Young woman paying credit card for purchases in grocery store

Save Yourself Trouble and Money: Avoid Making These 6 Purchases with a Credit Card, According to Finance Professionals

Using a credit card can be very convenient. Whether you’re buying groceries or booking a flight, credit cards offer a fast and easy way to make payments. But while they may provide convenience, they can also lead to debt if not used wisely.

Credit card debt is one of the most common forms of consumer debt, with many people struggling to pay off their balances each month. To avoid getting into financial trouble, it’s important to know when to use your credit card and when to stick to cash or another form of payment.

In this article, we’ll look at six types of purchases that financial experts recommend avoiding when using a credit card. We’ll also explore some alternative ways to pay for these items.

Cash Advances

One type of purchase that should never be made with a credit card is a cash advance. A cash advance involves withdrawing money directly from your credit card account, usually through an ATM. While it may seem like an easy way to access funds in an emergency, there are several drawbacks.

Cash advances typically come with a high interest rate, as well as other fees such as a cash advance fee. This means that the total cost of the cash advance will be much higher than if you had paid with another form of payment. Additionally, cash advances don’t qualify for reward points or other perks associated with credit cards.

Unexpected Expenses

Another type of purchase that should be avoided when using a credit card is unexpected expenses. Unexpected expenses are costs that arise suddenly and unexpectedly, such as medical bills or car repairs. Since these expenses often occur without warning, it can be tempting to use a credit card to pay for them.

However, doing so can put you in a worse financial position if you’re unable to pay off the balance quickly. Interest rates on credit cards can be quite high, so the total amount that you owe could end up being significantly more than the original bill.

It’s generally better to have a savings account specifically for unexpected expenses. That way, you won’t have to worry about falling into debt if you need to pay for something that wasn’t planned.


Subscriptions are a type of ongoing expense that should not be paid for with a credit card. Subscriptions are services that require regular payments, such as streaming services, gym memberships, or magazine subscriptions.

These may seem like small expenses, but they can add up over time. If you’re paying for multiple subscriptions each month, it can be hard to keep track of how much you’re spending. You may find yourself with a larger credit card balance than you were expecting.

To avoid this problem, it’s best to opt for auto-payments or direct debit from your bank account instead of using a credit card. That way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to make a payment or accidentally overspending.


Investing can be a great way to build wealth, but it should never be done with a credit card. Not only will you incur interest charges on any money invested, but you may also be subject to fees or penalties if you fail to pay your balance in full.

Additionally, investing with a credit card can increase the risk of losses. If the investments don’t perform as expected, it can be difficult to pay off the credit card debt in addition to making up any losses.

If you want to invest, it’s best to use either cash or another form of payment, such as a brokerage account or mutual fund. That way, you can ensure that all of your investments are backed by real money, rather than borrowed funds.


Gambling with a credit card should also be avoided. It’s easy to get carried away when gambling, and it can be tempting to continue playing even when you’re on a losing streak. If you’re using a credit card to gamble, you may find yourself with an unmanageable debt.

What’s more, many gambling sites don’t accept credit cards due to legal restrictions. So even if you think you can control your spending, you may not be able to use your credit card in the first place!

Large Purchases

Large purchases, such as furniture or electronics, are generally best avoided when using a credit card. Although you may be able to take advantage of promotional offers or rewards programs, it’s important to remember that you must pay off the balance in order to reap the benefits.

If you’re unable to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends, you’ll start accruing interest on the remaining balance. This can significantly increase the total cost of the purchase, which could leave you worse off than if you had paid with another method.

Personal Finance

Finally, using a credit card to pay for personal finance expenses is rarely a good idea. Personal finance services, such as debt consolidation or credit counseling, can be expensive. Paying for these services with a credit card means you’ll have to pay interest on top of the already high fees.

Instead, it’s best to look for other options such as cash or a loan from a friend or family member. These methods may not always be available, but they’re generally cheaper than using a credit card.

Final Thoughts

Using a credit card can be a great way to make payments quickly and conveniently. However, it’s important to be aware of the types of purchases that should be avoided when using a credit card. Cash advances, unexpected expenses, subscriptions, investments, gambling, large purchases, and personal finance expenses are all examples of purchases that should ideally be paid for with cash or another form of payment.

By being mindful of these types of purchases, you can help to ensure that your credit card usage remains safe and manageable.