Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Going Rogue......Credit Only Baby!

Most people feel that credit cards are evil....or at least can lead you into debt.

They are a tool if used properly but so many either don't know how or won't use it as the tool it was meant to be.
Resulting in many people getting into trouble with the improper use of credit cards.
If you are one of these sort of folks it's best not to even use credit.

With my frugal habits built up over the decades I am at a place were I don't need to put anything on credit....ever!  I only buy things I can afford when I buy them.
The last time I paid credit card interest was 1995(I was pregnant and forgot a deadline.)
The last time I financed a car was 1994(and we paid that one off 3 years early).
The last time I paid mortgage interest was 2007.
This is not to brag(ok, maybe a little lol)but to show that getting debt-free can take time and by golly it takes a LOT of effort!

If you are regularly buying things on credit and can't pay that bill off then maybe you really can't afford to be buying those things, can you?
If you regularly buy things on credit and don't pay off the bill in full each month then you don't own those things, the credit card company does.

It wasn't easy getting to this point of not needing credit.  It meant a lot of sacrificing over the years, giving up wants and just buying the needs.
And putting money away and not spending it.
And with time and regular money saving habits, it meant paying off large debts like cars and even a house and being totally debt-free.

Credit cards are now a convenience for me.
I am in a position that it I need/want to buy something and I don't have enough cash or a check on me, no problem.....I just whip out the vile credit card and purchase.
But I NEVER put a purchase on a credit card that I don't actually have the money for or am not prepared to pay-off before the c/c bill is due.

It's the only way I will use a credit card nowadays....pure convenience.

So since my credit card has a rewards program attached to it why shouldn't I use it for ALL purchases and reap the reward program benefit?
Yes, I am a bit slow sometimes.  ;-)

And that is what I am going to do-start paying every bill I can with my credit card to earn points.
It's a win/win as I never carry a balance and/or pay interest on my card.  Why not earn free rewards for purchases I have to make every month anyway?

I have paid cash for all my food purchases for many years now that it felt funny putting a grocery store purchase on a credit card the other day.

I'll get use to it though.
I know I won't earn that much more in rewards putting food on the c/c as I don't spend a lot on food/toiletries anyway(well, I have been spending much MORE lately since I am feeding 2 more adults)but every little bit counts, right?

I do know already that a few monthly bills I can't put on the credit card as they charge a "fee"(pass on the % the c/c company charges them to take credit payments).
The water and electric company here do this so those will still be paid via another method(check or direct checking account transfer)because having to pay that "fee" is the same as paying interest in my mind.

How about you?

Do you pay cash or put food/toiletries purchases on credit to earn rewards and is it worth it to do so?

Or do you have a credit utilizing problem and end up paying interest on credit card charges when you don't want to?

Do you think it's "worth it" to use credit cards for reward points?



  1. In 30 + years as an adult with a CC, I've only ever paid interest once, intentionally, as we put $$ kitchen remodeling supplies (cabinets etc) on the card, paying it off during month 2. That said, I put daily expenses on it, rarely carrying cash (worked in a HS and got $ stolen once). CC is paid off in full, and yes, I rack up those reward points, converting them every so often as a cash credit onto next month's CC statement. While they do offer promos such as physical items (need mega points for those and nothing I need), gift cards (same) or a check, the best financial reward is a credit deposit. I tally those funds and they are used for replacement computer laptops, although last Spring, it was to offset an expensive Vet bill. Agree, I use them as a convenience (only have a Kohl's card, a Visa). I have the discipline to use both wisely. The interest rates charges are ridiculous, although because of my good credit my rate is only* 9.49% on Visa. We're that Customer that CC companies hate: use their no annual fee card and access funds for free as we pay it off monthly. Then, to add insult to injury, we are paid off in rewards (actually from interest charged to others). Works for me!

  2. What an absolutely refreshing post! I read so many who say credit cards are evil and bad and the "big banks" are out to get us poor suckers..when really NO, it's just YOU who can't exhibit self control.

    I see so many people complaining about how the credit card made them do it. Like, seriously??

    I have zero debt and use credit card for most everything. In fact I have yes - three - cards! I use them for different types of purchases, and pay in full. Great for organization, record keeping and yes points. Plus huge comfort when travelling!

