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TheStreet Open House

Should you charge a medical bill on a rewards credit card?





A trip to the dentist's or doctor's office can be pricey.

Should you put the bill on your favorite rewards credit card? Here are some things to consider before pulling out your card.

You've already got a rewards card

There is a good chance you are carrying a rewards credit card in your wallet . According to a 2012 Consumer Survey from The Policy and Economic Research Council, 79 percent of credit card holding consumers are members of credit card rewards programs. And rewards credit cards are not just for the rich. Among consumers earning less than $20,000 in annual income, 7 out of 10 carry a rewards credit card.

Most rewards credit cards will allow you to earn rewards points or miles for medical or dental expenses. Be sure to check the details of your rewards program to make sure medical or dental expenses are included.

Get big rewards for big bills

The costs of medical procedures are all over the map, as a database released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reveals. And you might as well get something back for the pain of a big medical bill or a higher-than-expected dental bill.

Charging a medical bill on a rewards card could earn you a nice stash of rewards points that you could use on travel, entertainment, clothes, home goods or whatever your rewards program offers.

If you are a new rewards card customer, charging a big medical or dental bill may qualify you for some serious bonus rewards.

For example, with some good rewards cards if you charge a specified dollar amount in the first three months of opening the account, you can earn significant bonus points. With the offers available as of today, if you have excellent credit you can signup for a card with bonus points worth up to $500 in travel awards. So a medical or dental bill could help pay the airfare for your next vacation.

Get a discount

Choosing to pay for a medical bill or dental bill with a rewards credit card could earn you a discount on the total cost of a bill.

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