5 Ways Credit Cards Can Help You if You Use Them Wisely
The appeal of credit cards lies in the fact that it makes it easy to get just about anything you want. Fancy a new wristwatch? Just give your card, and it's all good. Love that new pair of shoes? Here you go. Swipe the card and you walk away with the shoes.
All these are possible without spending cash. That is why it is so easy for many people to get into and continue to remain in debt. Your cards are meant to help you and not enslave you to a life of debt. So, how are they supposed to help?
Building Your Credit
While you can decide to go without a credit card, you'll often find that if you need a loan, you might be rejected because you have no credit history. Having a credit card help you build excellent credit scores and history.
This can be advantageous in the future when you need to switch jobs (some employers will not employ you if you have no credit history), take a loan, sign up for an insurance policy, get a mortgage, buy a new car or even go on vacation. A credit score is like a sweet spot that helps smooth things over – at the very least, it is one less hoop to jump through – and moves things along.
Naturally, most people don’t keep track of their expenses every month. Not because they don’t want to, but because it is a very difficult thing to do. Having a credit card statement come in every month can help put things in perspective.
At least, you can track every expense you made and see it on the credit card statement or bill every month. If you are having trouble keeping track of your finances and are always wondering about the fact that you never seem to have enough, try putting all your expenses on your credit cards for one month. Pay them off with the cash equivalent and then check your statement.
Extra Perks and Incentives
Most card users are rewarded with points, flier miles, rebates, specialty credit offers, cash back rewards bonuses and discounts. All these are available to people who know use their cards judiciously.
The only thing is you need to be wary of the many offers given by merchants and retails stores particularly during the festive and holiday seasons. Signing up for all credit card offers will hurt you financially. Do the smart thing and choose only relevant and very necessary offers.
Readily Available Cash for Emergencies
Sometimes, life happens. Having a credit card in an emergency can make all the difference in the world. If you do not have the cash readily available, are stuck, have a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, are in an accident or have a loved one in dire need of money, using your credit cards can help move things along faster.
Could Protect You from Sleazy Merchants
The last financial crisis affected many businesses and consumers alike. Some companies that filed for bankruptcy ended up not shipping goods that were already purchased. Guess how those customers got some, if not all their money refunded?
They filed a complaint with the card issuers who investigated and reversed their charges. The same goes for merchants who ship faulty products that you cannot use. Using your credit cards instead of your debit cards to purchase the items you need from e-commerce stores and shops protects you from getting ripped off.
All these perks will be available to you as long as you practice responsible spending, make your payments every month and on time, and live well within your means.
Oscar King is a freelance writer from Fort Lauderdale who has spent years digging himself out of debt, and has learned his lessons well. He now writes about his experiences in order to better assist those struggling as well. He'd like to give a special thanks to the Law Office of Peggy-Cruz Townsend for helping him out when he inevitably had to file for bankruptcy. You can learn more about Oscar by visiting his Google+.