Author Topic: Do you use credit cards?  (Read 15949 times)

KBecks2

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Do you use credit cards?
« on: June 10, 2014, 07:46:27 PM »
Do you use credit cards?

We pay off balances in full, but I am considering getting rid of all credit cards, and just using a debit card. 

(Maybe keep one CC tucked away for a big emergency use only)

I have a few store cards.  Maybe the 30% Kohls coupons and 5% back at Target won't matter much if I don't buy much to begin with, or if I shop more resale / thrift.

What do you think?  Have you given up on all CCs?   Dave Ramsey says he only uses debit.  Has anyone else done that?


oldladystache

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 07:58:44 PM »
I use them for everything I can. They are a wonderful way of managing money. Of course if I couldn't trust myself to use them wisely I wouldn't use them at all.

I spend very little, so I won't ever get rich from the rewards, but every little bit helps. After close to 50 years of using them I don't believe I've ever paid them any interest.

aj_yooper

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 08:11:03 PM »
We only use 2 cards-an AE (principal card) and a Visa; we pay them off monthly.  Using only 2 simplifies things at bill paying time. 

Rather than canceling the cards, we just put them in a safety deposit box and don't use them.  Canceling them could affect our credit score.

KBecks2

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 08:21:44 PM »
I think I'm going to do a "cash and debit card only" experiment for a few months.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 08:36:12 PM »
Debit cards don't have the same protections as credit cards. If given a choice, you should use credit instead, as any theft/spoofing of card or other issues are coming directly out of your checking account. While you will eventually get the money back, it could take several weeks for the bank to get around to it, and in the mean time, the thief could have zeroed out your account. Using a credit card under the same circumstances, you call up the credit card company, they reverse the charges and you get a new card - they never touch your actual money. You also have certain consumer protections that aren't available using a debit (like coverage for rentals) and of course you do get benefits (like cash back rewards and other types of offers).

I use two cards (between myself and husband) but we have two others that have a minimal auto charge to keep them active. We pay everything in full every month. I don't see the point of store brand cards. Using credit cards responsibly is pretty easy, and while I wouldn't want to have a dozen cards open, they come in very handy.

rmendpara

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 08:37:32 PM »
Yes, almost exclusively.

I like the rewards and convenience and safety (yes, safety... I can dispute any issues I have as opposed to worrying about getting my money back with a debit card or cash).

I think it's a great idea to cut them if you have a spending problem with plastic.

vagon

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2014, 08:59:20 PM »
I use no annual fee credit cards for everything I can, but only when there is no associated charge from the retailer.
If you are able to control your spending and ensure you pay them off in full, then you should too. Here's why:
  • Buy now and pay later. This frees money up for other purposes, for example offsetting a mortgage
  • Facilitate budgeting. Most credit cards will provide a mechanism for budgeting or integrate with third party services. The better you measure the better you manage
  • Theft protection. Someone uses your credit card illegally and you are covered
  • You're already paying for them. Every time you use credit a small fee is charged to the retailer. If a shop does not charge its customers for credit card usage then you are paying a percentage (however small) of overhead that credit card users are not
  • Reward points. Another small benefit that makes a difference if used properly
  • Other miscellaneous, depending on card. My cards give me free travel insurance, free extended warranty on goods, free concierge services and no fee international purchases (exchange rates do apply). Others will have similar benefits such as bonus rates, cash back etc that could be used to an advantage

Keep in mind though, as a rule of thumb none of the above is worth it if you incur fees or pay interest.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 09:22:32 PM by vagon »

DocCyane

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2014, 09:07:44 PM »
I use my Capital One Rewards card for everything and that gets me 1.5% cash back. There are other programs if you prefer travel miles.

And today I just got an offer from Discover to receive $50 if I spend $1000 between now and August 31. Between gas and food, I will. That's a 5% return.

You won't get rich off the rewards, but it will buy you a tank of gas now and then.

Moreover, I think it is important to have a good credit score, contrary to Dave Ramsey's doctrine. Checking credit scores is getting more common. It's done for job hiring and securing an apartment. It is done for a phone contract and... Probably a dozen other things that smart Mustachians can name off.

