Top 11 Reasons You Should Always Carry A Credit Card

Times Have Changed For Credit Card Use

When the credit and mortgage industries crashed in 2008, credit cards started to get bad press that they did not deserve. Credit cards, just like any other financial product, are only dangerous if they are not used correctly. Besides, there are 11 excellent reasons why everyone should carry at least one major credit card with them at all times.

Incentives and Rewards

If you are honest with yourself and admit that you like using a credit card, then that is when you can start using it to your advantage. For example, people who like to travel should get credit cards that offer frequent flier miles for purchases. Once you start getting free plane tickets to the places you want to go, you will see the value of a credit card.

Some credit cards offer cash back or rewards points as incentives. When looking at the credit card offers you qualify for, keep the rewards and benefits in mind. Cash back is nice because, if the refund amount is enough, then you can use it to make your monthly payment. Incentive points can be redeemed for different prizes, which can make your holiday shopping much easier.

Travel Benefits

Some credit cards come with a free concierge service that will book flights, find rental cars, and even book you a table at your favorite restaurant for no extra fee. If you frequently travel for business or personal reasons, then you should be taking advantage of these benefits.

As you look for the ideal credit card for your travel needs, remember that some cards can get you hotel and car rental discounts. You can also use your credit card to get a free upgrade to your rental car, which can come in handy if compact cars are not your style.

Any person who travels also knows that buying plane tickets, renting a car, or reserving a hotel room is almost impossible without a credit card. It makes sense that if you have to use a credit card, then you should get one that brings travel discounts and benefits as well.

Protection From Unreliable Sellers

When you buy with your credit card, you have recourse against retailers and vendors who do not deliver on their promises. Using cash, or even an online check, does not protect you in the same way that a credit card would. If you do not get the product or service you paid for with a credit card, then you have a way to get your money back and prevent yourself from being ripped off.

Pad Your Credit Score

So you do not have a credit card because you do not want to take on the extra financial burden, right? Do you think that you will ever need to buy a car? Would you like to own your home someday? The chances are that you will need to finance those large purchases, and you need a credit history to do that. If you have not done this yet, you will probably have a low credit score and will need to find a lender that works with people who have bad credit or no credit.

The misconception people have is that they need to manage thousands of dollars in credit card debt just to qualify for a mortgage or car loan. A credit card is a perfect chance for you to show creditors that you are a responsible consumer and that you can pay your bills on time. The amount you charge on your card is not critical. What is important is that you manage your debt and keep it under control. A quick look at your credit report will tell you how you are doing, and you can get a free report now.

Rainy Days and Other Emergencies

If you live in an area where it snows, then you know how a sudden snow storm can cripple an entire region. To this point, you have been lucky enough not to get caught out in a snowstorm. However, what would you do if your luck ever ran out? Do you carry enough cash with you to get a hotel room on a moment’s notice?

What would you do if your car broke down and you could not have it for a week? If you had a credit card, you could rent a car and not worry about it. You can also use your credit card for emergency repairs to your home, emergency medical bills, and to buy groceries for those weeks when the paycheck is still days away, and the bank account is empty.

Document Your Purchases

Did you know that you may be able to write off your home remodeling projects from your federal taxes? Talk to your accountant to see if the upgrades and repairs you do to your home qualify for a tax break. If they do, how will you be able accurately to track your home repair and remodeling purchases? The easiest way to do that is to use a credit card.

You can pay off your purchases each month and avoid the lingering bill if you would like. You always have that option. However, when you need to keep track of your purchases for whatever reason, few methods are easier and more comprehensive than a credit card statement.

Easier To Carry Than Cash On Vacation

You and the family are all excited about your upcoming week-long vacation, and all of the preparations have been made. What will you do for spending money? Will you be carrying around cash all week long? You could use traveler’s checks, but nothing calls attention to the fact that you are tourist more than a traveler’s check.

The easiest way to spend money on vacation is to use a credit card. You can save up the cash for your vacation and pay the card off when you get back to avoid the interest charges. If you ever lose your card, or it gets stolen, your credit card company will replace it immediately and protect your financial information. That is something that cash cannot do.

Build Up Some Interest Of Your Own

If you used a credit card to buy your groceries each month, then you could be earning interest instead of paying it. How? By putting your grocery money in a 30-day investment such as a certificate of deposit, and then cashing in the certificate just in time to pay off the credit card balance before interest gets accrued on it.

Most people think that credit card companies apply interest to a purchase the moment the purchase is made. This is not true. The interest is not added to the purchase until the billing cycle ends and the credit card company generates the bill. As long as you pay the balance before the billing cycle ends, you will not pay any interest. If you invest that money you will be using to pay your credit card bill into a short-term investment, then you will be making money by using your credit card.

When You Need To Make A Purchase And Have No Cash On Hand

We have all had those moments where we wanted to go to lunch or pick up something from the store on our way home, but we do not have the cash on us. The frustrating thing is that the cash is in your bank account, but you are nowhere near an ATM, and you do not have time to wait in line to withdraw the funds.

When you have a credit card on you, then you can make that small purchase and pay it off the next day if you want. You can look at it like having cash on hand at all times. If you have a card with rewards and incentives, then that lunch you bought could go towards plane tickets to Maui next year.

Shopping On The Internet

Shopping on the Internet is almost impossible without a credit card. You could try to use an online money service, but those often make you wait days while your purchase clears. If you want to shop on the Internet, then use a credit card and make things easier on yourself.

You will also want a credit card for those moments when you find the perfect item online, and the vendor only takes major credit cards. When it comes to taking advantage of the deals on the Internet, a credit card is the only way to go.

Product Protection

If you buy a new laptop in cash, and you drop it on the way out of the store, you could be out a lot of money. The store is not going to take that laptop back, and the manufacturer’s warranty certainly does not cover dropping the computer on the way out of the store.

When you are shopping for a credit card, be sure to get one that offers purchase insurance on the things you buy. If you have the right credit card, then you may be able to get that laptop replaced, even though you were the one who broke it.

Credit cards are only evil if you use them for the wrong things. With a little self-control and understanding of why you have the card in the first place, you can turn a credit card from a financial burden, into a benefit and you can turn bad credit into a thing of the past.