Friday, January 10, 2014

Credit Cards - Bennies and Headaches

I am a credit card user...to an extent. I've abused and overused them in the past, getting into a deep hole but there are a few things I've learned to do right. These do right instances don't account for the learning years while I was in college.

1. Pay on time.
I can count the missed payments on one hand and they were due to an oversight on the date due, or I forgot I had even charged anything on the card.

2. Don't increase your limit. Now there's absolutely nothing I've ever done when they gave me a limit too high, but with one exception during college I have never used that sneaky "raise your limit" button I see when i Log into my account.

3. Only use it when needed. With the exception of my college years where I lived and learned, I have gotten to the point where I only use my cards when needed. During a triple point period, when I eat out and send my card away from the table (this has saved me from fraud!) and EMERGENCIES!

4. Pay off your cards every month. Now, it's taken me a LONG time to actually do this. I don't mind carrying a balance but the more I pay them off every month the more I realize I don't like carrying a balance if that makes sense.

My twenty year old brother has yet to get a credit card since he's seen the mistakes my sister and I have made with money. He was a big spender, just always with no money, lol. Now he's doing much better not blowing his money, and a lot happier about it he says.

As for me, I have three store cards and two regular credit cards I can use anywhere.

One of these is one I don't plan on closing since it's my oldest account with the highest limit and the other one has a very low interest rate. However, this great low interest rate has THE WORST point system. Sure, I earn a $1 for every point or whatever, but I can't use them for "free" items. Nope...I can take $5 points = $5 off a $50 random gift card. Well with a few thousand points that's not going to get me very far and I'm still shelling out $45 out of pocket!

The card I never carry a balance on had a great point system. Sure, they screwed me over with my interest rate (partially my fault = who actually reads the letters they send you about changes to your account?) but their point system rewarded me with several $$ gift cards that I didn't have to "pay" a penny for!

That's where you come in. Tell me your favorite Visa or Master Card with a decent interest rate, no yearly fee and I would like a good point system. Go!

Do you use credit cards? How old were you when you received your first credit card?

You know I can't post on Friday without getting my groove on and this oldie goes perfectly with this post. Plus it's pay day, so if I wasn't on a spending freeze I'd be throwing my money around like Channing Tatum was dancing around on my desk!



Money, Money, Money by ABBA on Grooveshark

3 comments:

  1. I used to be SO bad about using cc's in my early twenties. Now I am down to just one, and use it only every now and then. Thank GOD!

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  2. I am slowly but surely paying off my credit card. It's a bit obscene but now I don't use it at all. My goal is to have it paid off within the next two years. And then its dire emergency use only! Ugh!

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  3. I got into a lot of trouble with credit cards in college and now it is straight cash. I keep one Visa, one Mastercard, and a Victorias Secret card for the benefits and because i shop there a lot but I try not to keep a balance so its for emergencies only. Live and learn.

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