Withdrawing from the system like Ramsey suggests is unwise, assuming you have control over your spending.

Jamesqf

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 10:53:52 PM »
I use them as much as possible, not just for the rewards, but because putting my spending on a card amounts to an interest-free loan for (depending on the card) 12-24 months.  So I get a 0% card, load it up while making basically minimum payments, then move my spending to another card, paying off the first just before the 0% period expires.

Of course this only profitable if you have the self-discipline to control your spending, and remember to pay off the cards in time.

Spartana

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2014, 10:55:08 PM »
I don't use CC's except when travelling for a rental car or motel room, and then I pay them off in full when I get the bill. Otherwise I'm pretty much an all-cash, all the time person. Don't even use debit cards because they lack the protection of CCs and also because, like a CC, it allows you (and any would-be thief) to access ALL the money in your bank account so it's easier to spend more. I find that I spend less when I use cash - especially when I only take the amount into a store I am willing to spend and no more (when paying cash you can't spend any more then you have on you - it that's $5...well then all you can spend is $5!) - then if I use a CC or debit card.  However I do have 5 CCs, all with very high limits and all with no annual fees to have. I use them occasionally to keep them from being cancelled as I would want them - at least one or two - in case of emergency.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 11:01:49 PM by Spartana »

CarDude

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2014, 10:56:41 PM »
Yes, for a number of reasons already outlined.

Cwadda

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2014, 11:18:48 PM »
Yes, I use them. They build you credit, give you rewards, and there are plenty of ones that won't cost you a dime as long as you pay on time.

Just find a cash back one that fits your spending habits and it's fine.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 11:20:57 PM by Cwadda »

RealCanadianSavings

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2014, 11:20:07 PM »
+1 for credit cards. I love our 2% back card. Why would I give up 2%? Also, they are great for all the other reasons people have posted.

pdxvandal

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 11:44:47 PM »
I have used CCs for 15 solid years. Never had a late payment. I usually get an airline mileage card as I seem to have semi-frequent trips to New England for family (and occasionally Hawaii). Love 'em.

I've been using a debit card recently for the first time ever as I get 2.25% interest if I make 12 purchases on it each month. Not bad and I typically use it for small purchases and the credit card for the >$40 purchases.

Definitely true that CCs offer far better protection for consumers, too.

KBecks2

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2014, 05:11:39 AM »
OK, a lot of credit card users here.

I have always had credit cards and have always paid them off.  It's not about "having a spending problem…." but….

I'm reading that a study shows that people spend 12% - 18% more using credit than cash.   

On the debit card safety issue, I was going to cancel my debit card, but my bank has said that when you use a debit card "like a cc" then the protections are the same as a credit card.  I do get nervous about having the account drained.  On the other hand, I don't park large #s of dollars in my checking account either.  We have other accounts for safe-keeping.

About credit score, I wonder.  I currently have some stupid cards I should close, never used, just got sucked into promotions -- Best Buy, Toys R Us.  I have some cards that offer rewards and coupons -- department stores, Target.  And we have a couple cash-back or rewards cards.  One for my personal, one for my husband's personal and one for my "hobby" business. 

I think I could say goodbye to ALL the store cards and be perfectly happy.   I would miss some coupons.  I would miss 5% cash back at Target.   I would probably shop at all those stores even less -- like maybe,  almost never.   I could cancel them, or just "put them away" and not use them and get more creative about shopping second hand for most of our purchases.   

For credit score, We are old and established.  We have a mortgage, we would probably hold on to one card at a minimum.  I might like to get a small loan for investment real estate in the future.  We want to buy future cars with cash.  Our net worth statement should be decent for qualifying for a loan with a smart banker.

Is the 5% at target, a rare 20% at Macy's and a few 30%s a year at Kohls a big deal?  Worth it?   

Mostly I was thinking about the discipline of using cash again.  Managing the cash and keeping tabs on the balances in Mint.  It would make me a more conservative spender, and probably skinny up some of our spending on little frivolities and "wants".   

