There can be a certain stigma when it comes to credit cards and using them. While owning one can be somewhat of a necessity in this day and age, these plastic cards also make it very easy for one get wrapped up into debt, especially for those individuals who own and use multiple credit cards on a weekly (or even daily) basis. This is the main reason many individuals tend to shy away from credit cards, opting to use cash or debit when it comes to any purchase.
Having said that, if used right (and responsibly), there are many advantages to owning a credit card. Below are some top examples.
Credit cards can come in very handy when an unexpected expense pops up. Whether your fridge breaks down, your vehicle needs repair, or even a family member or loved one is sick and you need to travel somewhere far from home to visit or take care of them; most individuals turn to their credit cards when emergencies strike.
On the other side of the spectrum, some carry around a credit card out of sheer convenience as it eliminates the need to have excessive amounts of cash on hand, and most stores and establishments accept these plastic cards for payment. They are also handy for online shopping.
Using a credit card offers an electronic tracking record of your spending. Should you lose a receipt when it comes to a big-ticketed item, your credit card statement offers proof of purchase.
Speaking of, credit cards offer individuals the ability to purchase big-ticketed items that they may not be able to afford otherwise. With 30 days before each credit card statement is sent out, this gives some people the time they need to save up for an item, but get use out of it in the meantime. They can also help to secure deals on products or services that are on sale, before pay day hits.
From saving up points to get free stuff and travel, to gaining access to discounts, and even cash back, many credit cards out there offer reward systems for customers who may simply be charging everyday items that they need anyways, like clothes, toiletries, and even groceries! As long as you can track what you spend, and pay off your balance in full every month, these reward credit cards can offer a ton of perks and free stuff along the way.
For those who use their credit cards responsibility, paying off balances (or at least the minimum payments) on time, then using a credit card can help build a person’s credit history, offering financial benefits in the long run, including better interest rates.
At the end of the day, there are many advantages to credit card use; if a person is using their credit card wisely. Ensuring to make payments on time, and pay off balances in full when you can will help to decrease the chances of racking up credit card debt, as well as keep a good credit score, while also reaping the advantages of owning a credit card as well.
Derek Lebert is a CPA and entrepreneur. Derek has worked in various senior roles in finance.