It seems these days that anyone can get a credit card. You do not even have to be actively seeking a card, and offers will appear out of thin air in your mailbox. There is no doubt about it, that credit cards are BIG Business, but how they are used can reward you as much as the company supplying the credit.
When it comes to spending, of course self control and common sense are needed, but that does not mean that you can’t benefit from using the plastic money. Other than convenience(I hate writing checks), why else would you want to use the credit card. Here are a few reasons and ideal situations to take advantage of:
One of the first reasons I like to use my credit card, is the level of protection it affords me. Have you ever made a purchase for a product or service that did not come close to living up to the expectations you had? Well, you can have an extra fighter in your corner if the seller of that product or service is not willing to fulfill their end of the commitment. I have only used my card on a couple of occasions where that has been needed, but it’s sure nice to know that the protection is there, especially if making a large purchase.
Another great reason is the reward features that some credit cards offer, just for purchasing things you are probably going to buy anyway. I like getting cash back for my purchases, even if it’s only 1 or 2%. If you can keep your card paid off on a monthly basis, then the percentage of reward given back is like free money or an additional discount on something you needed anyway. Some cards pay 5%, so do some homework, and see what credit card reward program works best for you.
A simple reward is that you can improve your credit rating by maintaining an active, and paid ontime credit card account. The key here is to not spend past what you can keep paid off every month, so you are always current, and not putting yourself in debt. Keeping the credit card paid off feels good too:)
Last one I’ll cover for now is the record of spending it gives you. Sometimes it is hard to remember every dollar you spend through out the day, so it’s nice that you get a statement from your credit card company every month. By making all different size purchases on your card, it can help with a certain level of accountability as to exactly what your spending habits might be. It can be one of those instances where you look at your statement, and there is a real sense of how much you might be spending on a daily basis. Used correctly, this could help you rethink some of those “impulse buys”.
Conclusion: There are definitely rewards to having credit cards, that can be of service to you, with a little self control and thinking ahead. Done correctly, I believe the rewards can greatly outweigh any negatives.
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