KBecks2

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2014, 05:35:37 AM »
---> Goodbye Toys R Us Card.

next up is Gap.

aj_yooper

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2014, 05:37:36 AM »
Store cards that are not used frequently tend to be closed by the companies.  At least, that's what happened to my Victoria's Secrets cc.

begood

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2014, 05:38:59 AM »
Quote
Mostly I was thinking about the discipline of using cash again.  Managing the cash and keeping tabs on the balances in Mint.  It would make me a more conservative spender, and probably skinny up some of our spending on little frivolities and "wants". 

Why not try this for three or four months and see how it goes? Put the cards in a ziploc bag in the freezer (or in a safe deposit box) and use the cash system for awhile. I've heard that the envelope system works well -- allocate the cash you want to spend each month in each category into a separate envelope. When the envelope is empty, that category's done for the month.

Do you have any automatic payments set up on the cards? If so, keep checking your bills even if the cards themselves have been put out of sight.

It sounds like you have a LOT of credit cards: Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Toys R Us, Best Buy + at least three other cards: personal for you, personal for your husband, plus a business. So that's 8 at a minimum. I'd say that's more than you need - consolidate to general cards for simplicity, and to get the maximum rewards they offer.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2014, 05:46:33 AM »
Yes, almost exclusively.

I like the rewards and convenience and safety (yes, safety... I can dispute any issues I have as opposed to worrying about getting my money back with a debit card or cash).

I think it's a great idea to cut them if you have a spending problem with plastic.

+1 on all points.

The credit card I use gives a couple percent of cash back on all purchases.  It has no annual fee.  It is safer to use than cash.  There is no negative to using a credit card if you have self control.  If you are spending more money with a credit card than with cash, it's really just a personal problem that you have with understanding what money is.  Many of us spend no differently when using cash.

Brian Fellows

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2014, 06:22:00 AM »
I almost exclusively use credit cards for many of the reasons listed here. 

To add an anecdote, I'm flying to Africa for $125 (taxes and fees) thanks to credit cards in a few months here.  The friend I'm travelling with is paying ~$1,300 before taxes and fees.  Sure, there is the opportunity cost of 80,000 United frequent flyer miles, but I earned the miles by using credit cards specifically with that goal in mind, and never spent a dollar I wouldn't have otherwise.

Don't use rewards cards that you can't pay off 100% every month.  What I end up doing is opening up one of the no-fee credit cards with every major company, then I sign up for a card that has a yearly fee (always waived the first year) and get the signup bonus.  Then when the year ends and the card's not going to be free anymore, I call, cancel the card, and get my credit limit added onto the limit of the zero-fee card.

So in the long term, my credit score goes up (because I have more available credit that I'm not using, so my credit used/credit available ratio is tiny), I get tons of free stuff, and I get all of the benefits everyone's pointed out above.  As long as you can do your homework and keep track of everything, and you're comfortable calling to cancel fee cards at the end of a year, you can make out like a bandit.

Primm

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2014, 06:25:04 AM »
I use a credit card almost exclusively. I have a mortgage offset account, so every extra dollar in my mortgage is charged at zero %. I have my salary paid into the mortgage, pay for everything on the CC and then transfer the money each month at the very last moment. Pays me the equivalent of a tax-free 4.88%. :)

boarder42

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2014, 06:40:00 AM »
amex blue cash preferred for 6% yes you read that right 6% back on groceries
bank of america cash rewards card 3.3% back at the pump
Southwest airlines card for every other purchase (i fly alot for work and spending on this helps me get to a companion pass every year) 

If you can use a CC responsibly not using credit cards for the rewards is the equivalent of letting your money sit in a savings account

nordlead

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2014, 08:50:20 AM »
Yes, for pretty much everything.

Currently I have 2 CC's that I actively use, and they are on auto-pay and linked in Mint, so I know what I'm spending money on, and I don't have to every worry about paying them.

I get anywhere from 1-33% off my purchases. To get the higher %, I typically have to buy a Gift Card at one store to be used at another, or happen to get lucky and actually want to purchase something at that store. For example, I got $20 off $100 at Staples, so I bought a gift card for Lowe's, and it only took a couple minutes to net $40 (wife's CC with the same offer, and we just hit it on our way by). I'm currently buying gift cards at Lowe's for 6% back to be used for Gasoline.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 09:08:23 AM »
Yes, for everything I can. I pay rent by cheque still because it's the only option. Other than that, it's all credit. We get a fair bit of cash and points, maybe a few hundred a year.

