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chyam
07-30-2009, 12:47 PM
I am considering chucking all my cc's as I pay them off, I was just wondering how do you go about making car reservations, hotel reservations, catalog orders without a cc? I know you can use personal checks but sometimes like with rental cars and hotels they want a cc in case of damage. So do any of you live completely without credit cards? I am sick of all their games and charges.

jdes88
07-30-2009, 12:51 PM
A lot of car rental compaines now accept debit cards----however you will be subject to credit checks with this. also they will automatically hold a certain amount of $$ above the rental until it's returned damage free. As far as hotel reservations........99% of the time you need one to hold the room.

I know that for WDW pkgs if you book with a TA you can pay by check....but otherwise dun dun dun it's a CC......

We only use our CC for when we travel now! :)

gymboqueenkaylee
07-30-2009, 12:56 PM
I do not have credit cards at all. I've booked hotels, cars, paid for orders online etc...all with my debit card that's linked to my checking account. I've never had any trouble with it at all. It does make life so much simplier.

mrsklamc
07-30-2009, 12:58 PM
You can do everything with a debit card that you can do with a credit card. You just have to be aware of 'holds' that might get placed on funds. I think some hotels do this, and I believe someone on the boards mentioned a gas station doing it to them lately?

At this point I am hanging onto my cards for the rewards but I only use cards with no fee. If they added one I would ditch them in a heartbeat.

cglaura
07-30-2009, 12:58 PM
I keep one cc for things I might need like car rental. Just make sure it is no annual fee and pay it off asap.

Anything else I use a debit card.

I keep two bank accounts. I only keep what I need for purchases I know I'll be making with the debit card in that account. That way, if I get a fraud hit, it won't hurt me other than the incovenience of going through the process of getting it straightened out.

msmayor
07-30-2009, 01:01 PM
I suppose in a technical sense I live without CC, but still have and use them.

When I make a charge, I immediately deduct the charge amount from my checking account and place a code next to it. To me, that cash is 'gone' even though its sitting in the bank.

The day the bill comes in the mail, I go on-line and pay it off with the money in my checking account that I've already reserved to pay the bill by deducting it from the balance at the time the purchase was made.

It gives me the ability to say "cash only" with the flexibility of being able to still use a credit card, and continue to hold one for emergencies.

uva185
07-30-2009, 01:06 PM
I am sick of all their games and charges.

You know, if you pay your credit card off on time each month you are essentially receiving an interest free loan each month.

If its difficult to do on a month to month basis try to pay the balance off each week to make sure you are not over spending.

A credit card is a wonderful tool and a great form of consumer protection against fraud, faulty merchandise, etc provided you use it responsibly.

3boymthr
07-30-2009, 01:07 PM
I would hang onto one credit card with no annual fee, lowest interest rate, etc. just for emergencies and for reserving cars, etc.

DH ran into a situation where the hospital would not treat him without a credit card to assure payment of any co-pays or deductibles - even though they had our insurance card and I was writing a check to cover the co-pay. :scared1:

My GF does not have a credit card or debit card. When he went to pick up a car at the airport he had to provide $500 in cash over and above the cost of the rental just to walk out the door. This was a deposit and he would get it back, but still.... My DM had to drive to the airport to hold the car with her cc so her dad could leave :sad2:.

Having a debit card helps but last week I bounced three checks because when my DH used his debit visa to purchase two items they placed a hold on our account for 5 days for the tune of $460 over and above the purchase price :scared1: Luckily, I have overdraft protection so it only cost me $5 but I was counting change and borrowing from my kid's piggy banks and running to the bank at 4:55 so I wouldn't bottom my savings account for my pending transactions.

If you are afraid of using it impulsively freeze it in the center a block of ice about the size of a half gallon of ice cream. By the time it thaws out you'll not be using it for an impulse purchase.

3boymthr
07-30-2009, 01:14 PM
I suppose in a technical sense I live without CC, but still have and use them.

When I make a charge, I immediately deduct the charge amount from my checking account and place a code next to it. To me, that cash is 'gone' even though its sitting in the bank.

The day the bill comes in the mail, I go on-line and pay it off with the money in my checking account that I've already reserved to pay the bill by deducting it from the balance at the time the purchase was made.

It gives me the ability to say "cash only" with the flexibility of being able to still use a credit card, and continue to hold one for emergencies.

I do something similar only I transfer the cash as soon as I get home from the store. :) Most cc don't care how many tranfers you make in a month.

Kitzka
07-30-2009, 01:25 PM
DH and I do not use credit cards and have not for about 8 years. We use our debit cards for everything and it works well for us. We use them for car rentals, hotels, etc. Have never had a problem with money being held (there have been a few stressful nights) but it was never a real problem.

Good luck

Dani C
07-30-2009, 01:29 PM
You also have the option of purchasing pre-paid visa or mastercards to use for such purposes. They can be purchased at many financial institutions (many do not charge their own customers if they have certain account types) and also at several stores.

Chicago526
07-30-2009, 01:30 PM
I do think that people should keep at least one CC on hand for emergencies and for travel. Not just for booking hotels and cars, but incase you get stuck away from home. All it takes is one canceled flight and you're stuck overnight until the 7 AM flight the next morning. Having a CC can make finding (and paying for) a hotel much, much easier.

Personally, while I plan on being CC debt free in the not too distant future, I will continue to put 95% of my purchases each month on my CC, and pay it off at the end of the month. I get miles and purchase protection, plus if my card ever gets lost my bank account isn't at risk the way it would be with a debit card.

mlraabe
07-30-2009, 01:32 PM
No credit cards here and we travel, book hotels, etc often. It has never been an issue to just use our bank card.

Justsyd2
07-30-2009, 01:39 PM
We gave up our credit cards 5 years ago. We use our debit card for WDW, hotels, and car rentals. We have never had a hold placed on our card We do have a separate savings account for emergencies, so we do have a safety net -- for those of you who hang on to a credit card for emergencies. We also use travel insurance when we travel, so if an emergency happens, it's usually covered.

PrincessSuzanne
07-30-2009, 02:10 PM
My check card has the VISA logo as well as the fraud protection of a CC and I use it like a CC. I do make sure I have the amount in my acct that is going to be charged, and I have never had anyone put a hold on anything before. Now when we use it to buy gas, they do run it or $1, but that isn't a big deal.

Suzanne

Schmoodle
07-30-2009, 02:44 PM
I would just say be careful because depending on the situation, canceling cards can actually hurt your credit score http://money.aol.com/bankrate/credit/canvas3/_a/cancel-a-card-hurt-your-credit-score/20061129154909990002

chyam
07-30-2009, 02:59 PM
I would just say be careful because depending on the situation, canceling cards can actually hurt your credit score http://money.aol.com/bankrate/credit/canvas3/_a/cancel-a-card-hurt-your-credit-score/20061129154909990002

While this is true it also affects your credit score when the cc companies keep lowering limits even good customers as evidenced by another thread on this board.
Thank you everyone for your answers I defineately plan on getting rid of all my cards but perhaps I will hang onto 1. But it is good to know my debit card works just as well as a credit card.

jodifla
07-30-2009, 04:03 PM
While this is true it also affects your credit score when the cc companies keep lowering limits even good customers as evidenced by another thread on this board.
Thank you everyone for your answers I defineately plan on getting rid of all my cards but perhaps I will hang onto 1. But it is good to know my debit card works just as well as a credit card.

But it really doesn't always. Just be careful....you are giving people alot of access to your banking account by using everything for debit.


And look closely at the person who needed a cc for her hospital charges. If you needed emergency treatment, could your bank account cover hospital charges that might not just be copays, but $10,000.

Dave Ramsey had a caller on his show whose husband had a scuba accident. He was rushed to the local, foreign hospital, and the only way they could leave the country was to pay the bill IN FULL on their credit card.

C.Ann
07-30-2009, 05:09 PM
DH and I do not use credit cards and have not for about 8 years. We use our debit cards for everything and it works well for us. We use them for car rentals, hotels, etc. Have never had a problem with money being held (there have been a few stressful nights) but it was never a real problem.

Good luck

We gave up our credit cards 5 years ago. We use our debit card for WDW, hotels, and car rentals. We have never had a hold placed on our card We do have a separate savings account for emergencies, so we do have a safety net -- for those of you who hang on to a credit card for emergencies. We also use travel insurance when we travel, so if an emergency happens, it's usually covered.

I have several different debit cards from several different banks - as well as 2 savings accounts in 2 different banks that can be accessed immediately for any large emergency..

I have never had any "holds" placed on my cards - have used them for hotels, car rentals, etc. - and mine also provide the same fraud/buyer issue protections as the credit cards do.. I carefully shopped for the banks that I chose so I would have everything that I needed and/or wanted.. :)

I have one specific debit card that is used for online purchases - that is attached to a bank account that cannot "draw" money from anyplace else.. I replenish that account - with small amounts - from time to time after I make a few purchases online.. If someone were to hack into that account (or any of the others for that matter) they would be very, very disappointed because of the way they are structured and the free protections I have available to me.. And obviously, there are no "fees" attached to these cards or accounts..

It can be done easily - and you will never again be tempted to spend money that you don't have or to purchase something just because you can "charge it"..:goodvibes

Handbag Lady
07-30-2009, 05:11 PM
I hate credit cards and the way I use them may sound crazy, but here goes.

I reserve hotel rooms/rental cars/vacations with a credit card. Then, at the end of my stay and car rental, I pay in cash at the counter of each place and I get a receipt.

So, no charges on the credit card statement and no holds on my debit cards.

Plus, I have all that room on the credit card in case of an emergency or hospital stay when I travel.

DisneyAngel83
07-30-2009, 05:24 PM
It's one thing not to use your credit cards, its entirely different to close the account. The rule of thumb is... The more revolving credit you have (and the lower the percentage of use) the higher your credit score will be. Having credit cards and paying them off monthly can help you improve your credit score. I wouldn't totally get rid of them, even if you don't use them much anymore.

pandora174
07-30-2009, 05:35 PM
We have no credit cards but I did learn the hard way that hotels will place holds on your debit card. Now I just call ahead & ask for their hold policy. I always call anyways since we prefer non-smoking & a king bed, so I always ask how much is the hold, how long. Ex. staying in Tampa Intercontinental Hotel, $50 hold which drops off in 24 hours for the entire stay, going to a Holiday Inn in Orlando $25 hold for the entire stay. Gas stations put $1 hold. That's all, you just can't assume there is no hold & always make sure you have a back up plan just in case. :thumbsup2

SaraJayne
07-30-2009, 05:47 PM
I do think that people should keep at least one CC on hand for emergencies and for travel. Not just for booking hotels and cars, but incase you get stuck away from home. All it takes is one canceled flight and you're stuck overnight until the 7 AM flight the next morning. Having a CC can make finding (and paying for) a hotel much, much easier.

Personally, while I plan on being CC debt free in the not too distant future, I will continue to put 95% of my purchases each month on my CC, and pay it off at the end of the month. I get miles and purchase protection, plus if my card ever gets lost my bank account isn't at risk the way it would be with a debit card.

I agree that people should have at least one credit card for emergencies. :) While we are cc debt free, we still use ours to book hotel rooms, flights, rental cars, etc.

I only use my credit card for online purchases, as our checking account wouldn't be emptied if someone got a hold of our card number. If that happens, you're SOL on that $$. I won't have that happen.

Keeping at least one credit card is very smart. :thumbsup2

buzzgirls&dad
07-30-2009, 06:26 PM
Keeping one or two CC for travel especially out of the country is a must. I know first hand as we were robbed everything was gone including all of our shoes, clothing and my CC. Thankfully, Dh had a different card so we could at least buy sweatshirts in Chicago when we arrived home ,as we only had t-shirts, shorts and sandels (hint to the resort we were at) in feb. Also, travel insurance is great but beware in most cases you have to pay for your hotel rooms or emergency airfare home up front then you will be reimbursed. As with anything to do with insurance it takes a long time to be reimbursed. :eek:

LisaInNc
07-30-2009, 06:56 PM
I gave up credit cards years ago. I use my Debit Card for everything. I am debt free except for one car payment and a mortgage. I NEVER EVER want to deal with the BS of credit card companies again.

Cruise
07-30-2009, 07:03 PM
I think the big difference here that people in the debit card vs credit card vs no card debate are trying to point out is that there's a difference between having a credit card and having credit card DEBT.

