the money will have already been deducted from your bank account and you’ll have to hope for a refund to get your money back. How to Make It Work Use Just One Credit Card Paying for everything with a credit card works best when you use only one credit card rather than spreading your transactions across multiple credit cards. That way you only have to worry about paying off one credit card balance rather than more than one. Make Sure You Have Enough Available Credit Using your credit card for all your purchases requires you to have a credit limit large enough to support your spending. If you’re not there yet, continue using your credit card responsibly by making purchases and paying them in full and on time each month. If you prove a reliable customer, your credit card issuers likely will increase your credit limit over time. You can also pay off your credit card more often during the month to free up credit so you can continue spending with your card. Don’t Use Your Debit Card If the plan is to use your credit card for all your purchases, take your debit card out of the rotation. What happens when you use your debit card is that you reduce the balance in your checking account and make it harder to pay your balance in full. Pay Your Balance in Full Each Month Leaving any part of your balance means you’ll have to pay interest and it deducts from the credit you have available. This is one of the most important rules to follow if you plan to use your credit card for everything. Making It Work Self-discipline Is Required You can’t spend to your heart’s content just because you’re using your credit card. You still need to make a budget and keep your spending within a reasonable amount. Some Companies May Charge a Fee for Using Your Credit Card You should be able to pay most of your bills with a credit card. However, some may involve paying an additional fee for using your credit card. In this case, use your checking account to avoid the extra fees. You Can’t Pay a Credit Card With Another Credit Card While, technically, you can pay off a credit card by using another, you would have to either use a balance transfer or a cash advance. Doing so would make the transaction much more expensive due to additional fees imposed by your credit card issuer, and not worth your while, which is all the more reason to consider using one credit card for everything. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Code of Federal Regulations. "12 CFR §1026.12(c)."