All right. You’re an adult. We know that there are those out there who say that a credit card is bad, that you’re better off without them, and that they’ll only enslave you to debt. But listen, those people are the kind of worst case scenario worrywarts who probably still have three tons of brown rice stowed in their basement from December 1999.
Credit cards are like so many things in life, they aren’t bad in and of themselves. It’s all about how they are used. Having a points rewards cards could be helpful if you use it regularly, for example. If this isn’t quite computing just yet, perhaps because you were raised to believe that credit cards are poison, we’ll break down in more detail why credit cards are awesome if you know what you’re doing.
- Credit Cards Have Awesome Rewards. Credit cards have all kinds of rewards that give you free travel, money back, and discounts on places you spend a lot of money. If you just used a credit card to make purchases for the rewards, and immediately paid off the balance with cash, you’d have a discount on life or at least some free stuff that you’d actually use.
- Credit Cards Are Convenient. You can use a credit card almost anywhere to make almost any kind of purchase. It’s just a little card. The only thing you have to carry with you to spend money. This is hella convenient, especially if you’ve never experienced it before.
- Credit Cards Are Safe. Your debit card is more likely to get hacked than your credit card, and if money were to be stolen your credit card would be much more likely to return your money than your credit card. That’s because credit isn’t actually anything. It’s basically a promise. Debit cards, however, spend cash, so once that cash is stolen, you probably aren’t going to get it back.
- Credit Cards Can Improve Your Credit. If you don’t have a credit card, your credit score is probably lower than it would be if you had one and used it responsibly. The companies that track your credit want to make sure you can handle adult responsibilities like money and credit. If you aren’t participating in credit, you’re basically just standing on the sidelines with your hands in your pockets. Your score will reflect this non-participation and it’ll be harder and/or more expensive to get loans for school and cars and houses and stuff.
Having a credit card is pretty much essential to being an adult consumer in 2017. You don’t have to get one, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to live without one. Take the time to research a great card, figure out how you are going to use it, and don’t make the mistake of racking up a bunch of debt. If you do this well, you’ll be able to get the most out of a credit card, without the worst case scenarios that so often get described by people who don’t use them.