First Person: I Could Not Live Without Credit Cards

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to a recent survey , 29 percent of people do not have a credit card. This number is higher than the same survey that was conducted one year prior. Credit cards are an interesting part of our financial life, particularly in the United States. On the one hand, they can be a terribly convenient tool and a way to acquire all sorts of wondering things in life. Unfortunately, credit cards can also be extremely dangerous, particularly when consumers rack up a large amount of high-interest debt. As much as I wish I could live without credit cards sometimes, I must be honest. It would be very hard to convert to an all-cash lifestyle.

Convenient way of paying bills

Why carry cash in today's society? One credit card can unlock all sorts of commercial doors. I am getting to the point in my life where I just do not like writing checks. It feels extremely archaic to me. Instead, I like paying bills online, sending electronic payments and setting up automatic withdrawals. Now, don't get me wrong. I pay very close attention to my credit card balances so that they do not get out of control.

Earning rebates

I do get something back for having credit cards. In my household, there are basically two credit cards. One is a card that earns rebates for unrestricted travel reimbursements. That is the main card that is used for most purchases. The other card is for a local warehouse store where we buy our bulk items and our gas because it is a lot cheaper there. There are also a couple of cards for clothing stores, but they are used sparingly. As long as I pay my bill each month, I make money on the whole process. Credit card companies do not like people like me.

My advice to others

When I think about credit cards, I have this to offer others:

1. Remember that credit cards can be like a drug. They are addicting. Various studies have shown that credit cards can cause people to spend more than if they were paying with cash or check. Therefore, if you worry about overspending, try taking out cash and setting a limit for yourself when you go out.

2. You have to crunch the numbers. That APR percentage thing can be confusing, but it is important to shop around and get a card with a low APR. Plus, there should never be any reason to have a card without some sort of rebate. Don't get that logo card with your favorite baseball team. Chances are there isn't any rebate.

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