Can You Buy a New Motorcycle With a Credit Card?

by Roger Thorne J.D. ; Updated July 27, 2017
There are better options than credit cards when financing a motorcycle.

If you're in the market for a new motorcycle, you may be able to pay for it entirely with your credit card. Though you can purchase a motorcycle if you have a credit card with a high enough credit limit to cover the costs, there are better way so finance the purchase that are worth considering.

Credit Card Limits

Whenever you make any sort of purchase with a credit card, you must know how much your credit limit is and how much you currently carry as a balance. While some credit card companies allow you to make purchases in excess of your credit limit, others do not, and if you don't have enough credit on your card to cover the expense, you won't be able to buy complete the purchase.

Card Issuers and Dealers

Making a major purchase with a credit card often brings up other concerns. When you use your credit card on a day-to-day basis, making small purchases or the occasional splurge, you typically don't need to do anything more than hand the cashier your card. However, making a large purchase often involves more steps. Your credit card company may want to make sure that it really is you making the purchase. You may have to contact the company and get a purchase approval before placing a large purchase on your card.

Impact on Credit

A major purchase on your credit card can lower your credit score, especially if you keep a large balance from month to month. Kiplinger reports that when you keep a balance on your credit card of about 25 percent or more of your credit limit -- this is known as your credit utilization ratio -- it usually lowers your credit score. A lower credit score will make it harder to get a new loan, and may increase the interest rates on your current loans.

Other Considerations

Charging a motorcycle, or any other large purchase, on your credit card makes sense only if you can pay back most, if not all, of the purchase within a short amount of time or if you can't get approved for a loan and don't have the cash. Credit card interest rates are usually much higher than rates on auto loans from banks or credit unions, and if you plan to pay back the purchase over several months or more, you're probably much better off going with a more traditional method of financing.

About the Author

Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.

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