Credit is not Cash
By: Larry Goldberg
Do you automatically pull out your credit card to pay for a purchase without even thinking, OK, should I use cash or my credit card? Well, it’s more normal than not these days to choose the credit card payment method. Stores everywhere make paying with credit cards so easy and they’re just so darn convenient. Many people find it’s much better than carrying cash with them. If you know you’re going to use your credit card, you don’t have to make sure you have a certain amount of cash on you to pay for specific things. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere; even fast food restaurants allow you to pay for a hamburger with a credit card.
With credit cards, there is no fumbling around with paper money or trying to find coins in your purse or pants pocket. They are much more convenient than writing checks and a lot less time-consuming. If the ability to purchase that item right now is worth borrowing from your future income, then a credit card is the way to go.
A cash back credit card gives you an extra incentive to charge your purchases because you get rewarded for it. Several credit card companies offer this option. Some companies offer one percent cash back; others offer three or five percent cash back options. A cash back credit card also gives you the alternative to use your cash back reward in the form of discounts on hotels or rental cars.
Another alternative is a cash advance option. You can take your credit card into your bank and ask them to grant you a cash advance by giving you cash that is treated as a credit card transaction on your credit card statement. What you want to remember about this option is credit card companies charge an extra fee for using the cash advance option. This is quite a convenience to have, but remember you will pay extra for it. Just for an example, a credit card company might charge you five percent of your cash advance amount as a fee, with a $5.00 minimum charge, up to a $150 maximum charge, depending on the amount of your cash advance. You can also make a cash advance at your bank teller’s window by presenting a check to them, that was given to you by your credit card company for that purpose.
A cash back credit card can be a great reward and cash advance options are convenient and handy, but remember credit is not cash, and there are fees to have these services extended to you.
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