The Value of Not Using Credit Cards

Credit-card-hook_29-Dec-2014The latest 2014 statistics published on NerdWallet.com show that among American households that carry credit card debt, the average amount they owe is $15,611. In fact, behind home mortgages and student loans, credit card debt is the third highest contributor to overall indebtedness in this country.

So, why don’t more people just ditch the cards altogether?

There are many reasons, but ultimately the “buy now, pay later” philosophy of easy unsecured debt is alluring, addicting, and available. Even after the Great Recession, getting a credit card is surprisingly easy, even for people with questionable histories. However, many people, including majority of millennials (63%), are embracing the benefits of the credit card-free lifestyle and finding that there is an incredible value in ditching the plastic.

The Benefits of a Credit Card-Free Life

While the initial move to eliminate credit cards from your life is really scary, especially for those who have always relied on them as a crutch, majority of people who make this move find it incredibly liberating. There are many benefits to living without credit cards, but let’s just review a few of the top ones:

No Credit Card Bills

This one basically explains itself – imagine life without them! Plus, you save time each month by eliminating the effort, thought, and financial gymnastics that often goes into paying those bills.

Reduced Risk of Debt

When you pay for everything in cash (either literal cash, a check, or a with a debit card) you only spend what you have. Therefore, any debt accumulation is a planned, researched expense, such as purchasing a home or a car, which gives you greater control over debt accumulation.

Sticking to a Budget Is Easier

The key to success in life without credit cards is a solid budget. Without the security blanket of a credit card, you can only spend what you have. This pairs nicely with the cash envelope budgeting method.

Peace of Mind

For many people, this is the number one reason they ditch credit cards in the first place. Don’t be fooled, it is work to transition from relying on credit to relying on cash. However, in the end, there is a great deal of personal peace that comes from knowing how much money you have and not ever having to think about interest rates, late fees, and penalties again.

A Note on Credit Scores and Credit Card Use

The number one argument that most people present against foregoing credit card use is the impact that it has on your credit score. This is an undeniable fact. Having, using, and paying a credit card is an important means of acquiring a credit history for young people and maintaining it among those without other forms of debt (i.e. car loans, student loans, personal loans, and mortgages). Indeed, many millennials without credit cards have found that it is incredibly difficult to secure a loan for a car, for example, with little-to-no credit history and a low credit score as a result. Often, these young people end up jumping through hoops only to receive higher interest rate loans than those with credit cards (and debt!).

Without debating the specific bad and good aspects of this lifestyle choice, I want to point out a viable workaround for anyone who needs to establish and/or maintain their credit score, but who wishes to lead a life without a traditional credit card: secured credit cards.

Issued by banks and backed by cash, secured credit cards offer lower lines of credit (generally under $1,000) which you put up from your savings. As you use the credit card and replace the balance through on-time payments, you build credit in the same way as with traditional credit cards without the risk of debt accumulation.

The Value of Not Using Credit Cards

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  • tim

    As a person in the car industry I disagree with one part written.

    I have one response to the last part of using a credit card to get a car loan. It really won’t do much(it will do some just not a huge noticeable amount). You might look into a good student discount for just kids that have just graduated and have a job. What does help is a long term loan and paying off a debt. This can be a lease on a car or student loan. Personally I think that an parent that does not have their parent not get a loan is making it harder for them. If you have the money to pay off school for the child… still get a loan and pay it off for them slowly over a couple of years. This is actually showing that you have a credit history of paying off a large amount consistently.

    Of course if you don’t pay your credit cards you are easily screwed.

  • adriene

    I also disagree. I use credit cards for Everything I can. I am shocked that cash back credit cards are not mentioned on this site more often. I primarily use a travel points credit card for my everyday purchases and earn at least 2 free airline tickets and 4 free nights at nice hotels a year just by using my card on my everyday purchases. I do pay off my cards every month and don’t buy tings I can’t afford. At all the grocery stores I use my blue cash everyday from American express. There is no annual fee and I get 3% back for using it at grocery stores.I think it is silly to pay cash for anything.

