- Centurion Member
- Posts: 875
- Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:32 pm
- Location: Texas
Credit is a fantastic tool when managed responsibly. Interest-free financing is a great deal if...
You were going to buy the product anyway.
You know all the terms of the deal and can adhere to them.
You will be able to pay the debt off and avoid finance charges, particularly the retroactive ones (ouch!).
Not everyone who uses credit is irresponsible. In fact, the vast majority are responsible. Most credit card holders pay their balances in full every month. The majority who have credit problems would have financial trouble even without credit cards. For the financially vulnerable, credit can be a safety net in the event of a job loss or other financial reversal.
I was at a movie theater a few years ago paying for my popcorn and soda with a credit card. Some guy behind me made some stupid remark about buying these items on credit. Whatever. I got 2% of my purchase cost back, and the transaction joined an itemized list of all of my spending for the month for my review at a later time. The bill, like all the others, was paid automatically, in full via a debit to my interest-bearing checking account.
People who sneer indiscriminately at credit and those who use it generally have issues of their own that need to be addressed.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).
*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.