7 Reasons to Use Credit Cards

by TTMK on July 16, 2012 · 4 comments

Do you use credit cards regularly? I tend to use a few, and find them to be quite convenient.

Of course, not everybody sees it that way. I’ve read and heard people suggest that it’s a good idea to avoid using credit cards. Some declare that one could cut them up and just use cash, while offering other types of anti-credit card opinions.  It’s almost as if some folks find credit cards to be these “evil” meanies, like debt-inducing monsters.

That’s not exactly true in all cases. One doesn’t have to get stressed out by the thought of credit cards, and fees or interest don’t always have to be shelled out. Self-discipline, and discerning wants from needs, can go a long way toward helping a credit card go from being a source of personal finance “danger” to a simple and convenient way to make purchases.

So, being a user of credit cards, I offer up these 7 reasons to use credit cards:

  1. No Change.  Do you enjoy lugging around tons of nickels and pennies every day? I didn’t think so. That’s one reason credit cards are nice. You can charge something for, say, $5.12.  You don’t need to get back 88 cents in change, or bills either.
  2. Convenience. Just swipe, approve, and be done. No wasted time. Most places tend to accept credit card payments, and besides – time is money, right?
  3. Delaying Payment.  Sure, when you pay by credit card, you’re paying,  But you’re not really transferring funds, right? If you pay your bill 20 days later, that’s 20 days of an interest-free loan, isn’t it?
  4. Rewards.  I just got a flight paid for through airline miles from a credit card.  Accumulated points for a large amount of purchases over time resulted in enough for a flight. As long as one doesn’t think of such rewards when making purchase decisions, this can be a nice benefit of using certain credit cards.  There even some cash back credit cards to consider as well!
  5. Helps Expense Tracking.  Using a credit card makes it much easier to track expenses.  Depending on what platform you are using, expenses could be automatically tracked and classified, making your budgeting and analysis quite a bit less time-consuming.  The benefit is that you could find insights to help you manage your money better!
  6. Some Level of Consumer Protection.  You might be able to get rental car insurance, travel insurance, perhaps even some warranty protection.  This isn’t quite the case with cash, right?
  7. Building Credit.  Paying your bills on time every time can help you build up a good history. If you want to take out a loan – say, for a house – it sure helps to have good credit.

The key thing here is to pay in full each time, while not carrying a balance.  That goes back to discipline.  If this happens, then we can take advantage of these benefits to using credit cards. In that case, credit cards aren’t so evil. Rather, they can be our financial friends 🙂

My Questions for You:

Do you regularly use credit cards?

Are credit cards something you view positively, or with caution?

What other benefits can you see to using credit cards?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland July 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

Numbers 4 and 6 are the most compelling reasons to use credit and not cash. Get your wallet stolen and there were only credit cards in it? NO PROBLEM.

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SB @ One Cent At A Time July 16, 2012 at 11:18 pm

also often they come with added insurance and liability protection.

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Edward Antrobus July 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Aside from 3, 7, and possibly 4, the same holds true for debit cards. I typically use my debit card because I have trouble NOT spending cash. I absolutely will not use a credit card for gas because all the stations I go to will put in a $50 temporary authorization on credit transactions.

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Kylie Ofiu July 30, 2012 at 2:55 am

If someone is disciplined there are so many reasons to use a credit card. They can really help with rewards, paying for things but having the money sit in your mortgage for the duration if the interest free period then transferring it across reduces the interest on your mortgage. The insurance and more. Having said that, I don’t currently have one, I have a debit card, but would like a credit card in the future.

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