6 Weird Ways To Use Your Credit Card

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There was a time when you might have used your credit card only in certain situations, such as on a shopping spree at the mall. But things have changed dramatically since then, and nearly every kind of transaction is plastic friendly. Gone are the days when credit cards were a niche product. For many people today, they are becoming the default payment method.

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The result is not only a decline in cash use, but also some rather unusual ways to use your credit card. Here are several unexpected ways to use your credit card and perhaps earn some rewards.

Pay Your Mortgage

Typically, you can’t pay your mortgage with a credit card directly. However, third-party services, such as Western Union or Plastiq, might allow you to pay with a credit card.

These services may charge a fee of 2% to 3%, so paying your mortgage with a credit card isn’t always the best choice. However, it can be worth doing in some cases, such as when working on a lucrative signup bonus or when you have high rewards earning rates. Just be sure to pay your credit card in full as soon as possible, as credit card interest rates are high and can negate the benefits of using this strategy.

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Buy Stocks

The average person may not invest in stocks beyond the mutual funds acquired through their employer’s retirement plan. However, if you happen to be someone who buys stocks on your own, you may not have realized that you might be able to buy them with a credit card.

Again, buying stocks with a credit card is not the norm today, and you’ll have to do it in a roundabout way. For example, the Stockpile app lets you buy stocks with gift cards, and you can purchase gift cards with a credit card.

Buying stocks this way might seem a bit cumbersome, but it might be for the best. As we saw with the meme stock craze, buying individual stocks can be risky. However, the option is there for those who feel comfortable with it.

POLL: How Long Do You Think It Will Take You To Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt?

Buy CBD

Like marijuana, CBD is not yet legal in all states or for all uses. However, more states are beginning to legalize CBD. In some states, CBD is legal for specific medical purposes, so regulations may vary in your state.

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If sales are legal in your state, you should be able to use a credit card for the purchase. Square has a page on its website dedicated to processing payments for CBD.

Get a Gift Card for Friends or Family

Picking up a gift card is a great way to give someone a gift when you aren’t quite sure what they want. And there’s no reason to limit your options to only what is available at your nearby grocery store.  For instance, Square’s Give & Get Local directory lets you buy gift cards for thousands of merchants.

You will find many different types of merchants in the directory, including charities & education. As a bonus, most merchants in the directory have a Square account. In other words, there’s a good chance that they accept credit cards, so this directory will give you many ideas for places to use credit cards.

Buy Books and Other School Supplies

Back-to-school inevitably rolls around every year, meaning it will be time to buy books and other school supplies. While these supplies are a necessity, you may not always have the cash on hand to cover the bill. In that case, you shouldn’t have trouble using a credit card to pay.

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Of course, this is just like any other credit card purchase. If you put purchases on your credit card, try to avoid allowing that balance to carry over every month. Otherwise, you could end up with hefty interest charges.

Give to Charity

You may not have considered donating to charity with a credit card, but it is entirely possible to do so. Charities typically allow you to donate online these days. If that is the case for your favorite charity, there is a good chance you can donate using a credit card, too.

There might also be an auto-pay option, so you automatically donate monthly. While it might seem unconventional, there is nothing to stop you from donating to charity with a credit card.

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About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in topics such as investing, banking and credit cards. He left his day job in 2019 to pursue his passion for helping people get out of debt and build wealth. You can find his work at outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes Advisor and SoFi.
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