In my experience, a mix of local currency and no-foreign-fee credit cards are the best option for travel. Debit cards are kind of hit and miss in foreign countries - you can sometimes get cash out at an ATM, but will probably be charged some hefty fees.

Another Reader

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2014, 09:19:58 AM »
If you shop a lot at Target, the 5 percent is worthwhile.  I don't shop at Kohl's, but I understand you do get some extra discount perks from time to time with their card.  I never go to Macy's, as I find most things overpriced and their sales to be bogus.  In your shoes, I would cancel most of the store cards except the ones that have significant advantages and are at stores you use.

The key to success is not to buy on impulse.  Systematically separate needs from wants and have a plan to process wants.  Go to a store with a list, but don't pick up that cute top or 10 pints of Hagen Das ice cream because they are on sale and you have a coupon.

The cash back rewards can be useful if you spend a lot.  For one or two people. putting groceries on a 2 percent cash back card is a few dollars here or there.  Same with gas.  For a big family, putting everything on rewards cards and playing the sign up bonus and cash/points reward games can put significant dollars back in your wallet.

amha

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2014, 09:24:53 AM »
I don't---less out of any particular principle and more because I've always used debit cards (and I've always had enough cash in my bank account to cover my day-to-day needs). My current bank (grandmothers' wealth management shop) only deducts debit card charges at the end of the month, so it's a lot more like a credit card. (I was also under the impression that anti-fraud provisions of debit cards had been normalized to be of a similar level of security to credit cards, but perhaps I'm wrong...)

The downside is that I have a crappy credit score (because of, you know, never having abused credit).

MidwestGal

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2014, 09:25:55 AM »
I was vehemently anti-credit card until just last year, when I discovered that by paying them off immediately I could build credit and earn rewards at the same time.  I used a sign-up bonus to pay for part of a trip I took us both on, and which had already been planned and budgeted for.  Since then, my credit limit has been upped twice, bumping my credit score and I use the rewards for statement credits.  Couldn't be happier with the process, especially as other users mentioned the benefit of safety with purchases.

I'm reading that a study shows that people spend 12% - 18% more using credit than cash.   

That's really interesting, though I guess it depends on your mindset.

Is the 5% at target, a rare 20% at Macy's and a few 30%s a year at Kohls a big deal?  Worth it?   

Mostly I was thinking about the discipline of using cash again.  Managing the cash and keeping tabs on the balances in Mint.  It would make me a more conservative spender, and probably skinny up some of our spending on little frivolities and "wants".   


Again, it's a mindset.  Do you really need those discounts, or to shop at those stores?  I could see Target, as they have lots of good products to offer.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2014, 09:35:30 AM »
OK, a lot of credit card users here.

I have always had credit cards and have always paid them off.  It's not about "having a spending problem…." but….

I'm reading that a study shows that people spend 12% - 18% more using credit than cash.   
A link please! I like random studies

bmcleveland313

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2014, 09:36:56 AM »
As a reader of MMM for only a few months, I've tried to "optimize" my daily spending methods and the time required to keep track of expenses. For me, this is best done with 2 credit cards linked to mint.com that I have recently switched over to. These are going to replace a debit card and low limit credit card that I used in college. I essentially will use these to pay for regular expenses that will obviously be paid off each month (i.e. no changes to spending habits, just different cards):

AMEX blue cash preferred (as mentioned previously): 6% cash back on groceries w/ $6000 yearly cap, unlimited 3% on gas/select department stores, 1% on everything else. $150 sign up bonus. Yearly fee of I think $75. Will also use this at Costco to stack on my 2% back from the executive membership as they only take AMEX. This is preferred over Costco's reward card as I do grocery shopping wherever sales are usually.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: $400 sign on bonus. 2% on Travel, 1% on everything else. Also, travel redeemed through their rewards program comes with a 20% point discount. $95 yearly fee. I intend to use this for all other expenses besides groceries & gas, then I'll use their travel rewards program to buy flights yearly to North Carolina to visit DW's family, and may escape the Midwest winter in February on a vacation.

