Credit & Debt, Credit Cards

4 Expenses You Should Never Put On Your Credit Card (But Probably Already Have)

Credit cards can be a convenient alternative to cash, which is why many people use one at the gas pump, the grocery store or anywhere else where they spend money regularly. But if you don’t pay your credit card bills off in full every month, they can really add up. Many credit cards charge more than 20 percent per year in interest. If you don’t want to pay double the price of what you’re buying, avoid putting these large expenses on credit cards.

Tax Bills

The IRS has this way of inspiring fear in people. It has the legal authority to seize your bank account or arrest you if you don’t pay what you owe. So if you have a huge bill, you may think that wiping it out with a credit card is a good idea.

This tactic is bad for your financial future. If you couldn’t pay the IRS all at once, you won’t be able to pay your credit card off in one month, either. There’s no need to put hundreds or thousands of dollars of tax bills on credit. Instead, call the IRS and set up a payment plan. Then pay your monthly installment using your bank account or by writing a check. In addition to saving on interest with your credit card company, you’ll also save the 2 percent fee the IRS charges to process credit card transactions.

College Tuition

College tuition is a huge expense, which is why so many students graduate with over $100,000 in loans that take them a lifetime to pay back. Putting that expense on your credit card instead of paying cash won’t do you any favors, even though you may think you’re saving yourself or your kids the hassle of dealing with federal lenders. If you’re worried about paying loans back, go to a cheaper school, get a part-time job while in school or put-off going to school until you have more money in savings.

Trips to Vegas

Don’t put your trip to Vegas on your credit card, even if you want to rack up frequent flyer miles. According to, putting any vacation on a credit card is a bad idea,  you might spend far more than you can afford to pay back at once. Going to Vegas is an even worse idea because you can rack up a huge bill in the casino without even realizing it.

Your Wedding

Don’t start married life with a huge credit card bill, financial stress and arguments over money. Choose a smaller wedding you can afford over an extravagant affair that you’ll still be paying off on your fiftieth anniversary–if your marriage makes it that far.

While credit cards can be convenient, they aren’t worth the headache of trying to make arrangements to pay bills you can’t afford. Keep these big expenses and your credit cards as far away from each other as possible, and your wallet will thank you.If you’ve already racked up a lot of debt on your credit card, here are four ways to pay your credit card off for good.

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  1. 1

    Sorry, but I don’t know of any credit cards that charge 20% per month or more. In fact, I am not even sure if they can legally charge such a rate.

    Now, there are commonly interest charges of 20%+ on an annual basis, but never heard of 20% per month or over 240% per year. Perhaps the author fails to understand interest?

    Credit cards are dangerous – period. While some people are financially responsible and intelligent, they are the rarity. Most credit card users have several credit cards. Most credit card users carry balances on more than one credit card. These are simply financially irresponsible people living beyond their means. Credit cards afford these uninformed people to live irresponsibly . . . but it is still the users fault for doing so.

    • 2

      Chris, thank you for your feedback. You are correct about the credit card interest rates being yearly vs. monthly. There was actually a typo in this post that made it past the editor. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and the post has been edited.

  2. 3

    Great article and very helpful. One correction and that is the IRS cannot arrest you for not paying what you owe. They can arrest you for not filing your tax returns, or for providing false or fraudulent information, but simply not paying your tax bill is not a criminal offense.

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