    • The reason they are not mentioned is because credit cards, while great for some, are what has gotten so many people into debt including myself. So, while I always appreciate different opinions on this topic, I personally prefer to promote the use of cash. As I mentioned on facebook

      “I always love to hear both sides of having and not having credit cards. For some, like me, it’s too dangerous. For others, it’s a wonderful tool to take advantage of the benefits. I do know that whatever side you are on, you are passionate about your beliefs of using or not using. If you have ever gotten yourself into debt because of them you know how freeing it is not to have them any more. Would love to have this conversation continue because I truly love hearing different experiences.”

      I get that many people love then and are disciplined and I do love hearing your experience however so many people are not and have been a cause of financial hardship.

      Here is a little bit of my personal experience with credit cards http://www.livingrichwithcoupons.com/2015/01/live-rich-2015.html

      • Harry

        I’m not so passionate about using CCs, and can understand why lots of folks recommend not to use them; however when done the right way CCs can be as much a MM as stacking coupons and maybe even more.

        The issue is not not one of using cards, but of managing personal finance. If folks can pay off their balance in full on every CC every month, then there should be no need to shy away from them. Even if taking advantage of a 0% or 1% APR offer and carrying balances, I normally set aside that amount in a savings account for eventual payoff. Certainly paying 3%+ interest to CCs is a pretty bad mistake.

        Between the amex sync, serve, discover 5% CB, a mileage earning card, a 0% balance transfer and my regular 2% CB visa, I would estimate to have saved as much from the cards as from couponing over the past year and I have done a lot of couponing this past year.

        Whatever method of payment is used at the store, other than gas stations most other locations do not give any discount for paying by cash – even though the retailers cost of paying CC fees is built in to the selling price of every item. So in a way it makes more sense to use the reward earning opportunity and pay with the CCs than with cash and take advantage of something you are actually paying for.

      • Jessie

        If you’re disciplined enough to stick to a budget, you can be disciplined enough to use a credit card. In fact, having a budget actually makes it easier to use them without worrying about overcharging – stick to your budgeted amount for each category and use the cc to pay. The key is to only charge things that are covered by the budget, and then consider that money already spent and set it aside for the cc bill. If you have a hard time keeping track of what you’ve charged, actually transfer the $ into a different account. Spent $40 on gas? Deduct if from your gas budget and set it aside – it’s been spent just as surely as it you had used a debit card at the pump. Then it will be waiting when the credit card bill arrives and you will be able pay the bill in full, avoiding interest charges and earning rewards in the process.

        • Unless you have been in debt due to credit cards and loans, it’s hard to explain how it happens and how it feels. But for many people, myself including, budgeting is one thing, staying under budget with credit cards is another. If I go in with cash, I can only spend that cash. If I go in with credit, I can talk myself into more.

          I always enjoy this topic because, as I mentioned, people have strong opinions from each side of the topic and I love hearing them.

          • Ang In CT

            That makes a lot of sense Cindy. The thing is that there are many of us who do have credit cards debt but do not wish to get rid of their credit cards entirely. Life has thrown a lot of hardballs and honestly there are times when my family would have gone hungry if not for credit cards. Not everyone has a fixed income in which to “properly” budget. Not everyone who has had to use credit card has made lavish purchases. Exceptions to the rule do exists. Everyone has their story and not all want to share. Living without credit cards, just as your way of budgeting is not a one size fits all scenario.

            For me personally, we are doing the best we can with what we have. Prioritizing what to pay first and yes, that means sometimes we can only pay the minimum on credit card bills. However that is better than the alternative.

            I think in the end what matters most is that we don’t judge others or make assumptions about how they should live their lives. In a perfect world everyone would have everything they needed, wanted and dreamed of having. Only thing is that life isn’t perfect and neither are humans. Thanks for the listen!

