3 Reasons I'll Never Give Up My Credit Cards

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Credit cards come with plenty of benefits I really value.

Many people shy away from using credit cards because of the dangers they present. Credit cards generally have really high interest rates. And they make it easy and effortless to spend, which creates a big risk of ending up in debt.

But despite the potential downsides, I'll never ever give up using my credit cards. And there are three key reasons why I'm committed to keeping them forever:

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1. They enable me to earn rewards for spending I do anyway

Over the years, I've earned thousands of dollars in credit card rewards. These rewards covered part of the costs of my vacations when I had a travel rewards card. Now, that I have a cash back card, the money is deposited directly into an investment account and helps me build financial security.

Everything I put on my credit card is something I'd have to spend money on no matter what. As a result, there's no way I'd ever give up the chance to get cash back, points, or miles just for my everyday expenditures. Doing so would feel like passing up free money.

Of course, the rewards only pay off for me because I never carry a balance. If you can't trust yourself to use cards responsibly, then charging everything probably doesn't make sense for you. Any interest you'd end up paying on a credit card balance would be significantly higher than the value of any rewards you could earn.

2. They have great credit-building powers

There's another huge reason I love my credit cards and would never give them up: They've been instrumental in helping me to earn an excellent credit score.

Credit cards are the oldest accounts on my credit history because I opened my first card in college. Thanks to my cards, I have a record of positive payments on my cards that dates back around two decades. Both age of credit and payment history are two really important factors that help determine your score.

Credit utilization ratio, or the ratio of credit used versus what's available, is also another key determining factor in your credit score. Because I have several credit cards with credit limits close to $100,000, I have a very low credit utilization ratio. That also helps my score immensely.

Of course, credit cards can help you build credit, especially when you ask for a credit line increase to help improve your credit utilization ratio. But they can also damage your score if you don't use them responsibly. If you aren't confident you can pay on time or if you worry that you'll max out a credit card, then credit cards would likely be more harmful than helpful to you.

3. They offer strong buyer protections

The final major reason I'll continue using my credit cards for most purchases is that I really appreciate the protections they provide me.

First, when a merchant doesn't deliver goods or services as promised, I'm able to dispute the charges. I've had to do this a few times over the years, and my credit card company has always been great about getting my money back for me.

My cards also have other borrower protections that are offered as cardholder benefits. For example, if I buy an item and it breaks or is stolen shortly after my purchase, my card will cover the loss under its purchase protection feature. Some cards also offer price protection to reimburse me if I buy something and it quickly goes down in price.

The ability to earn rewards, build credit, and get extra peace of mind with purchases makes using credit cards a no-brainer for me. And as long as you're confident you won't get yourself into debt trouble with them, finding a card or two that's a good fit may be a good choice for you as well.

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