Many people don’t like to carry credit cards because they feel it will lead to debt or put them at risk of identity theft or other problems. While this can be true, carrying a credit card has many advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked—especially when you’re planning to travel or if you frequently shop online. This article gives you ten reasons why you should carry a credit card in your wallet.
Using credit cards responsibly can provide many advantages, including the opportunity to build your credit, purchase without cash and earn extra rewards on purchases that you were going to make anyway. Here are some of the most crucial benefits of carrying a credit card. If you’re interested in using credit cards but aren’t sure how they work, see our guide to understanding credit cards first.
1) Emergency money
The most basic and important credit card benefit allows you to access emergency money immediately. Unlike a bank loan, where you have to wait days or weeks for approval, with credit cards, there’s usually no delay in having your purchase approved. This can be an incredible boon if you suddenly need something—like medicine or rent—but don’t have any cash on hand. Just put it on your card and deal with it later when your next paycheck comes in. I know many people who fall into debt because they’re afraid to use their credit cards, but these situations illustrate why that shouldn’t happen at all.
2) Build your credit score
One of the best reasons to carry a credit card is that it helps build your credit score. If you’ve little or no credit history, opening new accounts, like credit cards, can help increase your CIBIL score by showing lenders that you can handle debt responsibly. It also shows that you’re financially responsible, something that can make all of your other financial dealings more profitable (especially when borrowing money in general). So if you’re looking for ways to improve your financial situation and want to take advantage of one of these top 10 benefits of using a credit card, start now!
3) Great rewards programs
If you do your own research, you can easily find credit cards that give you great rewards for your everyday purchases. Most credit cards offer great rewards programs, giving you points towards free travel or cashback on everyday purchases. Many credit card companies like slice cards offer a sign-up bonus when you open an account with them and use it for a few months. This can be very lucrative if you’re trying to save up for something big.
If you’re carrying a balance from month to month, it makes sense to use your credit card to earn rewards—remember that interest rates on cash advances are often high, and fees can add up quickly if you’re not careful! The sign-up bonus alone will often net you enough points for two free flights, for example. Some rewards programs even let you redeem points for gift cards or charitable donations.
4) Hassle-free shopping
The key advantages of using a credit card include Hassle-free shopping: Using your card means you don’t have to carry cash or worry about losing receipts. Shop now, pay later is one of the most loved advantages of credit cards. Most retailers accept major cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Paying for purchases with a credit card can allow you to buy big-ticket items like furniture over time rather than all at once.
5) Use it everywhere
If you have only one credit card, you can use it everywhere, like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. When it comes time to pay your bill, that’s when you’ll realize just how valuable credit cards are—as opposed to debit cards which take money straight out of your bank account.
Some people use a credit card at every store they visit and only carry cash for an emergency or to pay for gas. Credit cards are also safer than carrying cash, and if you get it stolen or lose it, you can call up your bank and stop that card. But some people argue that using cash is more efficient because you’re less likely to spend money if you have to hand over paper currency every time you buy something physically.
There’s no reason not to use both; pay with cash in person and your credit card online, at gas stations, etc. That way, you won’t feel like you’re spending more than what’s available in your bank account.
6) No fear of loss or theft
One of the best benefits of credit cards is that you don’t need to worry about losing your cards or having them stolen. If a thief does manage to swipe your card, it’s not like he can drain your bank account right away—you have time to catch and shut down any unauthorized charges. Further, a debit card is linked directly to your checking account, which means all charges are immediately deducted from your funds. Credit cards can also help guard against identity theft because each transaction requires an extra step—your signature—and leaves an audit trail in case anything goes wrong.
7) Interest-free money
The next time you’re tempted to borrow money from your savings account for that special something, think about using your credit card or pay later apps like slice instead. Also, if you pay your balance in full and on time each month, you don’t have to pay any interest on your purchases—meaning they are, in essence, free money. Instead of carrying around cash or writing checks to cover expenses (which is quite inconvenient), credit cards provide an easy way to spend what you need and save money on interest.
8) Insurance on purchases
Insurance on purchases is one of those everybody knows secrets that have been used for years. Different credit card companies like slice cards are in business to make money, but they are also concerned about their customers. If you don’t think credit card companies want their customers to be safe and sound after making a purchase, think again. If you pay your balance every month, there is no interest to pay. But if an unfortunate event happens while using your credit card, these companies have safeguards in place to help you out financially. For example: say you lose your wallet or it gets stolen; as long as there is no fraudulent activity involved, you can file an insurance claim and get reimbursed for any purchases made with that particular credit card.
9) EMV chip technology helps keep your money safe
If you’re not familiar with EMV, it stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. It’s basically a global standard for credit card and debit card technology, which provides enhanced security over traditional magnetic strip credit cards. With over 700 million EMV chip cards currently in use around the world – you can be confident that your hard-earned money is safer than ever before.
10) Merchant protection
Many of us already use credit cards to make big-ticket purchases. But there’s another major reason you should use credit: Merchant protection. Your credit card company offers great protection if something goes wrong with your purchase—including guaranteed return policies, warranty extensions, and even payment for lost or damaged merchandise. As long as you didn’t go overboard with that buy now, pay later mentality, spending more than you can afford can be difficult when using a credit card. In other words, carrying at least one (and preferably two) is a smart way to spend money on things you don’t have cash on hand for.
Credit cards are one of those topics that everyone seems to have an opinion on. Many people swear off credit cards completely, while others use them religiously. Whichever side you fall on, there’s no doubt that credit cards offer a lot of advantages – and sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of everything your card can do for you. If you’ve any other ideas or queries, let us know in the comment box.