            • I totally agree with you Ang. Which is why we will be doing a variety of posts on credit cards and how and how not to use them. I understand and appreciate everyone’s opinion about them and encourage and enjoy hearing everyone’s experiences. It took us many many many years to develop our debt and many years to work our way out. I’ve been on both sides. I have used them for lavish purchases and I have used them at times of necessity during times of barely any income. It was the only means to put food on my table at times. It was the only way to keep a roof over my head at times as well. I’ve experienced it all.

              I hope you don’t think I am judging anyone because I am far from doing that. That is my intention in the least. As others were explaining their point of view and experience, I was explaining my point of view and experience. I want to encourage discussion on this topic as I feel it’s an important topic for those of us that are trying to budget.

              • Ang In CT

                Oh I don’t think you or anyone specifically here is judging anyone.My apologies if that is how it was taken. However, we all know that there are those who in life who do just as they judge who use coupons.

                I am doing the chipping away as best as I can method. It is rewarding to see the balances going down..some months faster than others. Same thing with totals on groceries..some months are going to see more bang for your buck so to speak then others.

      • adriene

        I totally hear where you are coming from, The day I turned 18 I started getting the “pre approved” offers in the mail and I stupidly got 4 or 5 cards and got myself into quite a bit of debt. I learned a very hard lesson. The good part about it being 2015 is as soon as use my CC at the store is I can pay it off from my phone/checking account as I walk out of the store.

        • KSV

          I love this idea and wish I had thought of it. My bank (S&L) doesn’t offer mobile banking. Time for me to research new banks!

    • SJ

      I do the same and earn many rewards on purchases I would have made anyway. We go into debt not because of credit cards but because of our own behavior. True it is harder to get into debt when only spending cash but if someone is determined to buy something they can’t afford, they will. I can afford many things but I choose not to buy what I don’t need or can use at the moment. Many utility companies take credit cards for paying their bills, you are not spending more than you already owed. Why not take advantage? Savingstar gives back percentages for online orders for many retailers plus any cash back from credit card company. Not to mention sometimes online prices are better than at the stores, saving you gas and time for items you need or want for cheap because you can afford it for being such a smart shopper.

      I have been meaning to mention that having a budget is wiser than not having a budget but to truly save money buy only what you need. Don’t spend the money on items you don’t need just because you still have money in your budget. After you have a very sizable savings should you consider buying what you want. Things we want should only occur if they will not affect your daily living standard. Sure we all deserve that treat like Starbucks or a vacation but we don’t need them to survive. Shelter, utilities, clothing and food is all we really need. If you have that mentality, you can live on very little income.

    • Sherry Z

      Thank you for your post, Adriene. I’ve had an Amex Blue Cash card since they began the program and I never used it. I just pulled mine and it expired in 2010. I’ll have it renewed because the 3% for groceries is a great idea instead of tracking which cards have which 3 month promotions. Thanks!

      • MisterBill

        The problem with the Blue Cash card is that you need to spend $6500 before the higher amount kicks in. I have a Fidelity AMEX card and it pays me 2% back on everything.

        • Sherry Z

          I went to their site. It seems that their reward tiers are no longer in place. Take a look………

          What is your annual fee on your Fidelty Amex?

          • MisterBill

            No annual fee for the Fidelity card.

        • Sherry Z

          Here, MisterBill:

          “Previously this program came with a tiered rewards program, advertised
          with the dreaded term “earn up to” when referencing the cash-back
          structure. Annual spending up to $6,500 earned only 0.5 percent cash
          back, making the card less beneficial to those who spent less (such as
          those spreading out spending across multiple cards).

          Fortunately, the current rewards structure offers a fixed percentage
          cash back in several non-rotating and useful spending categories.

          • Harry

            right, I was just looking into this card as well. It appears there are different sign-on bonus/balance transfer offers offers for the same card depending on which link you click but they are removed the tiered CB irrespective of how you sign up. The Fidelty amex 2% CB card is probably NLA though Bill and others who had it from before are grandfathered into the older and better CB program.

            • MisterBill

              Definitely still available — Google “fidelity american express card” and it’s the first thing in the list. you do need to have a Fidelity brokerage account but there is no fee for that and you can transfer your rewards elsewhere after redeeming to the Fidelity account.

