• Ben

Why am I still using these Credit Cards?! Stuck in the past...

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

You’re wasting money every time you make a purchase. Yes, even if you’re cutting back and being intentional about your spending habits whether that’s ordering from the Dollar Menu, stealing more free sample from Sephora, Spending a work week of time extreme couponing, or you’re a weirdo and actually have a healthy relationship with money YOU ARE STILL LEAVING MONEY ON THE TABLE.


And it’s all thanks to you using your own money. Let that sink in. You see you may have heard from some bigger financial gurus and personalities such as Dave Ramsey or other similarly ultra financially conservative stars that credit cards are bad. Well Mr. Ramsey you’re flat wrong. Did I loose you? Good! Just kidding please keep reading I want that juicy ad revenue!


Here’s the thing. People like Dave Ramsey and the like are trying to help rehabilitate people with poor financial habits. They’re also trying to keep it simple enough to appeal to the masses and help the most amount of people possible. They’re on a mission and I respect that and think they do a great job. However, if you (and I want you to be 100% honest with yourself, because if not this WILL ruin you) can keep track of your money and are responsible with it you should be using a credit card.


If you are struggling with debt currently and/or you need to get yourself back to financial health lets start here. I recommend a few different resources for you.


Dave Ramsey https://amzn.to/2YIxSUv

Everybody knows this book. If you haven't read this you seriously need to! I am definitely not a hardcore Dave follower but he preaches very good principals that you should incorporate into your life.


Side Hustle https://amzn.to/33e7h52

Get inspired. If you're not happy with where you're at this will help you gain motivation to make your dream come true.


Switch: How to change things when change is hard https://amzn.to/33e7h52

And what good is motivation if you're not equipped to do anything about it. By far one of the best books i've read and has changed me for the better ever since i've read it. Written by two psychologist brothers, they explain how your brain works with their awesome elephant and the rider concept.



Now before I explain why I just want to say that I know people say that with cash it hurts more and that with a card you don’t see the money going away so you can spend up to 10% more. I don’t buy this personally. For me I’m looking at the numbers on the screen and I’ve already set myself a dollar amount allowable. If I have cash on me it’s unaccounted for in the amount that I’m looking at and I will just easily throw it away. You may be different but as we use our money more and more digitally I think this is a trend we will see more as time goes

on.


So what’s with this lost money anyway? Come on get to the point!

Alright here’s the deal. Credit Cards are ALL about making money, and they have a to of ways of doing it.


Interest:

Most people are familiar with paying interest on their purchases when they allow a balance to be carried over into the next billing cycle. So you met that guy or girl a week ago on the internet and now you’re buying them AirPods with a CC. Welp jokes on you they ditched you and now your shiny Visa is now your new SO.


Annual Fees:

This one isn’t as common as not all Credit Cards have a fee. This is typically associated with cards that offer a more perks and no peasants are allow to have.


Transnational Fees:

Alright folks just like in Toy Story this is the big one. This is what credit cards are all about. You see the convince of being able to use your fancy made up magic money card is because Credit Card issuers charge the merchant a fee. Most merchants aren’t going to opt out of taking cards because the business since people aren’t carrying cash like they used to the business they lose out on is greater than the fees they pay.

However, just as businesses don’t pay sales tax and pass the charge onto you, they also increase prices to offset Credit cards fees. Lets break this down.


Here’s a plausible scenario:

Local grocery store has multiple registers and does 60 transactions an hour, an average of $30 a transaction, open for 12 hours a day and do this for 30 days. $648,000 is what the stores grosses, but after the fee for being friends with all these card issuers of 2.5% average the store has to pay $16,200. This is a pretty conservative scenario but to show you why they do this.


So what can you do about this? Use a Credit Card and have a budget! You’re getting charge for the Credit Card fees anyways so you might as well use once and then you get to reap the benefits of it. Most credit cards offer you some kind of perk. Usually at the bare minimum 1% cash back plus perks like damage protection, return protection, zero fraud liability, and more.

