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Top 4 Places to Use a Credit Card

It seems like everywhere you turn on the internet these days, there's a blog post warning of all the dangerous places to use a credit card. While there certainly are shady businesses out there that you should be wary of handing your precious plastic to, it's summer and thus a great time to focus on the positives. For every business that may have a negative impact on your credit history, there are countless more that remind us of the joys of using credit cards. Here are just a few of the best places to savor every swipe.


It happens almost every time a group of friends goes out to a meal. The final bill arrives, and what used to be an eating space suddenly transforms into a finance summit where everyone has their own complex agenda and preferred method of payment. The inevitable lack of small change at the table causes for excruciating mathematical calculations that kill off the last remaining vestiges of joy that the meal provided. But all this can be avoided with a little credit card magic. If everyone simply throws down their credit card and splits the meal evenly, then it is hardly necessary to even look at the bill. While some people say the bubonic plague was the worst part about life in the Middle Ages, I submit it was the absence of credit cards that made group dining an absolute nightmare.

Clothing Stores

Clothes shopping can be very difficult. You can spend hours in the dressing room picking out the perfect article, only to find that it shrinks three sizes after you take it home and wash it. Taking it back to the returns department usually means standing in long lines in the most remote section of the store, which they hardly even bother to pump fresh oxygen into. To make matters worse, all returns usually require some proof of purchase. I don't know about you, but I don't tend to keep a rolodex filled with every receipt I've ever been handed. In fact, the crumple-bility of receipts makes them perfect for a spirited game of trash can basketball. If you pay in cash, you could be left high and dry when trying to return merchandise because no record of your purchase exists. Stick to using a credit card and your purchase will forever live in the store's computer database.

Airline Websites

Credit cards are great. So are airline miles. That's why whoever came up with the idea to combine credit cards with airline miles deserves to have his visage carved into Mt. Rushmore, right there next to Abraham Lincoln. While most mileage rewards cards offer one mile for every dollar spent, some offer double mileage or better. More often than not, you can get double mileage by using your credit card to buy tickets on the airline's actual website. This means while you can always use a mileage card to buy tickets on a site like orbitz.com, the only way to get double mileage is to buy that ticket directly from the airline on its website.

Electronics Stores

About to spend a small fortune on the latest must-have electronic device? You should only pay for it via credit card. Not only will you save yourself a trip to the ATM, but 8 months later when your cat accidentally urinates on your precious new television and you need to see if it's covered on warranty, the process is made infinitely easier by having a credit card record of purchase. That way the electronics store can easily look up your info and quickly determine that cat urine is something that falls under your warranty's umbrella of coverage. Excellent!

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Logan Abbott's picture

Logan Abbott is a personal finance and credit card expert with over 5 years of experience writing about each topic. He is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, and also contributes to other online finance publications. He has been quoted in the New York Times, San Diego Union Tribune, TheStreet, and more.

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