              • Harry

                thanks, got it. I was reading elsewhere that this ended, but apparently not. good news indeed. Have to put the good credit history to work and make money with new CCs, else no point in having good credit history 🙂

          • MisterBill

            Thanks.. I’m going to have to look into that.

      • Sherry Z

        Forgive my use of bandwith but since we’re on the topic…..

        Re the Amex Blue Cash (reg, not preferred) – the following is also included:
        – a year of Amazon Prime plus $50 creduted to your statement after making $1000 in purchases within the first three months of having the card;

        Cash back – 3% US supermarkets up to $6k/yr
        2% US gas stations and select dept stores
        1% other

        • MisterBill

          That’s the newer Blue Cash Everyday card, not the older Blue Cash, which is what I have.

          • Kate

            I believe you can always call them and convert to a newer card at no cost. That’s what I did with my Discover card that I had to spend $3000 before higher percent kicks in.

      • adriene

        no problem. Glad I could help!! If you have the chase freedom they just started 5% back at grocery stores.

        • Ang In CT

          thanks for the head’s up… that’s my primary credit card

        • Harry

          and in case you you are unable to reach the 1500 max on the grocery store
          spend on the Chase for the quarter, you can buy $500
          Visa GCs at SR with 7.95 fees for a $17 MM per $500 GC.

          • adriene

            Ha ha. I was going to add that to my comment but didn’t want to confuse people who didn’t play the cc game. I don’t recall the exact numbers but last year when stop & shop had the 5x the gas points when you bought the visa gift cards I bought 3 $500 cards with my freedom then cashed them out at Walmart onto my bluebird account because they have a pin.

            • Harry

              and I actually typed and erased about cashing in to Serve…didn’t want to mention BB, serve or RB for that same reason of not wanting to confuse people who didn’t play that game, but now that we have it here, I think folks should know that there is a way to turn this money from GCs to cash – just google for “amex serve” if more info on this is needed.

              • Laura D.

                You can put a gc onto a serve card and then cash it out at an atm?????? Really??? How do you put the gc $ onto the serve card? I looked at the site and loading the card, a bit confused, would really like to know how to do this and with which cards. Thanks!

                • Harry

                  things change almost everyday and you have to keep reading the blogs to make sure the info is the latest – not amex site – there are other sites that keep track of these things just like this couponing blog, but as of now, yes, you can load GCs which have PIN numbers to Serve for no fees and cash out at ATMs which is also fee free so long as it is in the Amex network (though better way is to use the money to payoff CC bills). Google for “serve Liquidate Gift Cards”. And dont stop with the first search result. Read more….

                  • Laura D.

                    Thanks Harry! It looks like I have a LOT to learn, lol.

                    • Harry

                      Different GCs are issued by different banks and some of them can be cashed into Serve at WMT and some at FD and the denominations of which goes where differs as well…so for one I don’t have the complete information and for another don’t want to convey something that may not work in all cases. So that is why I suggested that you do some reading. Also this is a lot like stacking coupons in that WMT and Amex CS will probably say some things will not work while they actually will (heard about ecpns not stacking with mfr ?). Hope you are able to find the right information for your needs. There is a wiki on flyer talk regarding all of this that is updated regularly in case you are not able to find it by googling.

                    • Laura D.

                      Thanks Harry! I really appreciate all the info. I did find and bookmark flyer talk last night plus some others. I just need to figure out which will be best and if I’ll take the plunge. Fingers crossed!

                  • MisterBill

                    Yeah, I recently discovered that I could load gift cards with PINs onto my Serve card at WM. The cashier enters code 70 and then swipes your Serve card and I gather it asks how much you want to add. You can supposedly do it at Family Dollar as well, but when I tried it at the one near me they told me cash only.

                    I currently have $300 in Visa debit cards because I took advantage of the $20 back when you spend $100 at Staples that we had on 3 AMEX cards. Staples has an offer starting Sunday where if you buy $300 in Visa gift cards, you’ll get a $20 Visa gift card. When you factor in the $6.95+$5.95 fees you need to pay to get $300 in Visa’s ($200+$100), it’s still a $7.10 money maker. Sadly the offer came a week after the AMEX offer expired! I will just roll the $300 I have into $300 and then load those to Serve.

                    Apparently you can buy a money order for 70 cents at WM if you don’t want to deal with loading to a Serve card. I’m not sure if that works with PIN-less debit cards. I tend to doubt it.

                    I had been unloading my Visa/MC gift cards using Amazon Payments but they shut that down a few months ago.

                    • Harry

                      I was able to load a pin-based Vanilla brand GC at FD as well as a pin-based MetaBank GC at WMT, no Kates around me though which would have made it a whole lot easier. However the Vanilla brand GCs do not work at WMT for 50 and more. I am waiting and hoping $20 Staples EGC from last month can pay off in part the purchase of GCs next week.

                      I also found that the amex blue cash preferred is the best bet currently for grocery stores. Even with the $75 fee, it can be made up in a month with the 6% back on SR purchases which should include GCs. Sign-on currently is at $100 back plus free Amazon Prime. Referrals will deplete the singon.

          • IK

            $7.95 fees? Isnt it $5.99?

            • Harry

              oops my bad, yes 5.95 and not 7.95 and hence $19.05 MM per 500. (I was thinking of the multipacks which have the 7.95 fee, but the 500s are lower at 5.95 of course)

          • trish

            Do you mind if I ask you for details about the Visa gift cards at SR you are speaking of? TIA

            • Harry

              any gift card from that has a visa logo (or in fact even master card logo) from the gift card rack – the ones that are also called “prepaid debit”….they come in various denominations including a variable one which you can load upto $500 for a 5.95 fee.

  • Sunil

    I am personally of the opposite opinion. I use credit cards for everything for the following reasons:

    1) I don’t like carrying cash on me all the time or having to go to a bank/atm every few days to get cash.

    2) Cashback and airline rewards are great incentives for me. I cash out at Christmas every year and it’s like getting free money/stuff.

    3) Cash can be lost/stolen and it’s gone. While the same can happen with a CC, they can be replaced and you’re not responsible for any fraudulent charges made on the account.

    4) (The biggest benefit for me) When I use CCs, I know exactly how much I’m spending per month as opposed to trying to remember how much cash I spent, where I spent it, and/or tallying up receipts to figure out what I spent.

    I think you just have to live within your means regardless of how you pay for things. I always make sure I can pay the full balance of my CCs and try to only buy things I deem necessities (like another person mentioned). I think it also helps if you keep checking your balance online every week or so, so that you know if you’re overspending and balance it out for the rest of the month.

    Just my opinion. People know themselves and should do what works for them.

    • MisterBill

      In addition to cash being a bad idea, debit cards can be terrible. People whose credit card numbers were stolen in the Home Depot hack only had to call their credit card issuer to have the charges reversed. People who had used a debit card (as a credit card, without PIN) whose cards were hacked had real money taken from their account that they had to get back. I recently had my credit card number stolen (it may have been due to HD) and the thieves (it was used multiple days so I think multiple people used it) ran up $2500 in charges. It was a pain to get reversed but at least it wasn’t my money that I was dealing with.

      • It’s Just Me

        I went cash / debit card only last Christmas, my debit card was compromised at Target, what a hassle, forms to fill out, several calls to the bank. I had to close my account and wrote off the charge as a loss (the one they allowed through was less than 8$). Big hassle. I am trying to get back to cash for most things

        • MisterBill

          That’s too bad. Credit cards are excellent when it comes to fraud protection. Debit cards not as good, although in theory you’re supposed to have the same protection. The difference is that with debit cards they’ve already taken your money at that point, and you have to get it back. With credit cards it’s still the bank’s money.

  • Sherry Z

    I, too, use credit cards for everything. I use one card other than to use
    all my Visa and MC cards once or twice per year just to keep them alive. I pay my balance in full each month. In addition to all the benefits described by everyone else, there’s another reason for the use of a cc. My credit card company is outstanding when I need a refund.

    Did you know that when you return a purchase to a store that has a
    no-refunds:store-credit-only policy, most Visa and MCs will accept your
    providing them with the original store credit (yes, save a copy) and they will refund your account?

    I had two issues recently whereby I received refunds only because I paid for
    the purchases using my credit card, one that will fight a battle on my behalf.

    First, I made a large purchase online from a popular, trendy clothing chain.
    Their policy is that 1) online purchases may not be returned to their
    brick-and-mortar stores – of which there are not many that are geographically
    accessible, and 2) purchases made in brick-and-mortar stores may only be returned
    for a store credit, and 3) online purchases may be returned for refunds but
    must be shipped and insured at the expense of the buyer.

    I purchased four items online. One was not included in the delivery. The
    invoice for the others read ‘final sale’ though none were. A call to CSR
    advised me to ignore the final sale error and that the fourth item was
    sold out but replenished 24 hours later. I was instructed to place a new order
    and, after receipt, call for a refund for the shipping since it should have
    arrived with the first order. (Of course, I kept the employee names and times of the CSR calls.)

    Needless to say, I re-ordered, didn’t like the item and returned it. They
    refused to accept the return claiming that it was a final sale, which, by the time of their notification, it was. They also refused to return the item to me and refused to refund anything.

    I received a full refund, including for shipping, because I filed a dispute
    with my credit company. I mailed them the receipts and an explanation and
    received an immediate full credit. I am clear that I would not have been able to get any satisfaction from store management, directly.

    Also, I was hospitalized and remain seriously ill following having contracted food
    poisoning from an upscale restaurant on Thanksgiving. I sent the credit card
    receipt to my cc company with an explanation. I received a full credit without
    having to debate anything with the establishment, including the cost of dinner
    for my guest.

    For me, just this benefit makes the use of a cc worthwhile. I never pay late
    fees, finance charges or annual fees, though. Unless I am able to limit my purchases to that which I can pay for, using their funds for thirty days makes sense. Paying interest, however, is very costly and I would never be willing to do so.
    There is nothing I need that I will not wait to purchase when I am able to pay
    for it.

    Close to twenty years ago, I was a white collar crime victim of an unimaginable amount of money. As a result of the circumstances and of my position at the time, I am not permitted any earnings and am forced to live permanently on a fixed income that is, monthly, much less than what had my my daily income for decades. I was left in ruin and penniless. Because of my credit card usage which always includes paying my balance in full and paying my bill at least a week prior to the due date, I am in poverty and indigent status but with a credit score averaging 800. This would not be possible without the use of a credit card. This score made it possible for me to obtain a mortgage, with excellent terms, despite my poverty-level income.

    … Just some other points of view not addressed in the article and to add to those benefits described by others who posted before I did.

  • MisterBill

    Here’s another vote for using credit cards for everything and paying in full each month. I don’t keep track of the actual amount I’ve made, but I know that I make hundreds of dollars a year in rebates for using my cards. Chase Freedom has 5% back on grocery stores this quarter (excludes WM and Target), up to $1500 in purchases. Getting 5% off all of your groceries for the quarter should be a front page article here, not something to caution people against doing.

    It really bothers me when I see news reports on TV about personal finances (by supposedly knowledgeable people) that make it seem like paying interest on credit cards is the normal and don’t even MENTION paying your bill in full. Are they afraid that they will insult people by suggesting this?

    And secured credit cards charge an annual fee. Definitely NOT a frugal alternative, unless it’s the only card you can get.

  • Christina D.

    I use a credit card through my credit union. Makes all of my purchases as visible as my savings and checking accounts and allows quick and easy payments online. I basically use it like my debit card.

    • MisterBill

      Do you get anything for using your credit card (i.e., 1-2% back)? You can make quick and easy payments with any credit card, it doesn’t have to be issued by your normal bank.

