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As a general rule, you should not whip out your credit card each time you buy gas or groceries, go out to eat, or make other general purchases unless you are going to pay your balance off in full each month. In order to control your spending and not become overextended, which can cause problems with your credit history if it happens, you should only use your credit cards for certain things if you know you will not be able to pay that month.
* When you cannot pay any other way. Online ordering is most likely the only situation in which you will only be able to pay with a credit card.
* When you must keep careful expense records. If you use your credit card for business purposes—entertainment, purchases for the company or other things, then you should use the card and keep careful track of each transaction.
* If you have an emergency and payment must be made immediately. This can include when an illness or injury occurs while you are out of town and the medical facility asks for all or partial payment. (You will most likely be able to recover that amount from your insurance company once the proper paperwork is filed.)
* To avoid usage fees at ATMs or where you are charged for using a debit card. Go ahead and use the card when this is the case.