Choosing the best way to pay for something — credit or cash — can make a real dollar difference for you. So knowing when to do which is key. Personal finance experts say it’s especially smart to avoid using cash for these five types of purchases:

Digital services

Paying with a credit card can help keep your digital purchases protected — and your loved ones happy.

This includes e-books, games on Facebook, ring tones — anything delivered digitally. If you pay with cash, or more likely with a debit card, the money is gone from your account immediately. Credit cards offer protections if you didn’t get what you paid for.

Electronics and other products with warranties

The next time that you buy electronics, check your credit card benefits for a potential warranty boost. For items that come with a warranty, using a credit card can often extend that warranty by as long as a year.

Products or services that haven’t been received

Using a credit card can help cover you in case a move doesn’t go as planned. If the flowers aren’t delivered, the furniture is damaged or the movers didn’t do everything that the contract said, you’re not immediately out of the money if you used a credit card.



Get free checked bags with the right card. You may need a card to reserve your hotel room. If you use a debit card for gasoline, the hold it puts on your money may be for more money than you used. But putting air travel on an airline credit card can often give you perks like free baggage. And many credit cards offer free car rental insurance and trip interruption insurance.

Event tickets

Avoid paying with cash to protect yourself from scams at the stadium. Counterfeits abound. And if you paid cash for tickets that won’t get you in the gate, it’s gone.