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When Paying Bills with Credit Cards Makes Sense (and When It Doesn’t)

When Paying Bills with Credit Cards Makes Sense (and When It Doesn’t)

Paying bills with a credit card makes sense in many situations, but it isn’t always your best option. The right choice for you will depend on several specific factors, including your financial situation, the terms of your credit card, and whether or not the bills you have are well suited to credit card payments.

Here’s how to decide when paying with a credit card makes the most sense.

Benefits and Risks of Paying Bills with Credit Cards


  • Using a credit card and paying your balance on time every month helps you build credit.
  • Many credit cards let you earn rewards when you use them.
  • Setting up automatic payments can save you time.
  • Credit card statements generally come with an itemized list of payments, which is helpful when tracking your spending.


  • If you don’t pay your balance on time each month, your credit can suffer, and you’ll have to pay interest.
  • Not paying your balance on time also means credit card debt can pile up and become unmanageable.
  • A high credit utilization rate can negatively affect your credit score.

Should I Pay Bills with a Credit Card?

Paying bills with a credit card is great when you can maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. The most important factor is your ability to pay your credit card balance on time every month, but other considerations are important too. For example paying via credit card may save you time, help you track your spending, and even earn you rewards.

If you don’t have enough money in your checking account to pay your bills, paying with your credit card can potentially make things worse. That’s because the more credit card debt you have, the more you’ll owe in interest.

Which Bills Are Good to Pay with a Credit Card?

You may decide that it makes sense to pay some bills with a credit card but not others. When you’re deciding which bills to pay with your card, keep in mind:

Some companies (including many utilities companies) charge a fee for paying with a credit card. Sometimes paying with a credit card isn’t an option (many landlords, mortgage lenders, and auto lenders don’t accept credit cards).

The bottom line is, if you can afford to use your credit card responsibly, using it to pay some of your bills is a great way to build credit, simplify your life, and earn great rewards.

How to Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards

Choosing a credit card that offers great rewards can actually save you money when you use it wisely.

If you want to get the most out of your rewards program, choose a card that offers rewards you’ll actually use. For example, if you use a Valley Credit Union credit card, you get to choose your rewards from a long list of options, including gift cards, cash back, and more.

Make Your Life Easier by Choosing the Right Card for You

Too many banks make using a credit card harder than it needs to be. Hidden fees and high interest rates can make it difficult to budget and to decide when it makes sense to use your card.

At Valley Credit Union, our goal is to offer no-hassle credit cards that help our members save money. We offer low interest rates, no annual fees, no balance transfer fees, and many other great perks. If you’re ready to move away from a credit card that isn’t working for you, Valley Credit Union is a great option for anyone in the Salem, OR area. Take a look at our credit card options here. Or contact us today with your questions. We’d love to help.

About the Author

 Justin Roberts, Vice President of Lending

Justin Roberts is our Vice President of Lending and has been in the financial industry for over 18 years. He is an Oregon State University Graduate and has just completed Western CUNA Management School. When he is not focused on helping the members at Valley, you will find him coaching his two sons and volunteering his time to help develop the youth in our communities through sports.

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