      • Christina D.

        Yeah, I think it’s 2%.

  • Sherry Z

    I do use ChaseFreedom during their 5% grocery promotions. Otherwise, I avoid them. I had a contractor steal that card from my wallet in 2008, along with some citi cards. She fraudulently spent $65k, including unbelievably making three large purchases from her electrical supplier and then returning them for a cash refund! Neither Chase nor Citi backed me up, saying that since I didn’t have a signed contract with her and since she’d been a personal friend, they called it a he said:she said despite my massive evidence of her criminality. I had to eat that $65k and would have liked to cancel both cards.

    Careful online searches as to their reviews from customers educated me that they both are dreadful when it comes to actually backing you in an identity fraud situation. Forget that not being responsible beyond the first $50: if you are in a dispute with a thief as was I, they were useless and, from the reviews, I am not alone. Prior to that, I used my CF card since I first received it as a Shell card in the 70s. Now, I use it only on groceries and only when they offer that 5% promo.

    • rene

      seriously you ate 65k? i would have been in claims court for the rest of my life for that!

      • Sherry Z

        “Claims Court” for that monetary amount is not an option in Pennsylvania, nor to my knowledge, anywhere. Instead, I worked closely with the District Attorney for two years. Because the contractor operates far away and because I did not have a signed contract and because we had been prior friends, the D.A. did not feel that he could successfully prosecute and said that the credit card company should have investigated and held her accountable since so many of her transactions (such as that with the electrical company to which I referred above) were clearly not legal.

    • Kate

      Wait what? Are you the same person who commented above? Because the post above says you use credit cards for everything and this one says you avoid them. Above is they “will fight a battle on my behalf” and here “they were useless”. Doesn’t make much sense….

      • Sherry Z

        Actually is makes more than “much” sense. As I said, my credit card company backs me up. As I said, consistent with their online reviews, Chase and Citi were both useless companies when I had a fraud issue and, as I said, I do not use either of them routinely. Since Chase and Citi are not the only credit card companies, it is another credit card company that I do use routinely and, as I said, they are extraordinary in their performance, doing exactly what they claim they will do.

        So, this should help you to no longer “Wait, what?”

        • trish

          Might I respectfully recommend therapy? Dear God, I have a headache!!

          • Sherry Z

            How would that comment be respectful?

            Should I not have responded? And evidently, I had to provide detail since she didn’t get it the first time which is what led to her attack.

            I wonder why you didn’t just skip the posts and instead felt compelled to write something rude.

            I won’t post on LRWC again. I don’t understand the nasty behavior and don’t want to be targeted again when I just intended to be helpful.

          • IK

            This site is for people to help each other, not to attack, especially for no reason whatsoever! Pretty vile :((

  • Michele_A_SI

    As a banker, I can say it’s much “safer” to use a credit card than debit card. If someone gets your debit card info, they can clean out your bank account (happened to my son a few years ago). Yes, you get the funds back, but there is a 2-week waiting period for a temporary credit, then a 45-day one during which the bank investigates the fraud and can (if they find there was no fraud) retract the funds when the 45 days are over. With a credit card, it’s much easier. Your own funds aren’t compromised, they give you a new card, etc. Also there are some great credit card deals if you use them wisely. They often extend these offers when you aren’t using the card as frequently as they would like. My husband took advantage of an offer from Discover this holiday season – if he used the card for $1,000 in purchases over a 3 month period, they would credit him $100. We used the card to pay cable, cell phone and utility bills, paid off the balances (instead of paying the bills directly) and got $100 free!

  • Harry

    Just want to provide a data point for anyone out there trying to make the Discover 1Q 2015 5% gas station CBB: If you dont have enough gas/travel purchases totalling $1500 to get the max $75 CB for the quarter, you can get gift cards from 7-11 which Discover categories as a Gas Station even if it does not have an attached gas station. So 3×500 GC for $15 fees (only 4.95 fee on these at 7-11) nets $75 in cashback or a $60 MM after the fees. I tried this and it worked.