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Don't Charge These Purchases to Your Credit Card

Don't Charge These Purchases to Your Credit Card

Whether we like it or not (and I can't imagine anybody likes it), credit card companies have gotten into the habit of monitoring the behavior of their customers based on the purchases they make. Yes, your card issuer might be watching you. And they're making conclusions about your credit worthiness based on your spending behavior.

Robert Manning, author of Credit Card Nation, partnered up with Marketplace to compile a list of the 10 things you shouldn't charge to your credit card if you don't want credit card companies to question the state of your finances.

  1. Traffic tickets: "A lot of people who have charged traffic tickets have defaulted on their cards."
  2. Retreading your tires: "If you've bought new tires in the past, this can look like a desperate move."
  3. Bargain binges: "If you haven't used your credit card at a 99-cent store or at Wal-Mart, don't start now!"
  4. Adult playthings: "Porn is seen as escapism by card companies. And guess what they're thinking you're trying to escape from? Financial worries."
  5. Marriage counseling and therapy: "Divorce can destroy your finances. Needing therapy may also make it look like you're unstable."

See the five other purchases to avoid when you


  1. Lottery tickets: "You don't want your card company to think you're irresponsible — or a gambler."
  2. Cash advances: "Tapping your card for cash? Or using a credit-card check to pay other bills? Not a good look."
  3. Personal pampering: "If you don't normally splurge at the spa, don't put your facial or massage on your plastic."
  4. Income taxes: "Whenever you rack up one bill (by using your credit card) to pay another bill (your taxes) it raises a red flag."
  5. Booze: "Springing for too many drinks may be a sign of job stress, financial stress, or relationship stress."
Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
What the hell. I buy a lot of stuff on my credit card at, household necessities, etc. because of the rebates I get. The credit card company can kiss my a$$...I pay the balance every month, so why should they care what I buy with it?
Liss1 Liss1 7 years
In MA you can't buy lottery tickets with credit cards. Even if you could i never would that's just weird.
shiningeyes shiningeyes 7 years
Oh my god, if this is true, credit card companies might have just beaten out pharmaceutical companies on the list for the most "evil" corporations. I hate hate HATE credit card companies. It's bad enough that they completely take advantage of people going through a bad time financially, despite a customer having maintained good credit relations with them personally... but now they're going to judge you and jump to crazy conclusions based on what you use your credit cards for? Having to see a therapist means you're going to default on all of your bills?! This is CRAZY.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
And yeah, $270 is not a lot to me, either.
floppyfish1986 floppyfish1986 7 years
Also depending on where you live, Walmart or Target are the main shopping for everything. I know in some parts of CA Walmart isn't a primary shopping spot but in FL everyone shops at Walmart.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Interesting... you can't charge them in Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, or DC.
floppyfish1986 floppyfish1986 7 years
You can't charge lottery tickets in Florida and I'm pretty sure its the same other places. Most of this is true though, I have alot of cc debt and had to call Chase about something. The guy asked me if I just spent alot on furniture. I don't consider 270 at Ikea to be alot, most people spend thousands on furniture.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
well except porn and my income tax...oh and counselling
skigurl skigurl 7 years
no matter what i use my card for, i pay it off every month...i just use it for points so is it still bad? cuz i totally use it for all those things!
jen1975 jen1975 7 years
It's also just annoying because credit card companies for years have been trying to talk customers into putting everything on the cards--from groceries to electric bills to rent. I can't tell you how much unsolicited advice about that I've gotten from my cc companies over the years!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Yeah, the spa one and the one about Wal-Mart both seem ridiculous to me. I think trying to get the best possible price shows financial responsibility, but what do I know? Also, I didn't even think it was possible to charge a lottery ticket. :ponder:
syako syako 7 years
ugh. These seems a bit ridiculous to me. Don't shop at wal mart with a credit card? :?
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 7 years
Retreading is different than buying tires. Retreading adds material back to your tires so you can use them longer, rather than purchasing a new set. But yea the spa thing baffles me too, I would use my credit card for simple splurges.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
huh - a lot of those things are interesting to me. tires? really? i don't usually carry around $500 in cash to get tires though - so cards are the best way to go for me.
hiptobesquare hiptobesquare 7 years
This may be a dumb question but are the same rules true for your Debit Card. If so I'm screwed.
c-a-t-h c-a-t-h 7 years
Also, why is personal pampering on there?! Seems kind of out of place with the other categories.
c-a-t-h c-a-t-h 7 years
I don't doubt they do it but it's still scary. I watched a special once about how grocery store cards also track your purchases and used that information against a shopper who tried to sue the company....
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