  3. I'm a fan of credit cards, especially no interest cards that pay rewards. But it doesn't matter that they're zero interest. I still have to pay them and don't want to carry a balance unless it's an emergency, some of which I've had since I got divorced.


  4. We don't carry a balance & use two travel cards (one is for our local airline & the other is Starwood) for all purposes. There are a few exceptions, where the vendor passes on the charges, and we don't use cards. Otherwise, we use the cards for everything & pay them in full each month.

    We get quite a few benefits (free flights for four during Christmas using miles), 6 nights in a two bedroom suite in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. We save up the points & redeem once every few years to defray our travel costs.

  5. Like you, we have no debt, are mortgage and car loan free. BUT....We use two airline miles cards. One for me. Other for hubby. The reason for this is because if the cards accumulate 25,000 points each, that's two free airline tix. We're going to The Grand Canyon very soon now, because we are more than almost there. Hubby got a 10,000 point boost just for signing on. We get double points for gas, groceries and meals out. Plus I use them to buy large ticket stuff. Then I just transfer them to zero interest cards and pay them off.
    My retired friends taught me this trick. They all go on cruises every single year for practically free because they use their airline miles. They pay all their HOA fees and property taxes using their cards, so the points add up quickly.
    Now, I don't even have to buy anything because I am accumulating points simply by taking surveys. I try to do three a day (takes about 30 minutes) and it sure is better than spending any money!!!! I get a few hundred points per day. I'm going to use these extra points toward a hotel, which will equal one free, round trip VACATION!
    Of course, you have to be careful and make sure you can pay these cards promptly off. Otherwise, just add 20% more back into your payments.
    Good luck!!

  6. I put 95 % on credit (everything I can, even our healthcare as they allow that) and pay it off immediately after charging online. I never wait for the bill. I always end up making 5 or 6 payments a month and us too, no interest on credit cards for about 15 years and no house interest in about 8 when we paid off our big expensive house in Alberta (we didn't have a traditional mortgage, did a line of credit so we could pay it down as fast as we wanted which we did). I have a credit card that gives air miles and hubby has a different travel one as each has great benefits.

  7. Same - I use my c/c for every single purchase and automatic bills online too. Really pays off - I make 1 or 2 withdrawals of points per year, usually just at Christmas - free groceries, free stocking gifts, free home decor, free gifts - really helps the Christmas budget. I've been living debt-free for 8 years.

  8. I pay everything I can with credit and we have been vacationing the last couple years with credit card perks. I think that paying in cash is leaving a lot on the table.

  9. Great post. Agree with it all. Well, except the part where you say the credit card owns your stuff if you don't pay!! Made me laugh. They don't want your half eaten Applebee's dinner of those junky DVDs from Walmart. YOU own those now. They want their interest or full payment. Smiled!

  10. About a year ago we went to all purchases on the CC. We have 2 sons who live flights away, so we make sure to use only the card which rewards us with flights. It is tied into the airline that has the best flights from Birmingham to both cities so it is a win/win situation for us. BTW, we also put tuition on the credit card. . . talk about a mileage boost! We figured we might as well earn miles for something we were going to pay anyway, and they had no upcharge for using it.

  11. I only have one credit card, a store card on which I owe nothing at the moment. One advantage I like is one which no one has mentioned. Using a cc gives you leverage if something goes wrong with an item. Now, if I want electronics, I have exbf use his cc and I had him cash. I bought my indoor antenna this way. We did this is in a store once and the cashier was puzzled. When I told him why we were doing it that way, he understood. Only once has he had to contact his cc company to straighten something out. I owe nothing but monthly bills as car and house are paid off for about 8 years. Still, I do not have enough to live! So, there is absolutely no interest being paid out right now. Occasionally, I do pay interest, but the thing I buy will be 95% off, so the savings wipes out the interest for a month or two. Plus, the charges on which I pay interest are often very small.

  12. I make all business purchases with a card that I get $ back on. I pay off each month. Since I use this card online it doesn't have a high limit on purpose. I have another card that I only use for hotels. I get $10 back for each $1000 I charge. I pay that off each time as well. I am paying off some very high balances that DH brought with him. I wasn't aware of it as we kept separate accounts/finances the first 10 years together. I am too embarrassed to tell you where it started. But it will be completely paid off in 3 more years. I have been shifting it to 0 percent offers for almost 10 years.


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.