The longer the better, to give you as much time as possible to pay off that bill. On the other hand, you might decide to keep the card for regular use, and if that's the case, you'll want to take additional factors into consideration. As you may or may not know, a credit utilization ratio is the term that describes how much credit is available to you in relation to how much you're using, and it's a significant factor affecting your credit score. A 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 26% of respondents of adults 18 to 64 had someone in their household who had trouble paying a medical bill. Many also have welcome offers that will actually lower the cost of the bills youre paying or have cashback rewards that can lower the amount you pay on your medical bills overall. This is particularly true for credit cards offering a 0% intro APR period, either on new purchases or balance transfers, as these cards give users extra time to pay off balances interest free and could potentially allow you to earn valuable rewards on your hefty medical bill. This is rolled into the amount of the loan, and your monthly payment is calculated based on that balance. That makes it one of the best rewards credit cards if you have a medical bill thats only a few hundred dollars. Buzzery, LLC NMLS ID # 2317173 NMLS Consumer Access. This card also has a $0 annual fee and no late fees, which gives you some peace of mind that you wont be charged more if youre a little late making a payment. Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee. These are all factors that can help you in your search for the best credit card for medical expenses. This card is very similar to our previous pick, with 0% APR for 15 months on purchases (then 16.49% to 26.49% variable) and unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day; plus unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Here is a look at which credit cards are best for paying medical bills and how you can use them to your advantage. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. Rewards Rate: Earn unlimited two miles per dollar on all purchases made. Here are five cards that we think are worth considering if youre planning on paying off medical bills with a credit card. That is, they are marketed to hospitals and doctors' offices and sometimes even veterinarians as a way to pay for patient care. Additionally, you can also take advantage of an intro period of 15 months of no interest on purchases and balance transfers (then RegAPR). Do the research. * Activate for free. Some cards also have a penalty interest rate that kicks in if you are late on your payments. Paying medical bills with a credit card is generally only a good idea if you can pay off the balance within the cards grace period or if the card youre applying for has a 0% introductory APR. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser. Check out our list of the best no annual fee credit cards for our top picks. You also might want to use a credit card that offers cash back when you pay off a medical bill. Ultimately, you are responsible for your financial decisions. Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards. The 3% cash back is great but none of the available categories covers medical expenses. The deferred interest rate that these medical credit cards generally offer are a little like a ticking time bomb. In most cases, though, if you're just looking for a way to pay off your procedure or bill over time without paying interest and you don't have a traditional credit card with a 0% offer, your best option will simply be to work with your provider to establish a payment plan directly. Good for you. If you have only a fair credit rating, it's not worth your time (and can even be harmful) to apply for a card that requires good to excellent credit for approval. Personal loan interest rates are often much lower than those of credit cards. These are some of the factors that we considered in finding the best credit cards for medical expenses. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. This can come in handy for peripheral expenses associated with a family member's medical care. FinanceBuzz and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Rewards Rate: Earn 1% back on all your purchases and earn another 1% back when you pay on time at least the minimum balance due each month, bringing your total cash-back opportunity to 2%. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. That means the 3% choice category rewards could be worth as much as 5.25% and the 2% categories could be worth as much as 3.5% back! That's not the case with a conventional credit card that offers a 0% APR introductory period. These cards can buy you time when the doctor's bill comes calling. That offer could save you a substantial amount of money if you need to consolidate some existing medical bill debt from other credit cards (or other credit card debt in general, for that matter). Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies. You can earn up to 3% on purchases in a category of your choosing each month, and you can earn 2% cash back on "everyday" expenses like gas and food. There is 5% back on travel but you must buy through Chase to qualify. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. for 15 months then 16.49% to 25.24% (variable), Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% But if you don't get the entire $5,000 paid off within the 6, 12 or 18 months you were given? Advertisers in our database are highlighted, and advertisements include an option to apply using links on our site. Never mind that you are a very responsible credit card user who just had the bad luck to step on a skateboard your kid left in the middle of the hallway. With so many institutions offering so many credit cards, it can quickly get confusing to tell them all apart. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services were assessing. It gives you some extra time to pay off an expense that is often unexpected. The rewards system is easy to use and easy to understand. That is worth up to $300 cash back. Because credit card offers change frequently, please visit the card issuer site for current information. Though not the ideal way to manage medical debt, paying off a bill with a credit card can enable you to avoid negative impacts on your credit if you do it right. There is no annual fee, and your points never expire. If you fail to pay off the entire amount and wind up with $100 still remaining on your credit card, you'll only pay interest on the remaining $100.
Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After the promotional periods, regular RegAPR APR applies. Some type of cash-back rewards program would be a nice bonus. This card has no rewards program, so if cash back or accruing miles is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere. Our editors rate credit cards objectively based on the features the credit card offers consumers, the fees and interest rates, and how a credit card compares with other cards in its category. When it comes to paying medical bills, each institution likely has there own policies, but there are some common options that could be available depending on your situation. If an unexpected expense comes up in a different category after you've already made your choice, you're out of luck until the following month rolls around. Earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. It is expensive enough to pay for medical care with health insurance, but without health insurance, these costs can feel unsurmountable. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees; FinanceBuzz has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. It depends on a lot of factors. Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites.
Beyond the annual fee, a card might have a balance transfer fee, a cash advance fee, a late payment fee and a foreign transaction fee, to name a few. Since your APR is based on creditworthiness, you stand a decent chance at getting in the lower percentages with a high credit score and good payment history. The rewards categories are awesome, but they're complicated. Simple interest is charged, which means youll pay whatever the APR is times the amount youre borrowing. A medical credit card is usually thought of as a credit card solely designed for medical purposes. Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, Travel must be booked through Ultimate Rewards, Extended promo period with timely payments, Accepted at 250+ providers and facilities. You only paid off, say, $4,900? New cardholders can enjoy 0% intro APR for a whopping 21 months on balance transfers (from the date of first transfer - all transfers must be complete within four months), and 12 months on new purchases. FinanceBuzz is not a financial institution and does not provide credit cards or any other financial products. Just remember, once these promotional periods expire, regular rates will apply, so it's important to pay off, or at least pay down as much as possible, your balances before that happens. For some patients, it's a godsend, no doubt it. This card does not charge foreign transaction fees so it's great for traveling both near or far. So that's something to consider. New Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. The problem is when things don't work out as planned. For example, if you use your card with a 16% APR to pay a $1,500 medical bill, and then only make a minimum payment that pays the months interest and 1% of the balance, you would have a low, seemingly manageable payment of $50 a month. This can add up to a huge savings if you are using credit cards for your medical bills. Ratings vary by category, and the same card may receive a certain number of stars in one category and a higher or lower number in another.
That's a good rate for a card with no annual fee. Its no secret that healthcare in the U.S. is expensive. To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: What does your monthly budget look like? The Wells Fargo Reflect card carries a 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for the first 18 months of having the card. Furthermore, don't get sucked into the trap of paying a bill your can't afford all at once on your credit card just to earn rewards. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card issuer's web site. While the match offer has potential to pay off huge, it's not the most lucrative offer for those looking for instant gratification. Is it possible to pay it off before this time, and if so, how much will you have to pay monthly to make this happen? Rewards Rate:Earn 3% cash back on either gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug store, or home improvement purchases; 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 (you'll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchase each quarter, then 1%); and 1% on all other purchases. Compensation may impact where offers appear. The APR starts at 0% for 15 months and then increases to a variable APR of 16.49% to 25.24%, depending on creditworthiness. Bonus:There is no traditional rewards bonus, but the intro APR periods are bonuses in and of themselves. Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. The final word on the best credit cards for medical bills, choose a card thats right for your situation, 0% APR for 15 months,then 15.49% to 26.49% (variable), 0% APR for 15 months,then 16.49% to 25.24% (variable), 0% APR for 15 months,then 16.49% to 26.49% variable, 0% APR for 15 months,then 12.24% to 23.24% (variable), 0% for 12 months,then 15.49% to 25.49% (variable), 1500 + 150 = $1,650 total amount to pay back, Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% There's no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Ask the questions. Maybe. If you could put a $900 bill, or a $2,000 bill or some other insanely high medical bill on a card with an interest-free introductory period, that would help you pay off the bill more slowly without high interest charges. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back on either gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug store, or home improvement purchases; 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 (you'll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchase each quarter, then 1%); and 1% on all other purchases. FinanceBuzz.com does not make any credit decisions. If you've made the decision to use a credit card for medical expenses, you need to evaluate which card best suites your personal needs. We strive to provide up-to-date information, but make no warranties regarding the accuracy of our information. Also, if you know youll be having to pay for several medical expenses over the course of a few months or a year, you could use this card to pay upfront and then utilize Amex's Plan It pay-over-time option to pay down the balance. Is paying your medical bills with a credit card a good idea? In particular, if you fall victim to only making the "minimum payment due" on your credit card statement, you could end up paying a LOT more than that $900 bill. If you use the right card and budget properly, you can pay off that bill without building up interest charges. Consider whether the card has a points/miles plan, is easy to understand, and decide if it fits your spending habits so you can best take advantage of the perks available. Citi Simplicity offers 0% on balance transfers for 21 months (then 15.49% to 25.49% (variable)), which gives you plenty of time to pay down the balance without adding more interest. So using a medical credit card is far better than not getting a medical procedure done or doing something like taking out a high-interest loan at a payday loan store. Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which CardRatings.com receives compensation. At the end of the promotional period, the rate changes to a 14.49% to 26.49% variable APR. If you've maxed out that card for a medical bill, you'll be out of luck in that situation. Bonus:Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel. Good credit is recommended to apply. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers. Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. The annual fee is easily offset with the number of travel rewards this card offers, but if you're not a regular traveler you may not find these benefits to be valuable. For 21 months, you will have 0% APR on balance transfers and 12 months of 0% APR on purchases before changing to a 15.24% to 25.24% variable APR. Since credit card interest is often high averaging around 16%, but often as high as 29% for those with less-than-perfect credit adding a large amount of debt to the balance can result in paying interest many times greater than the original bill. It is no small change and can add up quickly when you need extra services, like a specialty or out-of-network provider and detailed testing like X-rays and scans. Heres how we make money. Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards. Nearly all medical facilities accept multiple types of credit cards, with Visa and Mastercard the most widely accepted.
CardRatings.com does not review or include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. If you were to take out a personal loan for the $1,500 bill mentioned earlier with a 10% APR and a repayment term of three years, your payment calculations would look something like this: When looking for a credit card to pay medical bills, youll want to search for ones that minimize additional expenses. This card offers an easily-attainable sign-up bonus, especially if you plan to use credit cards for medical expenses. Another consideration is whether you plan on using a card to pay for current or future medical bills. What do we mean? Another thing to consider is that if you max out a credit card with a big medical bill, you may not be able to rely on your credit card for an emergency. If you're going to pay for something unpleasant or mundane like lab work at a doctor's office, you might as well get some cash back or other rewards (assuming you have an intro 0% period to work with or can pay off the full balance right away; otherwise, the rewards won't be worth as much as the interest you'll pay and you're better off considering a payment plan through your medical provider). Do you prefer cash back or are you one who likes to accumulate points or miles to redeem for travel or merchandise? Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. If you can't pay your credit card statement in full by the time its due, or before a 0% intro APR period expires, any rewards you might have earned from paying a medical expense will likely be canceled out by credit card interest charges. Your dining purchases earn you 3% back, including your takeout favorites, and there is also 3% off drug store purchases. The rewards won't offset the interest you'll pay on that balance. Read the fine print and take a look at the fees. Well, let's say you have gallbladder surgery, and your insurance doesn't pay for it all, and so you're stuck with, say, a $5,000 bill. You can only adjust your 3% cash-back earning category once per calendar month. Rewards Rate:This isn't a rewards card, so no traditional rewards are earned on purchases. The promotional period is the best reward that the Diamond Preferred offers, but it can save you a ton of money in interest over a longer period of time. So even if you do plan on paying a medical bill with your credit card, you may want to try and hold off for awhile, rather than paying it at the hospital or doctor's office. 0% APR and cashback rewards are just two ways to keep your finances healthy when paying medical bills with a credit card. Plus, 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers will help give you some extra time to pay off any outstanding bills. This is not a card to get when you want extra rewards because this card has none. How long do you have to pay it off before interest begins accruing? Copyright 2022 CardRatings.com. Then youll be in good shape for keeping your credit and financial life healthy. The 5 best credit cards to pay bills in 2022, Best unsecured credit cards 2022: Bad credit?