NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Certain transactions traditionally thought to be reserved for cash only are now available on credit cards, thanks largely to technological advancements. Several companies, including Square, Intuit (INTU) and, most recently, PayPal, have introduced small credit card readers that attach to smartphones, then link to an app so small merchants or individuals can take credit and debit cards just like any other business.
|Politicians have long accepted credit card donations via their campaign Web site, but thanks to plastic card readers they can accept funds on the trail too.|
Woolsey adds that electronic payments for public services can also save states and municipalities time and money, which has led to an increased adoption of plastic. Read on to find out what types of unexpected items you can now charge to your favorite credit card.
Make a donation to a Salvation Army kettle
Square enabled the Salvation Army to accept credit card donations at its kettles this past holiday season, allowing donators to swipe their cards on readers attached to Android phones donated to bell ringers by Sprint (S).
Many libraries, including the Los Angeles Public Library, San Francisco Public Library and New York Public Library, allow you to pay fines and late fees online with a debit or credit card. But residents of Columbus, Ga., recently were given the option to charge their library fees to their Visa (V) or MasterCard (MA) in person. Buy Girl Scout cookies
The Girl Scouts announced in late February that troops in northeast Ohio would be ringing up cookie sales by accepting credit cards on their mobile phones with GoPayment, another app, plus a card reader that lets smartphone owners accept credit cards. "We've lost out on sales in the past because many potential cookie customers did not carry cash," said Marianne Love, director of business services for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, in a press release. Intuit, the company behind the GoPayment app, offered to help Girl Scout council leaders across the U.S. introduce cookie-selling credit card capabilities.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV