How To Only Win With Credit Cards, And Just Not Lose, Ever
I used to know very little about credit cards. And the little that I did know, or thought I knew, was enough for me to just not worry about getting a credit card, possibly ever. I had this vague idea of the negatives that a thing such as credit can bring, and didn’t bother learning about where that idea really came from.
Until I wanted to rent an apartment in NYC. And learned how important credit cards, or simply the idea of credit, is in America. So I finally went into the research waters about credit cards and learned so much in the process. And one of the big things I learned was that you can get a credit card and just never lose if you chose to. And apart from not losing you can get into a winning cycle with credit cards, so the whole thing becomes a win-win. It’s pretty crazy actually, and amazing.
I’ll keep things really simple in this article to help those who have credit cards and those who don’t.
To start, take a moment to forget everything you think you know about credit and credit cards. It’s important to have a fresh mindset because I don’t want you to be tainted with the wrong ideas. And if you have the right ideas then chances are you might read them soon.
Now understand this, credit cards are not bad nor good. They are just a thing. And they are pretty simple. It’s about the user who chooses to use a credit card in one way or another. Similar to the idea of a weapon. Some may say certain weapons are bad and harmful. But is it the weapon that is bad or how someone chooses to use it?
But now listen to this, you can mold your thinking in a way to only win at the credit card game, and just never lose. To do this there are certain things for you to do and certain things for you to not do, and that about sums it up.
For some specifics, never ever carry a balance and pay any interest on a credit card. NEVER DO THIS! If you do this, you lose. Carrying a balance is not helpful, despite if you heard something different from someone else. Wait, of course you didn’t, because you decided to forget everything you thought you knew about credit and credit cards, right? Real talk, it’s foolish to carry a balance and pay interest. It’s foolish to pay only the minimum. If you’ve been doing this, like so many people, you’ve been losing. Understand that you never ever have to do this, period. If you do this, that’s on you.
The idea of credit is a made up thing. If you have a $5,000 limit or $50,000 limit, those numbers mean nothing if you don’t have the actual cash to pay those credit limits if they were to be used. Get this idea in your head, whenever you buy something make sure you have the cash for it, get your cash out, or debit card, and then knowing you can afford that something quickly swap the cash or debit card with a credit card and pay that way, then after the charge goes through pay it off with your bank account as if you did the purchase with cash or your debit card, and then you can begin winning at the credit card game.
Now to begin really winning with credit cards aim to purchase almost everything with the right credit card, so you can get cash back or rewards. I wrote “almost everything with the right credit card” because in some cases, like maybe a gas or electricity bill, there might be a service charge to use a credit card, but it might be free to pay with your bank account. In a situation like that if the service fee doesn’t get offset with rewards you may get then just pay with your bank account. Or if you’re traveling overseas and you have a credit card that has foreign transaction fees, then that is the wrong card to have overseas. Instead have a credit card without foreign transaction fees and enjoy getting discounts on almost everything you buy abroad.
Another thing, make sure you don’t have a credit card with an annual fee, unless the benefits you may get with it can easily offset the annual fee. But this is more for the credit card pros maybe, to have a card with an annual fee and win with it. These cards tend to be catered to a specific type of person and to extract the benefits and win at them you should find one that really molds with your lifestyle, without you really changing much, if anything.
In general there can be so much more to write and say about credit cards and I can go on and on and on, but for now if you understand these few ideas and stick to them, no matter what, you should only be winning with credit cards:
- Never carry a balance, never pay even a cent of interest, never, ever, ever.
- If you don’t have the money think of it like this: you don’t have the credit that your credit card is giving you.
- Buy almost everything with the right card to maximize your discounts via cash back or rewards.
- Make sure you have a credit card without an annual fee unless your lifestyle easily offsets the annual fee.
Basically if you can have credit cards where you get discounts on everything you buy with them and you never get in a situation where you end up losing money by using a credit card or paying a credit card in the form of interest or an annual fee, you win.