17 Purchases You Should Always Make in Cash

Written By Jill Taylor

Credit and debit cards are very convenient, we know. However, you shouldn’t use them in every situation. We’ve compiled 17 different items and places where payments in cash are better for both you and the vendor.

Items at Garage and Yard Sales

Photo Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

In garage sales, sellers almost always expect you to pay cash and typically don’t make arrangements for card payments. Cash is quicker than other methods and allows everyone to avoid the complications that come with electronic transfers. This is an advantage that can even help you with negotiations.

Alcohol in Bars

Photo Credit: Ajdin Kamber/Shutterstock

Generally, NerdWallet reveals that using credit cards often leads to you spending more. So, making cash your strict means of payment in bars can stop you from overindulging in alcohol and help you manage your spending better. Another benefit is that when you use cash for tips, you know that the servers will get exactly what you give them too!

Produces at Farmers’ Markets

Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

When you get to a farmer’s market, don’t be surprised to see many vendors operating on a cash-only policy, which is an advantage for you. With cash, you quickly buy what you want in this busy market environment, and everyone avoids the extra fees that come with digital payments, keeping prices low.

Fast Food and Street Vendors

Photo Credit: mikecphoto/Shutterstock

Especially during peak hours, you don’t want to be trying to use your card to get yourself some street food as it can be a hassle for the vendors and slows down the process when they are rushing around. Cash simply makes transactions faster. What’s more, unlike fast food joints, many street vendors may operate on cash-only policies, and, sometimes, paying cash helps you avoid minimum purchase requirements that are in place for credit cards.

Items in Thrift Stores

Photo Credit: Mykola Romanovskyy/Shutterstock

Small transactions at thrift stores are best settled using cash. This is more beneficial for everyone as the money you spend on thrift store items is used for charitable purposes. Thrift businesses love to receive payments in cash so that they can avoid transaction fees and keep prices low.

Antique Shops

Photo Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Cash should be your preferred option if you want to buy expensive, high-ticket antique pieces. It can be used as a way to negotiate prices to be more favorable for you, and it helps when you would like to remain anonymous with huge payments.

Public Transportation

Photo Credit: Clari Massimiliano/Shutterstock

Fortune tells us that using your credit card for small indulgences isn’t really the best for you financially. Buying public transportation tickets falls into this category. When you use credit cards for these small transactions, your debt easily (and unnoticeably) builds up to something significant over time, which becomes hard to manage.

Car Washes

Photo Credit: Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

The car wash is another microservice that’s more convenient for you to pay for with cash. But there’s more to consider here. Cash allows you to avoid holds or pre-authorizations on your card, and many car washes, especially the smaller, stand-alone units, don’t even accept debit or credit card payments.

Grooming and Salon Services

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

With grooming and salon services, you’re usually better off tipping service providers with cash than with credit card payments. Not only does this ensure that the workers receive the payments in full and immediately, but these are small transactions that could build up credit costs for you in the long run.

Parking Meters and Public Parking

Photo Credit: Michal Kowalski/Shutterstock

On one hand, cash ensures that you avoid the transaction fees that accompany card payments at parking meters. And on the other hand, not all meters are even equipped to accept credit card payments in the first place. So, it’s best to always take some cash so that you can pay when you need to.

Personal Betting

Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

A post from the University of Nevada reveals that 90% of people with a gambling addiction secured advances using a credit card, inadvertently costing them even more money. This means that, like in bars, you want to always pay cash for your gambling sessions to control your costs and limit the risk of addiction and financial problems.

Money Gifts

Photo Credit: goodluz/Shutterstock

If you want to bless a loved one with some money, a cash gift is the best way to go. It’s easier to use by whoever you give it to, as this person can choose whether to spend or deposit cash. Cash also gives you a chance to add a personal touch to financial gifts!

Art at Craft Fairs

Photo Credit: Peter Vanco/Shutterstock

You should also always take some cash to craft fairs because many artists love to avoid the fees and complications that come with digital payments. It’s also easier to negotiate prices with cash in hand, and you secure the immediate transfer of unique items without much delay or confirmation formalities.

Vending Machines

Photo Credit: Bayhu19/Shutterstock

When it comes to vending machines, using cash is not just about making your transactions easier or avoiding the hassles and fees that accompany credit card payments. You should also be concerned about card skimming scams, as, like Forbes shares, vending machines in public areas are hotspots for stealing card information.

Items at Flea Markets

Photo Credit: Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

Cash is king in flea markets too, as vendors typically prefer it so they can quickly sell their goods. You can use it to bargain prices more easily and get discounts on items you love – all while avoiding the complexities that come with digital payment systems.

Charitable Donations at Events

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

Using cash for charity purposes ensures that your donations are received in full, without any cuts from transaction fees. You also skip any processing delays associated with card payments. This provides the charity with immediate access to donated funds and allows it to send cash directly to anyone in need.


Photo Credit: BigPixel Photo/Shutterstock

You’ll also want to choose to pay in cash at laundromats so that you can control your expenses. With cash, you can’t easily convince yourself to do more laundry, and laundry businesses can’t upsell you on different service options. Laundromats also come with the same public security risks as vending machines.

Up Next: 19 Things You Didn’t Realize Are Against The Law

Photo Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Most laws are common sense, like those involving theft, property damage, or violence, but there are many lesser-known regulations that most people aren’t even aware of. This article reveals 19 illegal acts that may inadvertently turn you into a common criminal. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it!

19 Things You Didn’t Realize Are Against The Law

18 Most Common Reasons Why Women Leave Their Husbands

Photo Credit: NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock

All women have different preferences when it comes to their relationships and marriages. However, there are many universal behaviors, traits, and habits that commonly drive them to divorce. This list unveils the 18 most common reasons why women leave their husbands.

18 Most Common Reasons Why Women Leave Their Husbands

17 Behaviors That Make People Think Less of You

Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

If you want to be accepted by those around you, you have to behave in certain ways. Obviously, you should still be yourself, but there are certain social ‘rules’ people should abide by, like avoiding these 17 behaviors that make people think less of you.