The common misconception is credit cards are bad. They cause you to go into debt. They make your life miserable. They cause you financial ruin, and you shouldn’t have one if you can avoid it. The truth is no credit card is bad or dangerous. The person using the credit card is the cause of debt and financial ruin. If you cannot use your credit card responsibly, you run the risk of going into debt. Many consumers with ample debt are fearful of how they will get out of debt, afford to live, and how they will ever catch a break from their financial woes. They are quick to tell others that credit cards are bad, but they’re not bad. Credit cards are quite beneficial, and they are valuable to those who use them correctly.
When you rent a car or check into a hotel room, you can use a debit card. You don’t always need a credit card. However, that hotel or car rental company is going to put a hold on your funds. Car rental companies hold whatever the cost of the rental is plus a $200 refundable fee. Hotels typically charge the cost of the room and $50 per night. When these funds are held with a debit card, they’re unavailable for use in your bank account. This means you must wait until you check out or return your car, and then you must wait as many as 7 business days for the funds to be released from their hold. Can you afford to forgo using that money? Credit cards eliminate this problem.
With a credit card, you have more options. Many places are happy to accept debit cards, but others aren’t. You might not be able to use a specific car rental company without a valid credit card as many don’t accept debit cards as a form of payment. Additionally, you cannot rent upscale, fun, or luxury cars unless you have a credit card at any rental company.
Credit card holders are offered valuable rewards. Whether it’s cash back or airline miles, using a credit card can help you earn free money, which is very invaluable. You can apply for a card that offers a cash bonus when you spend a certain amount of money in a specific time, and you can pay it off in full and end up with free money. That’s how rewards work. Let’s say you use your card to pay all of your monthly expenses every month. You then use the cash you would have used otherwise to pay off the credit card bill in full each month. If your bills are $5,000 per month and your cash back rate is 1.5% on every dollar spent, you’re earning $900 each year. That’s impressive.
The biggest value in having a credit card comes from your credit score. When you have a card and you pay it off in full each month, you improve your credit history. This makes it easier for you to build your credit score, to receive lower interest rates on mortgages, loans, and other credit cards, and it makes it easier for you to gain employment and cheaper rates on insurance.
Using your credit card should be done wisely and with care. No credit card is beneficial or valuable to a cardholder if they’re not using it correctly. The best way to use your credit card is to keep the balance below 30% of the available credit always. If you have a card with $1,000 on it, you should keep the balance below $300 to appear more favorable. It’s better to simply pay the balance of the card in full each month and keep the card active and used regularly.
Never make late payments, and don’t miss payments. If you have trouble making a payment, discuss it with a creditor to avoid late fees and other issues. Your credit card is not the problem. The person using it irresponsibly is the problem. Cards are invaluable to cardholders when they are used correctly.