Once you get into a better set of cards the perks are much greater.


Here is a list of cards I personally use as of writing (July 19’).


Local Credit Union Card

This card is issued through my local credit union and I use this one for a few reasons. To start my credit union has a points program that you get for having loans, using direct deposit, referring members, and of course using your credit card. These points allow me to do things like get cash back, skip a loan payment, reduce interest rates, and pay for fees.

AMEX Hilton Honors

I wanted to get into traveling more and also have flexibility if I needed or wanted to go see somebody and have a place to stay. The combination of this card plus using being a HH member means that you earn points towards your stays just by paying for the things that you are already going to. These cards have a sign up bonus too and depending on the hotel you’re staying at can be a free night or two just from that!

Sign up here 👉🏻 http://refer.amex.us/BENJACxlHY?XLINK=MSIA


UPDATE 9/24/2019

AMEX Hilton Surpass Card

I met the required spending to earn the 80,000 sign up bonus points for Hilton Honors. After doing some research it turns out that American Express treats each of of their cards as a separate product and you can sign up for the next tier to ear ANOTHER sign up bonus. So I signed up and got the Hilton Surpass Credit Card and am working on the spending requirement to ear the 130,000 sign up bonus! I want to note that I have some planned expenses coming up and I am not just spending extra money to earn these points. I planned this a while ago to meet this spending requirement since I will be making a large purchase anyway and will use these bonus points for a special occasion.


with this card I also earn even more Hilton Honors points on everyday purchase and WAY more when using my card at a HH hotel or resort.


Chase Freedom family

The Freedom family of cards has a few different tiers. I currently just have the Freedom because currently they are offering a $150 sign up bonus, so I payed for my last semester of school on this card and took $150 off. Plus chase has one of the best points systems. Earn points that you can use for cash back or to pay for things OR transfer your points to other rewards programs at 1 to 1.

Sign up here 👉🏻 https://www.referyourchasecard.com/m/2a/6L5/FZMP/1558613366


Sun country Rewards card

I don’t love this card because the rewards aren’t great but they’re offering a $350 credit sign up bonus and I have a lot of flights through Sun Country coming up so I decided to get it and cash in on the bonus. Keep in mind this card has an annual fee and to me it’s not worth keeping for more than a year.

Sign up here https://www.suncountry.com/sun-country-visa%3Fdestination%3DMNLN6GZXVVW5L&subAgentCode%3D005


Barclays Apple Card

If you’re in the market to sign your life away because you’re an apple sheep and just have to have all the latest from them Barclays is offering 0% interest for up to 18 Months on qualifying purchases. In addition to the purchasing power you also get points spend at Apple stores one Apple store online and can redeem for cashback.

Sign up here https://secure1.store.apple.com/shop/instant_credit/app_submit?card=financing&stream=U


I don’t recommend you buy something that’s going to chain you up for a year and a half that’s going to be worth nearly half at that time, but I also can’t stop you.


UPDATE 9/24/19

I needed to buy a new computer for school and have been planning on buying a new Apple Macbook Pro for a while now. I bought a 2019 13" Macbook Pro and upgraded to 16GB of RAM. I updated my Barclays Apple Card to the Barclays Apple Rewards Card. This not only got me the deferred interest I wanted, but I also earned points for my purchase which got me $50 in Apple store gift cards (Hello future discounted presents).


Capital One Journey card

This was my very first credit card and I really don’t use it all that much, but if you’re starting your credit card journey(heh) this is the credit card. You get 1% cash back on all purchases and all the other perks that comer with having a credit card, plus get access to tools to help your credit or other financial products.

Sign up here https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/journey-student/


Now before I send you off I want to make one thing very very clear. DO NOT SPEND MONEY YOU DO NOT HAVE! But nothing. You should have a budget and stick to it and use these tools carefully for they will do more harm than good if not.



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