More people are using credit cards for small purchases. Seventeen percent of cardholders have used their cards to buy something that costs less than $5, up from 11 percent from last year, according to a recent survey from CreditCards.com of 1,001 adults in mid-March.
The rise in small transactions is tied to the use of rewards cards, Schulz said. He recommends that people with good credit, a score of 720 or above, should consider opening a rewards card when they make a major buy. On average, Americans make about five purchases of more than $500 each year.
“Cash back is the popular credit-card reward ,” said Schulz at CreditCards.com. “It’s also the simplest.”
With other perks, such as travel miles and retailer discounts, figure out if you will actually use them for your everyday purchases or if they will entice you to overspend.
“There is a psychology behind reward points,” said Fraasa of Highland Financial Advisors. “It’s like retailers who give out $10 coupons hoping you come to the shop and make $80 in impulse purchases.”
“On the Money” airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 a.m. ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.