While many Americans are afraid of credit card debt, as balances that are too high can cripple a person's finances, plastic can be beneficial for many reasons.
No. 1 – Convenience
Whether at the grocery store or gas station, using cash can be annoying. Instead of fumbling through their wallet, consumers can simply swipe their credit card. Plastic provides a convenience that cash cannot, which is why carrying a card is a smart idea. Of course, it is important not to turn that convenience into additional spending, as high balances can lead to a significant amount of interest being accrued and financial troubles.
No. 2 – Safety
Using a credit card instead of cash can also provide consumers with peace of mind. While carrying a lot of cash, being mugged could result in major financial losses, but if the same happens with just a credit card, that can be canceled with a simple phone call.
Additionally, credit cards can protect online shoppers against identity theft. Most providers offer zero-liabilty fraud protection, which means they won't be responsible for any purchases is a card is lost or stolen.
No. 3 – Rewards
By simply swiping a credit card at the cash register, consumers can take advantage of some great rewards.
For one, a cash back card allows them to receive a percentage back of each purchase, but there are other perks available as well, such as frequent flier miles and points. Before applying for a rewards card it is important to ensure the annual fee won't outweigh the monetary benefit obtained by using the perks.
No. 4 – Build a credit history
Credit scores are essential to the financial future of nearly everyone. Without a good one, it could be difficult to purchase a car or home. Using a credit card responsibly is one of the best ways to build a solid history. Some of the best practices that need to be followed include always paying on time and never breaching the credit limit.
No. 5 – Budgeting
Keeping track of where money is going is a necessary part of financial success, and using credit cards makes this easier. Most providers allow consumers to view their expenses in real time through an online banking portal, which makes it simple to track all expenses. In fact, some will even group them into certain categories so cardholders can be aware of exactly where they are spending.