The advice, from Bridgend County Borough Council's Trading Standards, says using a credit card while shopping is a canny way to protect purchases.
With high street retailers struggling as the economy slows down, undelivered goods and services paid for with cash are at risk if a firm - such as the former travel agency XL - goes bust.
But using plastic to make a purchase offers protection in the right circumstances.
A spokesman for the Bridgend unit said: "If you buy goods or services from a trader using a credit card, then by law, the credit card company is jointly liable for a breach of contract if the cost of the goods or service was more than £100 or less than £30,000."
The advice follows official figures showing the UK economy shrank by 0.5% between July and September showing the economy is on the brink of a recession.
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