Use Credit Cards…Don’t Let Them Use You!

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Do you like free/very cheap global traveling, gift cards, staying at nice hotels, or eating out without cracking open your wallet? OF COURSE YOU DO!!! Maybe you don’t love all of those things, but I’m willing to bet you like at least one for those. If someone told you that you could take a trip wherever you want for free, would you say no? Doubt it. I’d be on the first smoking thing out of here! Sound impossible? It’s not.

Credit cards truly make these things possible. I’m not talking irresponsible use of credit cards. I mean using credit cards to YOUR advantage, instead of the credit card company using YOU. There are plenty of ways to use a credit card that’ll give you serious perks just for spending what you normally would.

In the personal finance community, credit cards are highly debated as to whether or not they are a good tool to help get ahead financially. For example, Dave Ramsey is completely against people using credit of any kind to purchase, while people in the Financial Independence community are totally for using credit cards responsibly and reaping the various rewards.

Truthfully, we’ve never really struggled with credit card debt. I’ve always been fairly good with managing the finances of a credit card. I say “fairly” because like anyone else, I’ve made mistakes and learned the hard way. Even after these mistakes, we love credits cards!! Are you thinking we must love living dangerously? Truth is, when it comes to our relationship with credit cards, the card issuer needs to be the one looking over their shoulder because we’re going to be right there to take advantage of free or very cheap rewards.

We love credit cards because when used responsibly, they offer a ton of benefits you just can’t get from cash or a debit cards. I agree with Dave Ramsey that consumer debt can totally cripple you. On the other hand, if you know you are responsible, why the heck would you pass up free money for buying the things you were going to buy anyway?

Here are some of the benefits you can get by using a CC:

  1. Points/Cash back – Most credit cards give you cash back, or rewards points for meeting certain spending requirements. 
  2. Buyer protection – This is a lesser known benefit. Some credit cards will extend warranties on items even after their manufacture warranty has expired. 
  3. Travel Insurance – A lot of travel credit cards will automatically include travel insurance for any items on your literary paid for on your travel card.  If plans fall through, you are protected. 
  4. Foreign transaction fees – Having a quality travel can make all of the difference when visiting other countries. The Chase Sapphire card, for example, allows you to spend in foreign countries without any fees. This card also includes all of the perks I’ve listed. 
  5. Someone fighting for you – This is important and not many people use this. Credit Card companies WANT YOUR BUSINESS! They want it so bad that they will go to battle for you! Overcharged, Identity Theft, Stolen Card, Illegal Transaction; it doesn’t matter. They’ll handle all of the work making these unfortunate problems correct. I love that about a good credit card. I personally have used this feature multiple times. 

These just mention a few of the perks. As you can see, these perks would be great for anyone. Some people just don’t know they exist. The benefits vary from card to card, but every card offers built-in benefits. Why Do credit cards offer these benefits? It’s risk/reward for them as it is us. We take a certain amount of risk signing up for a card, but we decided the reward outweighs the risk. Same goes for the card issuer. They take on risk as well.

The Solution:

Some of you might be saying, “Josh, I suck at CCs. I can never pay them on time. I always get hit with late fees. I’m just bad with credit cards.” Let me ask you this, do you still crawl around your house today? Are people laughing at you in the grocery store because you crawl up and down the aisles? No…No they aren’t. Why? Because when you were lousy at walking as a toddler, you didn’t quit and just say, “Screw it, the reward isn’t worth the effort! I’ll crawl everywhere because I’m not good at this whole walking thing.” You used whatever you could to help you. Maybe you held onto the couch, the wall, or your parent’s hand. You used something to help is my point. Maybe you needed assistance, but eventually you did it on your own. The same options are available to you when it comes to using CCs.

Debitize is one product I support when it comes to learning how to walk in the credit card world.

Check this out… Debitize turns your credit cards into a debit card! It takes the money you spend each day on your credit card and moves it into an account and automatically pays your bill each month.  You can use this to take advantage of all of the perks I listed above. It removes the scary part of credit cards. Once you forget to make a payment and get hit with interest payments, it starts to eat away at your return on the rewards. Debitize removes that risk for you.

There’s a million excuses out there for not taking advantage of opportunities, but CCs offer so many rewards, that it’s silly to not a find a way to make them work for you.

Don’t say you can’t!! You can, you just need to find a way.

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