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How Often Should I Use My Credit Card? | Actionable Tips for a Healthy Score!

There's a lot of conflicting advice out there about how often to use your credit card. Some say you should use it every day, while others say that using it sparingly is the best way to keep your score healthy. So what's the right answer?

The answer depends on your personal situation since there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Just ensure that there is some activity on your card as you don’t want it closed due to inactivity as this will hurt your credit score.

Key Takeaways

  • Using your credit card is essential to maintaining a good credit score. It shows that you can handle credit responsibly, it helps to maintain an active account status, and it can even provide rewards and benefits.
  • There is no specific rule on how often you should use your credit card. Depending on your financial situation, the terms and conditions of the card, you can use it weekly, monthly, or even after 3 months
  • Financial advisors recommend people keep their credit accounts active to avoid closure due to inactivity. Closed accounts will lower your credit score.
  • Ensure there is some activity on your credit account every 3 or 6 months so that credit card companies can have info to send to credit bureaus

How Often Should You Use Your Credit Card for Good Credit?

It is generally recommended to use your credit card as often as possible to keep it active; this can be daily, weekly, monthly, or every 3 or 6 months. This is because an active credit account will improve your not-so-great credit score, while a closed account can hurt it.

Credit card companies may close inactive accounts to avoid expenses.

A girl holding three credit cards

How Often Should I Use My Credit Card to Keep It Active?

To maintain an active credit card account, you should use your card at least once every three to six months. This can be as simple as making a small purchase, such as a tank of gas or a grocery trip, and then paying off the balance in full.

By using your credit card regularly and paying off the balance on time, you demonstrate to the credit card issuer that you are a responsible borrower and that the account is valuable to you.

Good for Credit Utilization Ratio

It's also important to remember that keeping your credit card active is beneficial for your credit score. A big part of your credit score is credit utilization, which is the amount of credit you're using compared to the amount you have available.

 This credit utilization ratio is calculated for all your accounts combined. So, it is beneficial to use your credit card, but be sure to pay off the balance in full each month.

Credit report in an envelope opened by a man

Be Checking Your Credit Report

Additionally, you should check your credit report regularly to ensure that your credit card account is being reported as active.

 If you notice that your account is not being reported, contact the credit card company to inquire about the status of your account. They may be able to update your account information so that it is reported correctly.

Whether You Can Afford It

You should only use what you can afford to pay in full each month without adding any more debt or increasing other expenses like rent or food costs.

 If you're already carrying debt on other loans or credit cards, this could be problematic because it will just increase your overall debt load and make it harder for you to pay down that debt sooner rather than later.

Why You Need to Use Your Credit Cards

Credit cards are a valuable tool when used responsibly. They will help you build your credit score, earn rewards, and take advantage of benefits while also providing a convenient and easy way to make purchases and track expenses.

 Make sure to compare the annual fees and rewards of different credit cards to find the one that best fits your needs.

Close up of a credit card

1. You Get Rewards

Some cards offer cash back or points on purchases, which could be very valuable if used correctly. If you have one of these cards, using it might be beneficial because you'll earn rewards without increasing interest payments or debt balances.

2. You Build Credit History and Improve Your Credit Score Over Time

Another reason to use your credit card is to demonstrate that you can handle credit responsibly.

When you make purchases with a credit card and then pay off the balance in full and on time each month, you show that you are a responsible borrower to your credit card issuer and other lenders. This can help to build credit over time.

3. To Prevent Closure of Account Due to Inactivity

It is also important to use your credit cards regularly to maintain an active account status. Credit card issuers may close accounts that haven’t been used for an extended period of time, which will hurt your credit score.

So, it is important to use your credit card at least once in a while, even if it's just for a small purchase.

Inactive written on a paper

4. To Get Enough Value from the Credit Card Issuer to Justify Their Cost

If your credit card has an annual fee, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough value from the rewards and benefits that the card offers to offset the cost of the fee.

 For example, if the rewards you earn are worth more than the annual fee, it can make sense to keep the card.

5. Convenience

Credit cards are accepted at most merchants and can be used online or over the phone. This makes it easy to make purchases, whether you're at home or traveling.

6. Tracking Expenses

Credit card statements provide a detailed record of your spending, which can be helpful when budgeting and tracking your expenses.

A girl on a laptop using her credit card

Should You Use a Credit Card for Everyday Purchases?

It’s a Good Idea

Using a credit card for everyday purchases can be a good idea, as long as you are able to pay off your balance in full each month. This is because credit cards often offer rewards or cash back for purchases, which can help you earn money or save money on future purchases.

Additionally, using a credit card can help you build a positive credit history, which can be beneficial when applying for loans or other credit in the future.

Make Sure you are Able to Pay Your Credit Card Balance

However, it's important to be aware of the potential downsides of using a credit card for everyday purchases. For example, if you are not able to pay off your balance in full each month, you may end up paying high-interest rates, which can add up quickly.

Additionally, if you are not careful about how you use your credit card, you may end up spending more than you can afford, which can lead to financial problems.

Should You Pay Your Credit Card More Than Once a Month?

Paying your credit card more than once a month can be a smart financial move if you make large purchases or want to avoid carrying high balances.

When you make more purchases on your credit card than you can afford, it can increase your balance significantly, which can affect your interest rate and credit score. By paying more than once a month, you can reduce your credit card debt and you will be able to pay at the end month and maintain a lower interest rate, which can save you money in the long run.

How to Keep Your Credit Cards Active?

Rotate Your Credit Cards

If you have multiple credit cards, it's important to make sure they're all being utilized regularly. Instead of just using one card, try rotating through each of your cards every few months. This will help prevent any accounts from becoming inactive and being closed.  

Create a Calendar Reminder

To help you remember when to use each card, set up a reminder in Google Calendar or another calendar app on your phone or computer. You might want to do this once a week or once every couple of weeks depending on how often you use each card.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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