Beat Credit Cards at Their Game (Fribble) July 12, 2000

Fribble Beat Credit Cards at Their Game

By [email protected]
July 12, 2000

You know, I read the classic Fribble by George Runkle (TMF Runkle) on June 30, 2000, that originally ran on January 13, 1998.

I understand his point, but I need to express a different one.

I too was once in deep credit card debt — not because I wanted to be, but because at the time, my budget didn't have the cushion to cover things like car repairs, new tires, or a bed. You remember the first years after moving away from home, don't you? Well, I did work myself out of debt and vowed not to put myself in that position again. But shunning all credit cards for the sake of not being able to resist the temptation to use them sensibly is like putting a governor on your car set at 35 m.p.h. because you can't trust yourself to obey the speed limit.

Credit cards used correctly can give you an advantage. Not only do you build a worthy credit history, but the credit card companies will let you use their money for free! I use ONE credit card, and on it goes practically all normal monthly living expenses. Charge the groceries, the gas, the family dinner at a restaurant. I will have consumed most all of this by the time I pay the bill. Get yourself a no-annual-fee card, and who cares about the interest rate? That is, IF you pay the bill off in full every month.

For heavens sake, DO NOT use that fake Visa Debit card. It offers you no protection on purchase disputes, and has no limit on liability like a credit card if it's lost or stolen. Your checking account could be wiped out before you know it, and the bank is not going to reimburse you. But I digress. That's a story for another time.

Remember dear Fools, if you use a credit card this way you're borrowing money interest free.