Even if your goal is to be 100% debt free, there are still four reasons to keep your credit cards. You’ve likely heard that you’re more likely to overspend with a credit card versus cash or a debit card. But credit cards have a few distinct advantages, so put down those scissors and don’t cut them up just yet!
4 Reasons to Keep Your Credit Cards
1 – Cash is covered in germs.
This is even more important in today’s germ hyper-consciousness. Time Magazine reports that the majority of US paper currency contains trace amounts of cocaine residue. (What?!) Plus, paper money can reportedly carry more germs than a household toilet, and coins aren’t much better. Yuck! But credit and debit cards are easy to clean! Just give them a swipe with a sanitizing wipe every few days
2 – Protection against loss or theft.
If you lose cash or it’s stolen from you, you have no recourse to recover it. Not so with a credit card! Many credit cards have zero-liability fraud policies. When you notice a suspicious charge, call your credit card company to report it. They will usually reverse the charge immediately and turn the matter over to the fraud department.
3 – Cash is hard to track.
I recommend that everyone use a money management app to stay on top of spending. Here’s why: if you take $200 out of the ATM, are you even going to remember how you spent it a few days later? It’s hard to ensure your spending is in line with your goals if you don’t know the details of where it’s going. My favorite tool for this is AskZeta, and I use it with ALL of my clients! (Plus, it’s free!)
4 – Travel points, rewards, and cash back.
Credit cards are offering amazing perks these days, and that’s something you don’t get with cash! Over the past year, my husband and I have earned over $1,000 in Amazon gift cards and other freebies. We simply bought the things we needed and used our reward credit cards instead of cash.
Derek N.H Notman, CFP© and founder of Intrepid Wealth Partners says, “Credit cards, when used responsibly, can be a great way to leverage money you’re already spending. By investing a little bit of time each month to manage your cash flow, you can use credit cards for things you are already spending money on, from gift cards to free first class international flights. I call this Leveraging Your Loyalty!”
I want to leave you with a word of caution about credit cards. Yes, they have advantages over cash, but there’s also a dark side: overspending. If you are someone who can’t use one responsibly, then you’re better off sticking with a debit card. My recommendation is to always pay off your balance in full every month. If you can do that, then please, keep your credit cards.
Do you use cash, debit, or credit? Why? Drop me a comment below!