DH and I have several credit cards, but we have NO credit card debt. We have the main one that we use for most purchases and we pay it off every month. It's a great way to see where money is going and I use it to total up things like trips to the grocery store throughout the month to see how much we've spent on groceries. I have another card through a credit union that I use for international travel to avoid excessive fees. Again, that one is paid off whenever a bill comes.

The problem isn't with having a credit card... it's with carrying debt on it. There are no "fees and games" when it's just paid off every month and on time. It sounds like the OP has gotten to a place where she isn't carrying a balance on any cards. My personal opinion would be to keep at least one open for things like reservations, etc. but just don't put anything on it that you can't pay for right then. Thus, no credit card debt.

mrsklamc
07-30-2009, 07:19 PM
As long as you don't input your PIN and process your debit card purchase as credit (through the CC network) it is just as secure as a credit card. You aren't giving them direct access to your account.

The 'had to pay the bill with a credit card to leave the country' story seems odd. No country that depends on tourism to survive is going to let a tourist be held hostage over a hospital bill, and I have to believe the US Embassy would step in in that kind of situation as well.

C.Ann
07-30-2009, 07:19 PM
The problem isn't with having a credit card... it's with carrying debt on it. There are no "fees and games" when it's just paid off every month and on time..

Not necessarily.. Have you read all of the threads here about what the CC companies are doing to people such as yourself? The ones who carry no balance whatsoever and have always paid on time?

Start with a search for Chase - CC's - Credit Cards - etc.. Lots and lots of games going on with longstanding good customers..

momtosam
07-30-2009, 07:20 PM
I have one CC in a dish of water frozen in the basement chest freezer -- seriously! I don't use it for any impulse buying, leisure spending, etc. but it is there if I'm going to travel or have an emergency! http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-eatdrink051.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Cruise
07-30-2009, 08:07 PM
Not necessarily.. Have you read all of the threads here about what the CC companies are doing to people such as yourself? The ones who carry no balance whatsoever and have always paid on time?

Start with a search for Chase - CC's - Credit Cards - etc.. Lots and lots of games going on with longstanding good customers..

Yeah, I've read them. It hasn't happened to us and I don't perceive it will as we don't use "big name bank" associated credit cards.

And I don't think anyone can deny that all of the most recent activity has more to do with the housing/stockmarket/economy "crash" or whatever they want to call it than anything else. I don't recall seeing anyone have the same problems in more "normal" times.

SaraJayne
07-31-2009, 11:12 AM
I gave up credit cards years ago. I use my Debit Card for everything. I am debt free except for one car payment and a mortgage. I NEVER EVER want to deal with the BS of credit card companies again.

You're missing the obvious point ~ just because you have a credit card doesn't mean you have credit card debt. :)

We have 2 credit cards (one in my name and one in my DH's name) and neither of them have a balance on them.

Credit cards can be used responsibly. ;)

3boymthr
07-31-2009, 11:44 AM
As long as you don't input your PIN and process your debit card purchase as credit (through the CC network) it is just as secure as a credit card. You aren't giving them direct access to your account.

The 'had to pay the bill with a credit card to leave the country' story seems odd. No country that depends on tourism to survive is going to let a tourist be held hostage over a hospital bill, and I have to believe the US Embassy would step in in that kind of situation as well.

We were in this country at our local hospital where they would not treat DH without a cc so no US Embassy to step in for us. It was a Saturday night @10:30PM and the insurance company (not a national company so no 24 hr service) was closed so they couldn't verify our insurance eligiblity so they wouldn't treat him without a cc. Without a cc they would refer him to the nearest hospital that did free treatment for the uninsured (about 27 miles away) but they wouldn't treat him. Just they way it is/was in some places - even in this country.

