When Does It Make Sense to Use a Credit Card to Buy a New Bathtub?

Blue modern bathroom interior

A bathtub for the elderly in the United States usually costs somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000, while the average credit limit in the country is $8,071, according to Experian’s 2016 data. In theory, you can fund your tub installation with plastic, which is super convenient.

However, using a credit card, especially big-ticket purchases, is typically frowned upon. If you could use your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover to pull the trigger on your project, would you? The answer is not straightforward, but this choice is worth considering. Here are the reasons a credit card bathtub purchase can make sense for you:

You Manage Your Finances Properly

Many people get stuck in a vicious cycle of credit card debt because of small purchases, so imagine the financial impact of a big one. If you struggle to handle your finances, it is not advisable to acquire any form of loan, particularly one that involves high interest.

Be honest with yourself. Nobody understands your spending behavior more than you. Although using a credit card does not involve any collateral, delinquency can hurt your credit big time. The negative items in your credit report can haunt you for many years, which can affect your ability to take out loans that really matter, like a mortgage, in the future.

The Sign-up Bonus Is Too Good

Another benefit of having a new credit card is a sign-up bonus. This financial reward can come in the form of cashback, frequent flyer miles, or credit card points. Since it is only attainable if you meet the minimum purchase requirement over a certain period, paying with your plastic to buy your elderly loved one a bathtub is a quick way to satisfy such a condition.

closeup shot of credit card

You Can Pay Your Monthly Credit Card Bill in Full and on Time

Plastic is synonymous with high interest, but you do not really have to pay anything more than what you borrow if you play your cards right. Most credit cards come with a grace period, which allows you to avoid the prospect of outrageous interest. As long as you pay your total balance on or before your due date, you will not have to pay extra.

Not having to spend anything upfront to fund the construction until the end is a luxury in itself. Having a credit card is a blessing because it pushes the due date several weeks from the date of payment to your contractor, buying you more time to manage your cash.

The APR Is 0%

A new credit card may come with a 0% annual percentage rate (APR) as an introductory offer. Take advantage of this special to avoid inflating your bill with substantial interest. If you strictly follow the terms of your card, you can enjoy your “honeymoon” with your credit card provider.

Using your credit card to cover what should be your project’s out-of-pocket expenses is only an option if your contractor allows it. If you can’t use plastic, ask about other payment alternatives if you prefer holding on to your cash as much as possible.