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When is using a credit card to pay for auto maintenance a good idea?

Stay on top of auto maintenance now to prevent paying for emergency repairs later

For many people, a vehicle is the second-largest purchase they will ever make. When auto maintenance is neglected, the vehicle deteriorates, costing the owner more money in repairs and interest when they have to buy a new car sooner than planned. Auto maintenance is critical to extending the life of your vehicle and preventing mechanical breakdowns that break the bank.

Benefits of auto maintenance

Routine automotive maintenance is great not only for your vehicle's health, but for your financial health. Regular maintenance such as tire rotations, oil changes, and part replacements will keep your car running safely and smoothly.

Tangible benefits of regular car repairs include greater fuel efficiency, better performance, and longer durability. Keeping up with a car maintenance schedule also helps you remain eligible for your vehicle manufacturer's warranty if an unexpected defect or system failure arises. These factors all result in measurable cost savings for you.

There are also intangible benefits to keeping your car in tip-top shape, such as reliability and safety. After all, assurance that you and your family are safe is something you can't put a price on.

Cost of repairs

When a vehicle part breaks due to poor or infrequent maintenance, the consequences can create a snowball effect of additional damage to your vehicle and your wallet. For example, failing to change your oil can lead to earlier engine blowout and replacement, which is much more costly than spending $50 for an oil change.

The average cost for a single car repair bill ranges between $500 and $600. But the typical annual cost of routine car maintenance is only $550. Assume you pay for a single major repair every year, averaged over the course of your vehicle's lifetime. It just makes financial sense to spread the cost of repairs over regular service appointments rather than getting stuck with an auto emergency when you least expect it.

Deferred interest creates savings for your vehicle

Perhaps you're considering taking your car or truck in for a service appointment, but money is tight right now. Using the deferred interest feature on an auto credit card can be a great way to afford regular vehicle repairs in these circumstances. These programs let you realize the benefits of auto maintenance without diving into debt.

As long as minimum monthly payments are met and the total balance is paid off by the end of the delay period, a deferred interest promotion on an auto credit card can help you avoid accruing interest charges on any of your other credit cards.

With an auto credit card, you can also reap the benefits of savings by combining discounts for vehicle service with the financial flexibility of promotional interest terms. As with any credit program, be sure to use the card responsibly to cover vehicle costs that you can pay off on time.

To find out more about the deferred interest terms and features available via our auto credit card, visit our website at Credit First National Association.

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