C.Ann
07-31-2009, 01:41 PM
You're missing the obvious point ~ just because you have a credit card doesn't mean you have credit card debt. :)


Credit cards can be used responsibly. ;)

If you "charge" $500 worth of services on the 2nd of the month - and you don't pay it off until the 15th of the month (or the end of the month) - for that time period you have "credit card debt"..;)

Is the flip side of "credit cards can be used responsibly" meant to imply that people who choose not to have credit cards have made that choice because they are "'irresponsible"? Many people simply don't care to have credit cards - for any number of reasons.. My parents lived all their lives without credit cards; no mortgage payments (my dad built 2 out of the 5 homes that they lived in during their lifetimes); no car payments; etc.. Why? Because they saved for what they wanted; didn't believe in "instant gratification"; and my dad's motto was: "Pay as you go - unless you're going for good!" ;) (And no - they weren't wealthy.. My dad was a blue collar worker all of his life and my mom was a SAHM..)

For some people it's a "choice" - and has absolutely nothing to do with being "responsible" or "irresponsible"..:goodvibes

SaraJayne
07-31-2009, 01:52 PM
If you "charge" $500 worth of services on the 2nd of the month - and you don't pay it off until the 15th of the month (or the end of the month) - for that time period you have "credit card debt"..;)

Is the flip side of "credit cards can be used responsibly" meant to imply that people who choose not to have credit cards have made that choice because they are "'irresponsible"? Many people simply don't care to have credit cards - for any number of reasons.. My parents lived all their lives without credit cards; no mortgage payments (my dad built 2 out of the 5 homes that they lived in during their lifetimes); no car payments; etc.. Why? Because they saved for what they wanted; didn't believe in "instant gratification"; and my dad's motto was: "Pay as you go - unless you're going for good!" ;) (And no - they weren't wealthy.. My dad was a blue collar worker all of his life and my mom was a SAHM..)

For some people it's a "choice" - and has absolutely nothing to do with being "responsible" or "irresponsible"..:goodvibes

C.Ann, you've obviously read the budget board. You know as well as I do that some people don't use credit cards responsibly. That is why some people choose not to have them ~ because they can't/don't use them wisely.

As far as your parents go, there is no comparison to living in the 50's and living now ~ none. It's a different world and comparing apples and oranges. We live on one income also and manage the "pay as you go" mentality.

It isn't credit card debt if you pay it off as soon as it posts.

C.Ann
07-31-2009, 02:07 PM
C.Ann, you've obviously read the budget board. You know as well as I do that some people don't use credit cards responsibly. That is why some people choose not to have them ~ because they can't/don't use them wisely.

As far as your parents go, there is no comparison to living in the 50's and living now ~ none. It's a different world and comparing apples and oranges. We live on one income also and manage the "pay as you go" mentality.

It isn't credit card debt if you pay it off as soon as it posts.

Yes - I have seen some here who have gotten in over their heads with credit cards - and others who simply choose not to use them because they prefer to live on a cash basis..

My parents didn't "always" live in the 50's - LOL.. That would require being locked in a time warp.. Dad passed away in in the late 80's and Mom will be 91 in September.. :) Mom purchased another house (brand new) since Dad died - as well as a brand new car - with cash.. Of course she's in a nursing home now, but her cash method worked every bit as well during current times as it did in the 50's..

The point I was trying to make is that you can't paint everyone with the same broad brush.. Every time someone posts on the BB board that they choose not to use credit cards, eventually someone jumps in and makes the assumption that it's because they aren't "responsible" enough to use CC's.. Simply not true.. Different people choose different financial lifestyles simply because that is what they prefer..:goodvibes

disykat
07-31-2009, 02:36 PM
[QUOTE=C.Ann;32961803
Is the flip side of "credit cards can be used responsibly" meant to imply that people who choose not to have credit cards have made that choice because they are "'irresponsible"? [/QUOTE]

:confused3 The flip side to "credit cards can be used responsibly" is "credit cards can be used irresponsibly." It says absolutely nothing about those who choose not to have credit cards.

mrsklamc
07-31-2009, 02:46 PM
We were in this country .

You were not 'held hostage.' They refused treatment. If your husband was in a life threatening situation, that's illegal.

amwhitaker
07-31-2009, 02:51 PM
A debit card works just like a credit card. You don't even have to tell them it's a debit card.

C.Ann
07-31-2009, 02:58 PM
Is the flip side of "credit cards can be used responsibly" meant to imply that people who choose not to have credit cards have made that choice because they are "'irresponsible"?

:confused3 The flip side to "credit cards can be used responsibly" is "credit cards can be used irresponsibly." It says absolutely nothing about those who choose not to have credit cards.

That's why I specifically posed it as a "question".. See my post above..:goodvibes

Dancemom03
07-31-2009, 02:59 PM
We haven't used credit cards in quite a few years - stopped right after I received a $5500 Amex statement from a wdw trip. It was an extended stay back when DD19 did workshops and dance nationals in Orlando every summer. During the time we were away, I was very careful to be sure I knew what the closing date on the statement was and coordinated our hotels check-in/out to be sure they'd fall on two different statements.

I thought I had the caught the mouse by his tail and we ate very well b/c we'd be able to pay half each month instead of all of it on one statement - until I got home...
Imagine my surprise when we returned to find that they'd chosen that particular month to switch our statement dates and I had just two weeks before the entire bill of $5500 would be due in full.:eek:

That's a check I still remember writing because it was so unexpected all at once. It taught me a lot. We only use our debit card or cash for vacations now and don't use CCs at all anymore. We've stayed in all levels of resorts, and cruised as well. I've never had a problem checking in with a debit card. :thumbsup2

C.Ann
07-31-2009, 03:07 PM
We haven't used credit cards in quite a few years - stopped right after I received a $5500 Amex statement from a wdw trip. It was an extended stay back when DD19 did workshops and dance nationals in Orlando every summer. During the time we were away, I was very careful to be sure I knew what the closing date on the statement was and coordinated our hotels check-in/out to be sure they'd fall on two different statements.

I thought I had the caught the mouse by his tail and we ate very well b/c we'd be able to pay half each month instead of all of it on one statement - until I got home...
Imagine my surprise when we returned to find that they'd chosen that particular month to switch our statement dates and I had just two weeks before the entire bill of $5500 would be due in full.:eek:

That's a check I still remember writing because it was so unexpected all at once. It taught me a lot. We only use our debit card or cash for vacations now and don't use CCs at all anymore. We've stayed in all levels of resorts, and cruised as well. I've never had a problem checking in with a debit card. :thumbsup2

Sorry you got caught in the old "switcheroo" - something the CC's are doing even more frequently now.. Look on the bright side - you don't have to devote your life to monitoring what kind of tricks they have up their sleeves next..;)

kathyell
07-31-2009, 03:08 PM
I'm really sorry if I'm repeating information (really harried today and I don't have enough time to devote to reading the answers you already got) but if you have a Paypal account (don't need a CC for that if you link a bank account to it) you can get one-use CC numbers from them when you absolutely need a CC for something. It won't work if you need to show the card later (I know some car rental places require this when you pick up the car) but it might work for you for other things.

You may also want to consider keeping the one credit card you've had for the longest amount of time open just for credit score reasons, and to have one as a backup in case of a real emergency. One of the big factors in your credit score is length of credit history, and if you close the credit account you have had for the longest length of time, your credit score will drop. Freeze the CC in a block of water if it will help you not use it.

Oh, and it's worth noting that consumer protections on debit cards are nowhere near as strong as those that protect credit card users. If an unauthorized charge is made against your debit card, the money is debited from your account until the investigation is complete and decided in your favor. In most cases, if an unauthorized charge is made on your credit card and you file a fraud report on it in a reasonable amount of time, you do not have to pay that portion of your bill unless they finish their investigation and for some reason decide against you. There are also some extended warranty protections offered by some CC issuers that you don't get with a debit card, and if you pay for a product or service via CC that is not provided to you, you can file for a chargeback which means you do not have to pay that portion of your bill unless the CC company investigates and decides against you for some reason. If you used a debit card for any of those types of transactions, you are not protected as a consumer with the same protections you would have if you used a CC. Just some things to think about with regards to going CC-free, and I think it's important to weigh all the options before you decide.

Resseda
07-31-2009, 04:32 PM
One note on the "keeping one open just in case"...I had a cc at one point that just lived in my jewelry box. Had it, opened it, it was a "just in case" card. I used the card to buy a case of wine before my wedding, and then took it with me to Florida to put the rental car on, since it had a higher limit than the one I used day-to-day. It was flagged as suspicious usage and I stood crying the in the Hertz office in Orlando trying to explain my story.

