Sometimes I think that they should not be called credit cards. I think that more appropriate nomenclature would be convenience cards or lifestyle cards. Because credit cards do tend to have a lifestyle altering effect.
Without doubt credit cards come in handy at times when you have to suddenly expend above average money. That is where a common application of credit cards is in the form of Christmas shopping. When you are trying to spread that holiday cheer, it sure helps when you have a line of credit in your pocket.
But it is more than that. If you look at all the promotions that are prevalent around Xmas time, you will see that there is more to it that just a line of credit. For instant, given the higher spends that issuers expect, they routinely provide extra Christmas benefits, such as cash back deals, extended warranty coverage programs, extra mileage points and reward programs.
Interestingly, this form of festival cheer is quite the global phenomenon. The US naturally leads in consumer spending. But other countries, for example, Australia, also have amazing deals on credit cards during Christmas.
So let us draw a picture. You have to buy last minute gifts. There are 3 modes that you would use. First off, there is the option of Online Shopping. I especially like the reputed online sellers that guarantee pre-Christmas delivery. Naturally, as expected, you typically need a credit card to make these payments online. There are other payment options, but they too tend to be linked to your credit card.
The second mode of shopping is in store. That is the age-old method of shopping joy, around the year. During festival season, in-store shopping can be a little trying on all of us. That is because; there is all that rush and the checkout counter queues, not to mention the gift-wrapping station queue.
Finally there is the ever-elusive third option. This entails stuff like, mail order, telephonic-order, convenience store, etc. kind of shopping. Once again, the ubiquitous credit card comes into picture.
I guess it is quite compelling. It seems like there really is no Christmas without credit cards. I know that sounds like the height of consumerism right there. But, I am not market-prude. I think that responsible usage of credit cards is one of the greatest instruments of consumer joy.
And what better time to exercise this joy, than in the season of joy? So, when Santa Claus comes calling, make sure to keep all that plastic lined up. If that little remote controlled helicopter costs a little more than expected, make sure to traverse the difference on your plastic money and spread the holiday cheer.
And while we are talking about holiday cheer, why not also consider making a donation this holiday season? And so that this does not make a big dent in your December budget, you can use your plastic currency and ensure that you can pay in easy installments.
All of my enthusiasm should not be mistaken to condone irresponsible credit usage. After all, if it is all about the money, honey, then we better respect the money.