The coronavirus continues to spread worldwide and across the United States, and the economic consequences are already dire. If you’re facing a loss in income or even your entire livelihood, you may be looking around to see what your options are — including the option to use credit cards liberally just to stay afloat.

While credit might help you keep your lights on or food on the table for the time being, you should think long and hard before you rely on plastic for daily living expenses. After all, the average credit card APR is well over 16%, and many of the top rewards cards and travel credit cards charge significantly higher rates than that. This means that you could be stuck paying off high-interest debt for years to come.

That said, it is possible that your credit card could help you if you’re stuck dealing with the financial fallout from the coronavirus. You just need to be cautious about using credit for purchases when your income is at risk. Here are a few ways credit could work in your favor if you’re able to avoid the potential downsides.

Take advantage of 0% APR on purchases, but know the risks

If you need a temporary way to float some purchases without having to pay interest, you should check whether any cards you have come with an introductory APR offer. Some cash-back credit cards like the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, followed by a 16.49% – 25.24% Variable.

What does this mean? For the most part, you can use your credit card for purchases for 15 months from account opening without any interest charges. You’ll have to pay at least the minimum payment on your credit card during this time, however, and you need to understand that your entire balance will begin accruing interest at the higher variable APR once your 15 months are up.

The risk is that you could rack up debt you can’t afford to pay off. However, you could use a 0% APR credit card to keep up with some of your bills without interest for a limited time. Just remember that you’ll have to pay all your charges back — plus interest — after your offer is over.

Cash in rewards for statement credits

If you have a credit card that lets you earn rewards, then any job loss or loss in income is a good time to take stock of what you rewards you have and how much they’re worth. While you can’t normally redeem airline miles or hotel points for cash back, most flexible rewards currencies, like Amex, Chase, and Citi points, offer this option, as do cash-back credit cards, naturally.

Remember that statement credits are just as good as cash back if that’s your only option, at least if you can use your credit card for some of your bills. You could charge your electric bill to a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, for example, then redeem statement credits to cover all or part of the charge.

Some cash-back credit cards, including ones in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, let you choose to receive a check in the mail instead. This might be a better option if you really need money more than anything else.

Check for gift card options that might help you through tough times

If you have a rewards credit card that lets you redeem points for gift cards, don’t sleep on this option, either. While you probably don’t need a gift card for a cruise line or a retail store right now, some gift card options from rewards programs are rather practical in nature.

If you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, you’ll see gift card options for Target, Amazon.com, CVS Pharmacy, and Home Depot, as well as dozens of popular restaurants.

Credit cards from issuers like Citi, Discover, Capital One, and American Express also let you redeem rewards for gift cards that might be useful if you’re facing a loss in income, so make sure to check your options.

Redeem rewards for Amazon.com purchases

If you have the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card , a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, an Amex Membership Rewards card, one of the Amazon credit cards, or any other credit card that lets you cash in points for Amazon.com purchases, that’s another route to pursue.

While it’s easy to think of Amazon.com as a place to buy Kindle books or the latest electronics, you can also utilize the giant online retailer to order food and household supplies. You can even make Whole Foods purchases through Amazon.com, which can help you keep your pantry stocked if you have plenty of rewards but not a lot of cash.

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