Now, I'm down to one CC that I use for gas. I figure, it will get a couple uses a month, and I pay it off about weekly. I never want to go through that humiliation again.

Ress

PrincessSuzanne
07-31-2009, 05:17 PM
One note on the "keeping one open just in case"...I had a cc at one point that just lived in my jewelry box. Had it, opened it, it was a "just in case" card. I used the card to buy a case of wine before my wedding, and then took it with me to Florida to put the rental car on, since it had a higher limit than the one I used day-to-day. It was flagged as suspicious usage and I stood crying the in the Hertz office in Orlando trying to explain my story.

Now, I'm down to one CC that I use for gas. I figure, it will get a couple uses a month, and I pay it off about weekly. I never want to go through that humiliation again.

Ress

All you have to do is call the CC company and explain tha tyou are going out of town and that won't happen. they do that because they probably thought someone had stolen your identity. We took a CC with us in June that had a $0 balance and I just called them and let them know that we were traveling and may use it, so that didn't happen, took less then 5 minutes and no embarrassment.

Suzanne

Dancemom03
07-31-2009, 06:53 PM
All you have to do is call the CC company and explain tha tyou are going out of town and that won't happen. they do that because they probably thought someone had stolen your identity. We took a CC with us in June that had a $0 balance and I just called them and let them know that we were traveling and may use it, so that didn't happen, took less then 5 minutes and no embarrassment.

Suzanne

It doesn't hurt to call the bank for your debit card and let them know you'll be traveling as well. I did that this month and they added it to my record in case there was a question, just like if it were a cc. Having the computer lock it while we were in transit, filling up with gas & food over 7 states, would be a nightmare since that's our bank account too...

SandrA9810
07-31-2009, 07:53 PM
We just use our bank card as a CC since it's tied to Visa, and you get the same benefits as being a visa cardholder.

Our biggest problem with cards is gas stations. Some gas stations will ping your account for only 1$ or up to 75$, and sometimes you can only pump so much worth of gas if you pay at the pump. I always go inside and tell them the amount I want to pre purchase, so my account is only charged with the amount I want. If I'm filling it, I try to guess as close as possible, but if I do go over, then I just go back inside and they credit the difference to my card. Although race trac will give cash change if you purchase gas using it at debit. I always hated calling the automated banking to hear my balance is 75$ available balance is 55$... but I just put 45$ worth of gas, but until that transaction goes through, the bank thinks I have 55$ available for spending. And then if I make an 15$ purchase... well I just got myself an over the limit fee. I had too many of those, and now it's worth the walk inside to prepay for gas. No more paying at the pump, unless it's horribly raining and there's no cover from the pumps to the store.

I can't think of any bank that doesn't allow for a visa/debit card or mastercard/debit card. If you're doesn't, you might want to look into getting an account that allows for it. We rarely use actual CCs anymore, all our purchases are made with our bank card. It is possible to live CC free. Although most people are very good about paying off monthly, and earning the rewards... I'm not one of them.

Colleen27
07-31-2009, 08:00 PM
I have a prepaid card that I use on occasions when I would prefer to use a CC rather than my debit card, like for traveling or shopping online. That allows me to minimize the potential for fraud/theft damage (my debit card has many of the same protections, but I'd rather not hassle with being out the money while it is straightened out) and avoid holds on my day-to-day funds without keeping a CC open.

natashag76
07-31-2009, 08:11 PM
I don't know if I'm repeating info or not, but j.i.c., you should try to keep more than one open, even if you don't use it. And, you should use them only once every 6 months or so. It doesn't have to be a huge purchase. That way you maintain a good credit rating, because if in the future you need to buy a car or a house, you'll have a good credit history. If you close all your accounts, or don't use them (then the cc co's close them for lack of use) you have no credit history at all. And the credit trackers like transunion, experian and equifax, don't list who closed the account and why, only that it is closed. just my 2 cents.

dd50
08-01-2009, 01:30 AM
I'm really sorry if I'm repeating information (really harried today and I don't have enough time to devote to reading the answers you already got) but if you have a Paypal account (don't need a CC for that if you link a bank account to it) you can get one-use CC numbers from them when you absolutely need a CC for something. It won't work if you need to show the card later (I know some car rental places require this when you pick up the car) but it might work for you for other things.

