The Price You Pay

Convenience can cost you plenty

Aiming to rack up credit card rewards at any price is a dangerous game to play. It rewards behaviors that can ultimately be quite costly. One thing to keep an eye on? Using your card because it’s easy to do so.

As Marketwatch reports, consumers are spending more on convenience than ever. In fact, a report from a data comparison site found that 74 percent of Americans spend roughly $4,000 a year on conveniences like food delivery and ride-sharing services. Consumers typically spend on convenience because it makes life easier. The easier life is, the less stress there is.

Credit card companies have noticed this trend and adjusted accordingly. A credit card from Chase recently boasted that qualifying cardmembers could get a free membership to the food delivery service DoorDash. The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers five percent back on purchases made through the Walmart delivery app. The Apple Card offers three percent back on Uber and Uber Eats.

These are nice perks, but be mindful that every purchase adds up. The easier it is to pay for something, the easier it is to spend money. All of these convenience perks are meant to make a purchase happen — you need to be aware of that. One way to be more cognizant of the price of convenience is to track it. Review your statements and log every fee you’ve paid for a delivery service or something like Lyft. If the number seems high, it’s time to cut back or use a different card. The cash back options are nice, but if they make you spend outside of your budget, it’s not worth it.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea