Credit Cards Don’t Have to be Evil

I use my credit card to purchase everything. Yeah I said it, everything from buying groceries to paying school tuition. Now, most people are shocked when I tell them this as you probably are, but let me explain. I have no credit card debt whatsoever. So then you might think, “well then why not use a debit card”? Ah, well let me tell you all the reasons that I use my credit card for every purchase that I can.

  1. Building Credit: You don’t want to be ready to buy a house and then find out that you can’t be approved for a loan because you have no credit history. Getting a credit card is a great way to build credit for the future. But, you do have to pay your bill on time and in the full amount to build good credit.
  2. Sign-Up Bonuses: Many credit cards offer great sign-up bonuses. For instance, when I got my Capital One Venture card, I received 25,000 miles (equivalent to $250 to go towards travel expenses) when I spent $1000 in the first three months. Its like free money people, take advantage.
  3. Reward Points: You want to choose a credit card that gives reward points or cash back, this is the whole reason that I got a credit card. Credit card companies are trying to entice you so they will offer all these rewards, trying to appeal to different people. For me, I like going on vacation so I got a travel rewards card through Capital One. When I purchase things like airfare and hotel stays, I can redeem these purchases with my points I have accrued.
I love to travel so I picked a credit card that gave me travel rewards.

Now, I go even farther and choose credit cards that have no annual fees. This makes credit cards even more worth it. If you are looking for rewards through a specific company like Southwest or Marriott, this might not be possible. Just make sure that the annual fee doesn’t cost more than the rewards you are earning otherwise its not worth it. Some credit cards even offer no interest for a year or no interest on transfer balances for a year. Do your research when choosing a credit card and find the one that best suites you. There are so many out there it can be overwhelming, but there are sites that summarize the pros and cons of almost every card so it makes choosing the right one easier.

I do have to put a little disclaimer: credit cards may not be right for everyone. If you are someone that is not good with budgeting money then I would definitely think twice before signing up for a credit card because you DO NOT want to have credit card debt. Most credit card companies have an interest rate between 15 and 20 percent. Trust me, you don’t want to pay the interest on a credit card. If you know that you are not the best with money then maybe use it only for things that you know you can pay for like groceries and bills, that way you are still getting the reward points but not going overboard with credit card spending.

Go look and see if getting a credit card is what’s right for you!

Author: Lindsey Owens

Civil Engineer | MBA Student | Young Professional

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