I am about to move my checking from Wells Fargo to a local bank that offers 3% return on balances under $15k, so I will park a small emergency fund there and use it for monthly expenses. This also requires about 12 debit transactions per month, but I think I will split my church contributions from 1 payment to multiple during the month and get this out of the way. So, the debit card usage required by the bank will be side stepped.

So yes, in addition to the thoughts of others, credit cards make a lot of sense if they don't change your spending habits. Like other readers, I too tend to spend more frivolously with cash for whatever reason. Add the automatic download and tracking in mint.com that I can check in real time, and we have a winner...


eyePod

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2014, 09:37:13 AM »
Best part about CCs is the fraud protection. The banks don't mess around when it's their money. Just keep paying off the bill in full every month! When you're using a debit card, there's always the chance that they can get your money. Not so with the CC!

Brian Fellows

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2014, 09:47:18 AM »
The average person probably DOES spend more with a credit card than they would with cash, as a lot of studies suggest.  I definitely am the exact opposite.

As soon as I have money in my wallet (as opposed to in a bank account), it loses visibility and I spend it without thinking about it.  When I'm out shopping and hungry, I'll usually wait to get home before I eat.  But if I have cash a lot of the time I'll say "Eh, I've got cash, might as well pick up some fast food."  Same goes for vending machines at work - if I don't have money to feed them, I don't spend.

Credit cards both make it easier for me to track what my spending goes toward AND they make me less likely to spend on low dollar things.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2014, 09:53:24 AM »
I use no annual fee credit cards for everything I can, but only when there is no associated charge from the retailer.
If you are able to control your spending and ensure you pay them off in full, then you should too. Here's why:
  • Buy now and pay later. This frees money up for other purposes, for example offsetting a mortgage
  • Facilitate budgeting. Most credit cards will provide a mechanism for budgeting or integrate with third party services. The better you measure the better you manage
  • Theft protection. Someone uses your credit card illegally and you are covered
  • You're already paying for them. Every time you use credit a small fee is charged to the retailer. If a shop does not charge its customers for credit card usage then you are paying a percentage (however small) of overhead that credit card users are not
  • Reward points. Another small benefit that makes a difference if used properly
  • Other miscellaneous, depending on card. My cards give me free travel insurance, free extended warranty on goods, free concierge services and no fee international purchases (exchange rates do apply). Others will have similar benefits such as bonus rates, cash back etc that could be used to an advantage

Keep in mind though, as a rule of thumb none of the above is worth it if you incur fees or pay interest.

+1

I have one main one that I use for almost everything, and one backup that I keep at home in case my wallet gets stolen or something. I have never paid interest. it was really nice during that Target hacking thing when someone tried to put $1k on my card at online retailers, Amex was super easy to work with and took it off right away.

The average person probably DOES spend more with a credit card than they would with cash, as a lot of studies suggest.  I definitely am the exact opposite.

As soon as I have money in my wallet (as opposed to in a bank account), it loses visibility and I spend it without thinking about it.  When I'm out shopping and hungry, I'll usually wait to get home before I eat.  But if I have cash a lot of the time I'll say "Eh, I've got cash, might as well pick up some fast food."  Same goes for vending machines at work - if I don't have money to feed them, I don't spend.

Credit cards both make it easier for me to track what my spending goes toward AND they make me less likely to spend on low dollar things.

me too!

boarder42

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2014, 09:59:22 AM »
you make a good point brian ... i'm the same way with cash.  its not in my site anymore b/c its not in my calcs i run.  i dont use vending machines though ... can you find a bigger rip off.  i'm just more likely to go to an event that requires cash.  or tip a little more if i used a gift card etc.

homeymomma

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2014, 10:09:51 AM »
We use the Amex cash back card. 6% back at grocery stores (yes, that includes gift cards), 3% on gas, and 1% on everything else. We could do a 2% on everything card as well but we so rarely shop! it doesn't make sense to me to add another hassle. Only problem with the Amex is it has an annual fee.

