The Great Credit Card Debate was launched when I challenged Ana at Debt Free Revolution to a credit card match. I love credit cards, so much so, that I have 89 accounts. Ana hates them! Others have even noticed our opposing views, most recently highlighted by Father Sez.
Ana’s official stance is on Ways Credit Card Companies Separate You From Your Money. However, Ana couldn’t wait and got started early in Dirty Credit Card Company Tricks. I countered with reason number 1 (you won’t lose money if you lose your credit card).
Here’s 25 more reasons to love credit cards:
- Earn cashback and rewards. We earn between 2% -5% cashback on all our purchases on our credit card. It’s like buying everything on sale! Here’s a list of some of the best cash rewards credit cards.
- Make money on balance transfers. Credit card arbitrage is profitable. Credit cards frequently offer balance transfers at 0%. Leverage it by transferring this money to a high yield interest account. We’re able to make over $11,000 per year using this strategy.
- Rent a car. Some car rental companies will not allow a rental without a credit card. My in-laws don’t use a credit card and were turned away from a car rental company in Houston. The policy varies depending on the company, but I wouldn’t want to be standing at a rental car company unable to get a car.
- Make online purchases. Try asking Amazon if they take cash!
- Float. A great thing about using credit is just that… you are purchasing on credit and the payment isn’t due until a month later. That leaves the money in the checking account for an extra month to earn interest.
- Raise your credit scores. Most credit scores have a mix of business component that gives you points for holding a credit card. In addition, using it responsibly can help boost your score.
- Corporate reimbursements. If you have expenses for work using a credit card is the only way to go. Not only do you get to earn rewards but you don’t have to pay the bill until later, giving you time to get your expense report turned in and paid.
- Post bail. As I already mentioned in the roundup last week Five Cent Nickel shared with us that you can now use a credit card to post bail.
- Take advantage of affiliate offers. Recently American Express hosted it’s wishlist for customers and partnered with Etrade for a signup bonus (now expired).
- Fraud Protection. The companies call you when they see unusual spending patterns. It’s a great feature. When a charge does get through you can always do a dispute. I’ve done one a couple times at different companies. All painless processes and the charges were removed.
- Limits on fraud. If a charge does go through, you will never be responsible for more than $50.
- Convenience at gas stations. With sleeping kids in carseats it’s much easier to pay at the pump than to have to run in and pay cash.
- Check in quickly at the airport. We fly Northwest a lot and they have a convenient kiosk that can read your name off your credit card to speed up your check-in.
- Get coupons. Being a cardholder gets you on the mailing list for coupons at some stores. We get Macy’s coupons all the time which I’ve found you can sell on eBay and make even more money.
- Shop for others. Credit cards work well when you want to buy things on behalf of other people. I can purchase things for my mom using her credit card.
- Pay negative ATM fees. When out to lunch with friends, charge the bill and have them pay you in cash. Earning those reward dollars on other peoples’ money is like getting paid to go to the ATM!
- Try out purchases. You don’t need to front the money for items that will be returned. For example, if I need to purchase two shirts for one of my boys because I’m not sure which one will fit better, I can purchase both on credit and return one later. As long as the credit posts before the statement closing date it’s essentially a try-before-you-buy program.
- Deposits. I remember that many places that we worked with during our wedding wanted a deposit. With a credit card they can place a temporary charge eliminating the need to come up with money that will later be returned.
- Buy a car. Thinking of financing another item? Lower your interest rate using creative debt reduction strategies.
- Access to emergency money. Have you ever been caught when an ATM was down? If the bank is closed for a holiday or if the ACH feature is unexpectedly down at a bank (which was the case at one of our banks recently) a credit card can come in handy to make a purchase.
- Documentation. Credit card statements are handy little records of your purchases.
- Qualify for better rates and services. Our local credit union has tiers of service depending on how many qualifying services you have. A credit card counts as a service and adding it to our package qualifies us for higher interest on deposits and less fees for other services.
- Billpay features. Our FIA Card Services card has a great billpay program that gives you the ability to pay other cards and reoccurring bills. This enables us to simplify and organize our finances.
- No more cash discounts. It violates the terms of service for Mastercard and Visa, therefore there is no longer a monetary benefit to using cash that once existed.
- My dad got one. My dad doesn’t use a computer, doesn’t email and doesn’t believe in credit cards. I was pretty sure he would be the last person on earth to get a credit card. If he got one, then they must have something good to offer!
Of course, I’m not saying credit cards are perfect. Occasionally they make mistakes but they do get fixed. This does happen with any company though (I have many more errors on our cell phone bill but that’s another story).
Patrick at Cash Money Life debated Ana previously. Patrick had some additional points including short term loans and extended warranties. In addition, Ana challenged him to go three months without using a credit card. Whoa! I hope that isn’t in store for this debate…. credit cards are making us way to much money for me to give them up.
Your financial goals likely involve money: making it, saving it, investing it, and enjoying it. Credit cards can be used to help meet those goals. Why not use them?
Add your comments here and at Debt Free Revolution. If you have a blog, join the debate and let us know why you love or hate credit cards!