5 things you should always pay with cash in the US


With the arrival of credit cards, people’s lives have been simplified to the point that for many it is more preferable to carry plastic than cash.

Despite the rewards that various cards offer for making purchases in various categories, from flights, hotels, car rentals, and entertainment to groceries, restaurants, warehouse clubs, and e-commerce, there are certain things that should be paid with cash.

1. University tuition

About 85% of colleges and universities in the country accept credit cards as payment, but with a surcharge ranging from 2% to 3%. It seems a very low figure, but doing the math a tuition of $10,000 dollars would be equivalent to giving a $250 surcharge.

This surcharge would kill rewards that some cards offer with just 2% cash back, like Citi Double Cash.

2. Government offices

Although there are some states that still prohibit retailers from charging surcharges to their credit cards, generally An exception is made for government offices, which allow charging for swiping the card in some procedure or service payment. Making payments at the local court, post office may incur this surcharge.


Paying taxes with a credit card may cost you more. According to the finance site GoBankingRates, if you choose to pay taxes this way, the IRS will use three payment processors:

ACI Payments: $2.20 for debit card transactions, 1.98% with a minimum fee of $2.50 for credit cards.

Pay1040: $2.50 dollars or 1.87% for debit cards and 1.87% for credit cards with a minimum fee of $2.50 dollars.

PayUsatax: from $2.55 for debit cards, 1.96% with a minimum fee of $2.69 for credit cards.

4. Gasoline

Today most gasoline service stations offer two types of prices, a lower one for cash and a higher one for credit cards. This comes after Visa and Mastercard in 2013 allowed merchants to charge customers a fee for paying with plastic.

5. Go to the doctor

After several states lifted restrictions on merchants charging their customers extra, several small businesses have adopted these surcharges, often advertised as “cash discounts.” The health industry has not been left behind and now so much Doctors, dentists, hospitals and other health care providers are building the cost of using a credit card into their pricing structure with surcharges that can be as high as 4%.

Paying with cash will not only help you avoid late fees on some purchases, it can save you in the middle of an emergency, no matter your income level. Specialists recommend having a fund of money available at home in case of any eventuality.

Being aware of the expenses you have is also a way to create awareness. Many Americans tend to waste their money throughout the day that ends up adding up to thousands of dollars at the end of the month.

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