We all know credit card debt is a serious problem today but there are good things about your plastics and we should remember those, too. Any time you create more debt than you have the ability to pay, financial problems will become a reality for you.
Credit card debt is a major problem for many consumers in today’s economy. However, it is not the credit card that is to blame.
We have become too attached to “things” and too used to having what we want when we want it. That leads to unwise purchases, overuse of credit cards and to financial catastrophe.
Understanding the positive things about your credit cards enables you to use credit for your benefit in a way that suits your lifestyle. Focusing on the positive things of credit cards can help you avoid pitfalls of credit use as well.
1. Must Have Today
Credit is a necessity today. We do not live in a cash society and attempting to pay our way through life with cash limits our ability to have many of the fine things life has to offer. The most important thing with credit cards is simply their use in building a credit file that will help you in many areas of your life. Whether apply for a loan or for car insurance, good credit helps you get what you want and can also save money on services.
2. Avoid Cash
Safety is a factor when using credit cards. It’s dangerous to carry large amount of cash on your person when traveling or when going on a major shopping expedition. If your cash is lost or stolen – it’s gone. If you lose a credit card, it’s quickly replaced by the lender.
3. Shopping Online
Why drive to the store and brave the crowds and bad weather when you can buy what you need with just a click of the mouse on your computer? Some credit cards have special features designed to make shopping online safe and secure. They provide rotating account numbers that can’t be used if stolen.
4. Branded Cards
Many major manufacturers offer their own branded cards. These are provided by major lending banks to the company. Most branded cards also have Visa and MasterCard logos which allow wide use. The good thing about branded cards is the ability of the merchant to offer special bargains to those customers who have the merchant’s dedicated credit accounts.
5. Reward Programs
It’s great to be rewarded. Consumers using cards with rewards programs attached can benefit from special bargains at selected merchants can receive a percentage off gasoline purchases and can earn cash back for everyday purchases at drug stores, service stations and grocery stores.
6. Travel Miles
Air miles are a good thing about credit cards for those who travel either for business or pleasure. Competition among airlines has increased the number of miles awarded for purchases and made it easier to redeem miles earned. The blackout periods that used to be common have been eliminated by many credit lenders in partnership with major airlines.
7. Tools for Money Management
Money management is easy when using credit cards. Major lenders offer a wide variety of financial tools on their sites to help you track spending and stay within your budget.
8. Easy to Refund
Another good thing about cards is the ability to resolve problems with your purchases. Customer service provides help in settling disputes over incorrect prices charged, over defective items purchased and eliminates the need for you to spend hours trying to reach the right person and get a refund for a bad product.
9. Free Loan
You can use your credit plastic as an interest free loan. If you need to travel for a family emergency or pay for unexpected car repairs, using a credit card gives you three weeks to pay off that emergency. The grace period between charging and being charged finance fees is usually 21 days but may be as long as 25 days for some lenders. If you pay for the entire purchase before the grace period for that charge has expired, there are no fees to pay.
10. Open Spending Limit
A medical emergency, loss of income, a crisis during a vacation or other short term financial stressor can play havoc with your budget. Knowing you have the ability to pay for emergencies that might arise gives you one less thing to worry about every day.
Overuse of credit cards will lead you into dangerous financial waters. That should not make you fear using credit.
When you understand the dangers, you can avoid them and focus on the positive things about your plastics. You can always start with prepaid cards and work your way up!