Why Paying for IVF to Get Credit Card Points is Not a Good Idea
The average IVF cycle costs around $20,000 between treatment and medication, a daunting financial load for prospective parents without insurance coverage. Over half of those IVF patients opt to pay with a credit card, according to a recent survey. It’s easy, convenient, and charging that big of an expense can translate to a bunch of bonus points or miles for cardholders. But while racking up all those rewards can seem tempting, there are some important financial implications to consider before simply swiping the plastic.
Credit Card Points: A Deeper Look
Rewards programs are a major draw for any consumer shopping for a new credit card. After all, earning tens of thousands of points can translate to free flights, hotel stays and gift certificates. But in reality, nearly 70% of card holders are sitting on unused points, miles or cash-back rewards, and 40% haven’t used any in the last year. People embarking on fertility journeys are less likely to spend on point-friendly purchases like vacations, and more likely to save for major life expenses such as a bigger home and childcare – which points are unlikely to make a dent in.
And unfortunately, credit card points tend to lose value over time, due to inflation and companies charging more miles or points for the same flight or hotel.
While there is some variation between cards, the average credit card point is only worth about 1 cent. So even though all those rewards may look appealing, choosing to pay for fertility treatment with a credit card purely for the points is often penny wise, but pound foolish.
Credit Cards: Rates vs. Points
Credit cards come with variable interest rates. As of November 2022, the average credit card rate in America was a whopping 22.40%. By comparison, most personal fertility loans, such as those provided by Future Family, offer fixed rates ranging from 0% to 17.99% depending on factors including the borrower’s income and credit score.
Here’s how that difference in interest rate might translate to your monthly bill on a total cost of $20,000 repaid over 60 months:
|Personal Fertility Loan
So, in this scenario, over the 5 years of paying down the cost of treatment, you will spend over $10,000 more in interest by paying with a credit card versus taking out a loan. And how many points did that $20,000 charge earn? Given the one cent conversion rate previously mentioned, only around $200 worth– a drop in the bucket compared to that excess expense.
And while some cards offer a tempting 0% introductory APR, their rates usually skyrocket after the first year, sometimes as high as 25% APR. So if you don’t have a concrete plan to pay off your bill in 12 months or less, you’ll be hit with some serious interest costs in year 2 and beyond!
There are a myriad of considerations when determining how to finance fertility treatment, but ultimately, the promise of a bunch of reward points shouldn’t be the deciding factor. For a deeper dive on paying for IVF with a credit card versus a loan, check out this article.
Get Pre-Approved for an IVF Loan Today
If you’re interested in pursuing an IVF loan, see if you prequalify today. Applicants can be pre-approved within two minutes, and this process does not impact your credit score.
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