I just log in once a month and cash in our $50-100 towards the balance. I pay it anytime I think about it, multiple times per month, or any time it gets close to the 30% mark for our credit usage (we have low limits because were young and just starting using credit).

I use it like a debit card, except with the added step of transferring the money over from our checking account, instead of it coming straight out using debit. If we don't have the money in our budget, much less our checking account, I wouldn't put it on the Amex/buy it.

I think if you have even the slightest inkling that you would use it in any way other than exactly like a debit card, you shouldn't have a credit card. Freezer. Cut them up, hide them, whatever your preferred method.

Little House

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2014, 10:46:51 AM »
If you're responsible with your credit card (i.e. pay it off in full monthly) then I'd say stick with credit cards. They have more protection than a debit card and perks as well, like reward points, etc. I also think it's easier to manage a budget with a credit card - you know exactly how much you spend every month since the total ends up on your credit card bill.

And just to solidify that credit cards are safer, a couple of months ago a fast food restaurant in my area "accidentally" charged 100x the billed amount to people's debit and credit card transactions. Those that used debit cards had their bank accounts wiped out. Now, this is rare, but it's easier to dispute charges with on a credit card and have them reversed than have to deal with getting your money back in your bank account.

LAL

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2014, 10:49:01 AM »
Does the amex blue cash give 6% at costco?

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Oscar_C

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2014, 10:58:28 AM »
Does the amex blue cash give 6% at costco?

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I believe that as a warehouse store, it only gives 1%.

As for myself, I use two

  • Fidelity AMEX 2% Cash Back(No Annual Fee)
  • Wells Fargo Visa 1% Cash Back(No Annual Fee)

I'm always using the AMEX though, because it's less accepted I tend to spend less.

homeymomma

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2014, 10:59:30 AM »
Does the amex blue cash give 6% at costco?

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No, I wish. It's only for grocery-only stores like trader joes, Safeway, giant, etc. Target and Costco are just in the regular 1% category. :(. But if you plan well (which we don't) you can buy gift cards at the grocery store and use them elsewhere (target, Home Depot)

taekvideo

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2014, 11:01:13 AM »
I only have one CC so far (amazon rewards card)... I use it for everything except food (at aldi... they don't take cc).  For reasons already stated.
I'm looking into getting another one for sign-on bonuses.

nvmama

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2014, 08:35:11 AM »
I use credit cards for almost everything.  For Gorceries we have the Amex everday card 3% cash back, we don't spend enough at the grocery stores to make getting the fee card for 6% worth it.  For gas we have Pen fed cash back card for 5% automatically taken off with each statement. For resteraunts/fast food (we are working on this, but still order out at least 1xper week) we have the Citi forward card for 5% back, and for every thing else we us the Fidelity Amex for 2% cash back, and if Amex isn't excepted we would put in on the Citi Forward card.

We have many cards, but always pay them off each month.  Plus, if I know we are planning a big purchases, I will look into what Credit cards have a good sign up bonus and get that to meet the spending requirements.  For example, I have a root canal coming up and I was recently offered an Amex card where if you spend 1000 in the first 3 moths get the equivalent of $500 in rewards points, so that will be used to pay for the root canal.  I have the money in the bank, so it will be paid off when the bill comes in.  Then I will use the $500 in rewards to get gift cards to either Walmart/lowes stores we normally shop at.

ephillipsme

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2014, 08:50:21 AM »
I use a CC for everything now.  One of the main difference you should consider between a CC and a Debit card is fraud protection.  There is consumer protection laws in place to protect you, but talking from experience a CC's fraud protection is fairly straight forward and you are limited in exposure.  With a debit card you are protected but in a fraud situation might need to jump through a couple more hoops and the money that is lost is actually is removed from you account. There is a time delay until you get the funds back into your account.  Just make sure you read the fine print on the debt card with you financial institution.

unix_kung_fu

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2014, 09:07:53 AM »
AMEX has some good offers on the website in your account, just click and its saved to the card (save $X if spending $Y at merchant Z) which really can be anti-mustachian and encourages consumerism (but so does credit in general). I wait patiently for offers at retailers that I was going to spend that money on anyway.

