Some people prefer using cash or a debit card when purchasing a television – there’s no greater joy than going to a store with the goal of purchasing a big ticket item and leaving as its new owner. On the other hand, swiping your credit card and earning points on big spends feels pretty nifty, too. In the end, your payment option is up to you, but even if cash is king in your world, don’t close the book on using a credit card for this purchase. There are numerous benefits to using credit when you’re in the market for a new TV set.
1. Free extended warranty
A TV is an expensive purchase, and naturally, most people want to protect their purchase. This is why some customers also purchase an extended warranty with their new sets. This offers protection if the TV malfunctions after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Most TV purchases automatically include a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, which covers malfunctions and other problems that might arise. An extended warranty offers additional coverage, typically an extra one or two years. Many retailers offer customers an extended warranty at check out. This extra coverage can be worthwhile, but these warranties are also expensive.
Rather than purchase a warranty from the retailer, use the warranty offered by your credit card company. If you purchase electronics with your credit card, you may receive a free extended warranty as a cardmember perk. This benefit varies by card, so contact your credit card issuer to discuss the rules and details. Typically, extended warranties offered through credit cards provide an extra year of coverage once the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
2. Price protection
Price protection is a feature that some credit card users don’t know about. Here is how it works: if you make a purchase with your credit card, and then find the same item at a lower price within 90 days of the purchase, your credit card company may refund you the difference.
Not all credit cards offer this feature, so again, contact your credit card issuer for details. If your card includes this benefit, make sure you keep your receipt after buying a TV, and then notify your credit card issuer if you find the television cheaper. This feature alleviates the fear of buying an item, only to have its price drop shortly thereafter. Keep in mind, most credit card issuers will only refund the difference up to a certain amount.
3. Earn reward points
Another benefit of purchasing a TV with a credit card is the opportunity to earn reward points. Rewards credit cards let you earn miles, points or cash back on every dollar spent. Since TVs are a high-priced item, there’s the opportunity to earn more points with a single purchase. Some credit cards also run promotions allowing you to earn bonus points or a higher cash back percentage when shopping with certain retailers. Once you accumulate enough points, redeem them for travel, merchandise, gift cards, statement credit or a check.
A credit card is cost-effective and convenient for a television purchase, so you might consider applying for a retailer’s store credit card, and then using this card for the purchase.
Some electronic stores offer a co-branded credit card, which might include 0% interest for a certain number of months. This is an excellent deal because you avoid paying interest, as long as you pay off the balance within this time frame. However, applying for a new credit card creates a new inquiry on your credit report, which could lower your score.
If you don’t want an inquiry on your credit report, use a credit card you already own for the purchase. Also, only purchase a television with a credit card when you have cash to pay off the card. As a rule of thumb, never finance a luxury item that you can’t afford. By paying off the card right away, you avoid interest charges and debt.