Credit cards are convenient and secure, but did you know they can help you save money? When used properly, credit cards are a handy savings tool to help you budget and avoid debt. You still have to be disciplined to use a credit card. But there are many reasons why it makes sense to use a credit card for almost every purchase.

Credit Cards Are a Safer Alternative

Contrary to popular opinion, credit cards are safer to carry and use than cash. When you lose cash, you’re likely out of luck. If you lose your credit card, the worst thing that can happen is that someone can make unauthorized purchases on your account, which you can later dispute with the creditor. However, if you were using a debit card for each of those purchases, it’s a different story. If someone robs your debit card and goes on a spending spree, you’re on the hook for all of those purchases unless your bank decides to refund them.

Earn Rewards with Credit Cards

Credit cards earn rewards that can be redeemed for cash or merchandise. Some cards offer cardholders’ favorite brands’ bonus rewards, and others have special categories of spending where they pay out particularly well.

Track Spending

Credit cards can make life much easier when it comes to staying on budget. They also make financial planning much easier in the long run because you can see, online in close to real-time, what you are spending each month, helping you protect your finances over months and years. Some issuers automatically categorize your purchases, making it easy to track spending in different expense categories. Because credit card issuers report their spending monthly, it’s easy to track expenses by category (if your provider offers such reports).

Improve Your Credit Scores

Your credit score is a three-digit figure created by a formula designed to represent your ability to manage credit. There are multiple ways to earn better scores, but the single best way is to have a long history of using a credit card responsibly.

Using credit cards for everything from pizza to utility bills can help you gradually improve your credit score. Many employers, cell phone providers, insurance companies, and even utility companies will check your credit history to determine if you get approved for things like jobs or who gets the best rates on services.