Do you have a credit card? Please explain your decision.
No, and never will.
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Credit cards are useful, and pay me to use them. They make travel much easier. Renting cars and hotel rooms are much easier. Plus not needing to carry much cash. We have been out of the country, and specifically used a card that doesn't have a foreign transaction fee. Useful for internet purchases. I use a disposable numbers for unfamiliar sites. Except for few bills paid by mail, checks are a pain. Credit cards make it unnecessary to carry significant cash. I will pay for small transactions with cash. I don't carry enough cash for routine transactions such as buying groceries.
My credit card pays 1% of purchases toward my mortgage. I shave off about $25 per month off my mortgage by paying my bills with a credit card, where I used to use a debit card or paid by check. When I use the card, I transfer the amount from checking to savings to earn interest until the bill comes in (admittedly about a buck a month, but hey.)I've calculated that I'll pay off my mortgage about three months early by doing such, saving me almost $2500 in PI payments.
I get cash back from every credit card purchase, plus one to two months of float to pay for what I bought. Like most people on this board, I pay the bill in full on time, and never pay interest. Like most people on this board, I do not pay annual fees for my credit cards. Like many people on this board, my spending is driven by a budget, not by how much credit is available on the cards.Credit cards have been good to me. The benefits over the years have been much higher than the costs.Patzer
In this era, why wouldn't you have a credit card?Purchase and fraud protections - if they cause you enough of a headache, you can sue the credit card company in small claims court under generous federal statutes that favor the consumer, even if the real problem is the merchant. Credit card protections are vastly superior to debit cards. And if someone steals my wallet, all I need to do is make a phone call and cancel my cards to protect myself from the thief ... even if they've already had a chance to use the card(s).Cash back - I get at least 2% back on every purchase. Plus some cards offer 5% bonus categories.Signing bonuses - These often put cash or credit you rewards points or miles for doing something. If it's something you'd do anyway and it beats your current card, why not?Low interest teaser loans - this hasn't been that useful to me in recent years, but there was a time when my cards offered me generous 0% BT loans that have literally put more than a thousand dollars in interest in my pocket. Even now they can be a helpful way to keep down interest costs if you're disciplined and are/were forced to borrow.Travel-related insurance - some cards give you free travel insurance in case you have to change or cancel your plans. Most also offer free rental car coverage that fills the gap between your auto insurance.Travel related benefits - some cards give air miles, if you use that. I like having a card that does currency conversions without a fee.Throw-away card numbers - major cards offer these to use online just in case you don't trust the merchant.Credit report / score - demonstrating a wise use of credit improves your credit. That's not to say you have to pay interest. Just paying your card on time suffices to (eventually) improve your score.I almost never have to carry cash. Credit cards rule. But lots of people seem to confuse having card(s) with having debt. The two don't have to be coupled. Credit cards and debt are tools. Wise use of either can improve your life; improper use can damage it.- Joel
People who use cash subsidize my spending.The price is the same whether I use a card or use cash, but I get 2% back from the credit card company at the end of the month. I get over $1000 a year on my purchases that way. Research tells me that I probably spend more with a credit card than I do by only using cash, and that might even be true, but then I have an extra $1000 to spend, don't I? Besides which I have consumer protection on products which don't work but where the manufacturer disclaims responsibility, I can lose a wad of cash but if I lose a credit card I just make a call and have another one in a day or two and have lost nothing, and, frankly, I have not yet figured out how to stuff dollar bills into the DVD slot on my computer so I can make purchases from Amazon, so I use a credit card.
I have several for lots of reasons but most recently, was reminded of how helpful a CC can be when you've been defrauded by a merchant/service provider. I paid a deposit for a service that was never provided, and my CC company is opening a dispute. I may or may not win but I'm glad they're willing to tackle it on my behalf. There's a lot of protection built into at least some credit cards.cm
I only have a care credit card which currently has a zero balance. Our use it primarily for some dental stuff my insurance did not cover and for veterinary expenses.
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