Credit cards call for a certain level of responsibility and financial independence. Not all people are comfortable with this commitment, yet credit cards do afford us a certain freedom in spending as well as providing true purchasing power. Even for those folks who prefer to pay with good old-fashioned cash, credit cards can still come in handy now and again. Consider these reasons why you may need a credit card to determine if applying for a credit card may be right for you.
“Even for people who want to rely on a debit card for most purchases, it may be advantageous to carry one credit card and one debit card,” says Kevin Gallegos is vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Debt Relief, LLC.
Gallegos says credit cards can be especially useful for a number of reasons, including significant or high value purchases (like electronics or items with an extended warranty), online purchases, travel and transportation expenses, expenses while traveling, and to help build your credit history. Online purchases especially can benefit from a credit card, offering the cardholder fraud protection and the ability to dispute any inappropriate charges. Making reservations at hotels and with rental car companies is also very convenient with a credit card, Gallegos says. Filling your car with gasoline is also much quicker.
Finally, if you are interested in building a good credit history, credit cards can definitely help your cause.
“Responsible use of credit shows that you can manage and repay debt,” Gallegos says. “Debit cards do not help build a credit history. Pay on time, every time. All that being said, however, if one has a credit card at all, the key is to charge only what you can pay off in full each month (in other words, live within your means).”
About the Expert:
Kevin Gallegos is vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Debt Relief, LLC.
For more information, see: www.freedomdebtrelief.com.