Question: Do you recommend using a credit card to pay regular monthly bills rather than using a bank’s bill pay system?
Answer: For people who always, without exception, pay their entire credit card bill each month, the benefits of airline miles, hotel points, and other perks can be substantial. For people who are inclined to run balances, however, you’ll quickly eat up your savings with extremely high interest rates on the unpaid balance.
If you fall into the former category, I do suggest paying by credit card whenever possible. If you have a favorite airline, hotel, or whatever that offers a card that is specific to that company, you will virtually always do best by getting it. The only two airlines I regularly use are Southwest and Jetblue, so I have a Southwest Visa and Jetblue American Express card. I also have a Marriott Visa for my favorite hotel chain. And I charge everything I can to these three cards.
Again, though, the benefits are rarely great enough to offset the interest on unpaid balances. If you do have a tendency to overspend with credit cards, consider a Visa or Mastercard debit card linked to your bank account and forget about the perks. And keep using your bank’s bill-pay system.