There are so many different companies, offers, and options that there is certainly one out there for everyone. In this post I’ll walk through five reasons to have a credit card that I’ve found.
I’m not sure Dave Ramsey wouldn’t necessarily see eye to eye with me on this but I love credit cards. I’ve been using credit cards for my daily expenses since 2014 and they offer so many advantages.
Credit Card Disclaimer
Before we get too into the weeds on this one I do want to make it very clear that credit cards aren’t for everyone. While I’ll hit on reasons to have a credit card if you are just starting out on setting your financial foundation I would recommend staying away from them. Credit cards are too tempting if you don’t have a plan for them. This is especially true if you have bad credit. Here is where I’d start if I needed to repair my credit.
If you don’t have the ability to pay off your credit card bill every month then I’d never even apply for one.
I joke about Dave Ramsey not really liking credit cards and he has great reasons behind his thought. If you’ve gotten into financial trouble before and are struggling to get yourself out of a hole I would highly recommend staying away from credit cards.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take a look at reasons to have credit cards.
Credit cards make cash management easy. What I mean is I don’t need to keep an eye on my checking account balance. I only take a look at my checking account balance once a month and that’s on the day I pay my credit card bill. After that, I don’t find it necessary.
Back in the days when I worked in all cash I did have to check it fairly frequently. A question you might be asking yourself is why would I need to do this? Do I not have the cash?
The short answer is I do. Its just in savings.
A quick credit card story: when I first got a credit card I had no idea how they worked. I was nervous I’d miss a payment and my credit score would plummet. Man its funny to think about.
What did I do in this situation? I’d make payments to my credit card every few days. Until I did a little more homework on credit cards I wasn’t really reaping the benefits of not having to watch my cash balance!
Credit cards allow for travel hacking
While I haven’t given an update in a while, I’m actively doing some travel hacking. This is about to come to an end and I plan to dive into a whole bunch of details. Right now it looks like I’ll be able to take a great vacation with my family to Disney for about 70% off.
While this is my first true “travel hacking” experience I do have a specific purpose for my credit card points on an ongoing basis.
You see my family takes a trip every year that requires a flight. I specifically chose a credit card that allows me to pay for all or a big chunk of that travel expense each year.
There are so many great credit cards out there featuring incentives north of $500. Don’t believe me? Go check out capital one or chase. They always seem to be offering the best deals.
Credit cards feature first rate security
This definitely is bad timing due to the fact that hacks seem to happen frequently these days but the security of these credit cards really is great. I guess I’m primarily comparing the security companies like Chase or Capital One can offer versus my local credit union.
I’ll never forget the time I woke up to a text from my credit card company. It said they had noticed an odd purchase and said my credit card was deactivated until I called them. I called their customer service, confirmed it was a fraudulent purchase and they had a new card to me within 24 hours.
Again, this is a great example of a credit card company looking out for me.
Credit cards feature great in-app experiences
Until I started my travel hacking journey I’m not sure I ever would have realized this. I’ve stuck with the same credit card for several years now and didn’t realize the advances some of them have made.
Once I switched over to a capital one credit card I realized that I started getting notifications on my phone seconds after I made any purchase. This is really great for a budgeting family that wants to keep a close eye on purchases.
Free Credit Score Monitoring
The other great feature is that nearly every credit card company offers free credit scores. This is so convenient and something I’d definitely take advantage of. Personally, I don’t because I utilize Credit Karma. However, having any company check your credit score for free should be enough to catch if something is going wrong.
Overall, I think I’ve hit on the five reasons to have a credit card. They offer several advantages. With all that being said please only get one if you can have one responsibly.