You really only should use debit cards for getting out cash, or if you're credit is so poor you can't get a CC that isn't subprime (or has an AF, no rewards, etc). As explained above, the liabilities just aren't worth it.

The Mrs. and I went on vacation recently and had most of our airfare paid for by miles from one airline (half of which those miles were accrued by using a CC), and our rental car covered from miles I earned entirely from my own personal CC.

We register our cards at MilagePlus Dining rewards network (works for United, also I think can be used for AA as well). Those few times we go out to bars, restuarants, venues, if the business is in the network, we automatically get miles just by swiping the CC that was registered on the network (no coupons, vouchers, etc) - and this stacks with the rewards we get from the card issuer.

happyfeet

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »
Heck yea!  Pay off each month but rewards are great - hotel stays (several each year - Hilton Honors) and at least one domestic plane ticket and free luggage on Delta, plus cash back of about $400 each year on Chase.

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2014, 01:12:24 PM »
I do not.  It's a hangover from my anti mustachian complainypants days when the cruel credit card companies victimized me and I hated their guts.  The final nail in the coffin was when a company sent me a letter saying I'd overpaid them but I would have to go through some bureaucratic hassle in New Jersey of all places to recoup it - weird since neither the company or I were in or from there.  Now that I'm well out of debt I'm reconsidering it based on what I hear about cash back, rewards, etc.  But hard feelings remain. 

Datastache

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2014, 01:52:45 PM »
I hated the idea of credit cards throughout my teens and early 20s. It seemed like it would be adding an extra step, when I could more easily just pay directly through my debit card. Then I finally realized that credit cards offered rewards and increased security, so I got a Chase Freedom card.

I now use that card for most of my purchases, which still remain few and far between. As soon as a balance shows up, I pay it off in full. I intend to continue using that strategy for the foreseeable future. The rewards add up very, very slowly, since I don't buy much to begin with, but every little bit counts. And the signing bonus was nice, too. :D

unix_kung_fu

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2014, 02:00:17 PM »
I do not.  It's a hangover from my anti mustachian complainypants days when the cruel credit card companies victimized me and I hated their guts.  The final nail in the coffin was when a company sent me a letter saying I'd overpaid them but I would have to go through some bureaucratic hassle in New Jersey of all places to recoup it - weird since neither the company or I were in or from there.  Now that I'm well out of debt I'm reconsidering it based on what I hear about cash back, rewards, etc.  But hard feelings remain.

I felt this way about CC companies, etc, but then where do I draw the line? I would be a hypocrite for not doing business with them, but doing with business with X, Y, or Z. Then eventually the only way would be to just be a mountain man.

If you're using a debit card, or a bank account in general, a big financial institution (or to a lesser extent, a credit union) is making money off you already. Might as well transfer that to a CC and quit leaving the extra money on the table (assuming you pay in full and don't go into debt).

otherbarry

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2014, 06:27:40 PM »
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I was wondering what exactly the APR on all these cards applies to? Specifically the APR to purchases. Sorry for the noob question but my parents went through a Dave Ramsey phase and the only thing I learned from it was how evil credit cards were. As long as I make payments on time I will never pay more than what I'm actually buying, correct?

Zikoris

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2014, 06:34:46 PM »
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I was wondering what exactly the APR on all these cards applies to? Specifically the APR to purchases. Sorry for the noob question but my parents went through a Dave Ramsey phase and the only thing I learned from it was how evil credit cards were. As long as I make payments on time I will never pay more than what I'm actually buying, correct?

That's correct. Pay on time and you don't pay a dime in interest.

I have no idea what my interest rates are.

otherbarry

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2014, 06:56:42 PM »
So "non-revolving" is the way to be huh? I've been meaning to start building up my credit score as I've never taken out a loan or been in debt so it's probably non-existent. On that note, how to I get one of my three free annual credit reports?

aj_yooper

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Re: Do you use credit cards?
« Reply #49 on: July 15, 2014, 07:34:34 PM »
I use Credit Karma.  No fee, no credit card needs to be registered.  I get a monthly credit review of my estimated credit level.  It is good enough for me.