Credit Cards – Good or Evil?

I just recently signed up for the Amazon Rewards Credit Card through Chase bank. I originally got it because I make enough purchases on Amazon that it would be useful, but have been thinking a lot about using it into my other purchases. I will, of course, pay off the balance each month and possibly each week.

Plus, for the first 90 days, points are double, so I would get 6 points for each Amazon purchase, 4 points for gas and groceries, and 2 points for every other purchase in the first three months. (BTW: this is not a sponsored post.)

There’s a bit of a debate out there surrounding credit cards. Some view them as evil, mainly because of the misuse that got them into debt. Others, however, use them for gaining points and getting rewards back. I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University last year, so I have had the mindset that I should stay away from them, but honestly I feel like I have enough discipline to use one. I’ll test out the waters this month and see if it affects my spending.

What is your perspective? Credit cards: Good or evil?

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  • Personally, I think credit cards are great resources as long as you are responsible with them. My husband and I both have one credit card each. Each has a slightly different rewards program. With each purchase we make, we can choose which card would offer the higher reward. We pay each card off after each purchase. We don’t even wait until the end of the month. Plus, we only buy things we were planning on buying beforehand, anyway. This has been very useful for us. I think if more people were educated about the risks of credit cards, more people would show responsibility with them.

  • 90% of the time, I’m fine with them. But when an emergency arises I use them, and then hell spirals loose…. So now I’m going to just pay down the debt and (perhaps stupidly enough) ask them to lower my limit (I really don’t NEED a $16k limit). Then just make 1 bill paid through it like my cell phone and keep the card completely out of my reach and near impossible to get a hole of unless a true EMERGENCY happens.

    I wish I had more self control, but the truth is, I haven’t shown that I do in the past. Perhaps as I travel through this personal finance journey I’ll start to trust myself more — but until then, for me, credit cards are not to be messed with.

  • If you are disciplined I think that they are a fantastic personal finance tool. They make it easier to track my spending (I pay it off at the end of each week) and I get cash back!

    I think it really depends on the person on whether they are helpful or not.

  • I love my Rewards card. I always pay it off every month and have never carried a balance. So for me, CCs are useful, especially rewards cards.

  • To avoid long term credit card grief, one must actually change the way the credit card game is played.

    ALWAYS pay back at least 10% of what you owe every month. This ensure the most debt you will ever carry is less than a years worth.

    Don’t run up debt that you can’t pay back every month on a card that has an interest rate over 9.9 percent.

    Don’t use a card that does not allow you to “opt out” whenever there is a change in terms. This last point is a sticky point as credit card companies think they can choose to opt out of allowing the consumer to opt out at any time.