With huge interest rates and nasty penalties for missing a payment, you would think that there really isn’t any advantage to having a credit card. But you’d be wrong.First, there’s the consumer protection you get, which is way better than what cash or even your debit card can get you. Say you have a dispute with a merchant. Quick resolution or not, the cash or check you used is still going to be tied up for a few days until things are worked out. With a credit card, you haven’t really spent any “real” money yet, so your cash flow is unaffected.
Accepted everywhere you go, whether you like it or not
Though you can buy a ticket with cash, you may be able to get a discount with a credit card if that’s one of the “perks” it provides. As for renting a car with just your driver’s license and cash, don’t be silly. People fake driver’s licenses all the time, so the rental agency wants an assurance you aren’t going to drive out of their lot with a free car.
Extra grease for those tight situations
Nobody wants to get into a car accident or get stranded overnight at the airport, but life does happen, and a credit card can be a real friend to you and your cash flow in these situations.
Credit shows you’re all grown up
If you pay your balance or your monthly payments on time, eventually you will establish a nice line of credit, which will open doors for you down the road. Need to rent an apartment? How about take out a loan or buy a house? One of the main pieces of criteria you’ll be judged on is your line of credit. The better you were at paying things on time, the more responsible and trustworthy you’ll seem in the eyes of those you want to help you out financially. Of course, the alternative is to show up at your real estate agent’s office or your landlord’s with briefcase full of cash. But if you could do that, why would you need a credit card?
And one more thing, don’t overlook the other benefits and “rewards” you get with credit cards that you wouldn’t get with cash. If you travel a lot, look into getting cards that offer “earned” frequent flyer miles and “free” gas as a perk. You’d be surprised by how much that all adds up.