Credit Card Anathema

Anybody who keeps paying attention to this blog will know how I feel about credit cards. They are anathema to me and they should be to you as well.
Recently, Visa has been trying to appeal to our heart strings by announcing that they are giving a percentage of their fees to cancer research. Certainly a laudable gesture. But wait a minute! Whose money is this? Who gets the tax deduction? You? I don’t think so. Visa is announcing that they are doing something they probably do already, getting mileage from that and maybe making us feel a little better about ourselves.
Is there a better way to do it. I think so but first a confession. Although I no longer carry a balance, which was not always the case, I do use a credit card simply because the current financial system makes it the most viable and in some cases the only way to buy stuff both online and at store fronts.
And if you think debit cards are any better, think again. The same onerous fees are charged the merchant, who then passes them on to you, each time you use the card. Imagine that, charging you a fee to remove your money from your bank account. And this is where the lines blur. If you have overdraft protection on your account the bank will loan you incremental amounts of money automatically, for a fee and then charge you usurious interest rates. Sounds a lot like a credit card, doesn’t it.
In the past I have fallen prey to the seductive advertising of buy now pay later, but as I have and many of you know waiting until you can actually afford something is a far more gratifying than piling on debt. Those of you who do not know this feeling have a pleasant surprise in store for you.
I always hear that we are a consumer oriented society. We need these credit and debit cards to fuel the growth of our economy. Is this news to anyone, that we’re a consumer oriented society? We’ve been this way since Henry Ford gave us the Model T and we got our first Sears Roebuck Catalog. The difference is that we used to pay for the stuff that we bought when we bought it. Does anyone who is reading this remember the expression “lay away”. This is when we went shopping at a merchant and made a down payment on an item we wanted, they stored it away until we came back the next payday and paid in full. At that point we were given our merchandise.
Is there a better way? The answer is yes. We simply don’t buy things until we can pay for them. Then we can be giving directly to cancer research or whatever our favorite charities are and get the tax deduction. Like anything, it isn’t easy at first but as time goes you will appreciate doing business this way. Imagine waking up one morning and having no unmanageable debt. Ask anyone who has just made their last mortgage payment or their last car payment.

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2 thoughts on “Credit Card Anathema

  1. amy

    what if you pay it off every month? i think we make money off our credit card! we pay it off every month…and we get a percentage back for everything we buy. i just cashed in $500 in free money!

    Reply
    1. twintahoe Post author

      It’s not free money. Each time you use your credit card the retailer has to pay a transaction fee. That transaction fee is passed on to the consumer, in this case you and everyone else who shops at he store. The money you are getting back is basically part of the transaction fee that you and all the other card members paid in the form of higher prices.

      Reply

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