You may also want to consider keeping the one credit card you've had for the longest amount of time open just for credit score reasons, and to have one as a backup in case of a real emergency. One of the big factors in your credit score is length of credit history, and if you close the credit account you have had for the longest length of time, your credit score will drop. Freeze the CC in a block of water if it will help you not use it.

Oh, and it's worth noting that consumer protections on debit cards are nowhere near as strong as those that protect credit card users. If an unauthorized charge is made against your debit card, the money is debited from your account until the investigation is complete and decided in your favor. In most cases, if an unauthorized charge is made on your credit card and you file a fraud report on it in a reasonable amount of time, you do not have to pay that portion of your bill unless they finish their investigation and for some reason decide against you. There are also some extended warranty protections offered by some CC issuers that you don't get with a debit card, and if you pay for a product or service via CC that is not provided to you, you can file for a chargeback which means you do not have to pay that portion of your bill unless the CC company investigates and decides against you for some reason. If you used a debit card for any of those types of transactions, you are not protected as a consumer with the same protections you would have if you used a CC. Just some things to think about with regards to going CC-free, and I think it's important to weigh all the options before you decide.

Very well said. If you have no cards (closed out) they will fall off your credit report after 10 years and you will have no score. FICO scores are used for insurance (car and homeowers), a few don't use it tho, and of course mortgages. The lower your score the more you pay.

I have a cash rewards card and let it give me money. I pay in full every month, usually twice a month and earn cash. CREDIT DOES NOT EQUAL DEBT.

Kriii
08-01-2009, 07:45 PM
dh and I had a discussion this week where we decided to go back to using a cc instead of debit...we pay off in full every month so no worries there. Our original reasoning was to use debit so no temptation to overspend and we only used ccs for certain things, like car rentals etc. (we've had balances in the past so I do understand why some posters are fearful of using cards)We've encountered problems with "holds" on funds over and above the amount of charges, which has resulted in overdraft fees when we spent money we "thought" we had. Debit card was once stolen and large amount of money was spent before problem was stopped (bank did not refund entire amount stolen). FInally, we were missing out of gas rewards and didn't have the same purchase protections. I know we have to watch the cc company like a hawk, as they have sneaky ways though. We have 3 cards, two are locked up and have been inactive for at least two years. We only use the one. Not closing any accounts b/c the FICO needs to stay strong! FICO does matter...just bought a house and w/o a good FICO we wouldn't have gotten the low interest rate. ALso, emergencies away from home have arisen in the past where having a cc was a lifesaver.

dd50
08-01-2009, 08:25 PM
dh and I had a discussion this week where we decided to go back to using a cc instead of debit...we pay off in full every month so no worries there. Our original reasoning was to use debit so no temptation to overspend and we only used ccs for certain things, like car rentals etc. (we've had balances in the past so I do understand why some posters are fearful of using cards)We've encountered problems with "holds" on funds over and above the amount of charges, which has resulted in overdraft fees when we spent money we "thought" we had. Debit card was once stolen and large amount of money was spent before problem was stopped (bank did not refund entire amount stolen). FInally, we were missing out of gas rewards and didn't have the same purchase protections. I know we have to watch the cc company like a hawk, as they have sneaky ways though. We have 3 cards, two are locked up and have been inactive for at least two years. We only use the one. Not closing any accounts b/c the FICO needs to stay strong! FICO does matter...just bought a house and w/o a good FICO we wouldn't have gotten the low interest rate. ALso, emergencies away from home have arisen in the past where having a cc was a lifesaver.

For the two you have locked up use them about every 3 months for something. Tank of gas, movie tickets, etc. so they don't close out your account.

CJMickeyMouse
08-01-2009, 08:29 PM
Why live without credit cards.... when you can use them responsibly and benefit from the rewards???

The amount of cash back you receive is enormous.... and discounts (such as through shop Discover) as well.

If we don't have the cash... we don't charge it. And we have not paid a cent of interest on a credit card. Ever. It can be done! :thumbsup2

snarlingcoyote
08-01-2009, 11:41 PM
I couldn't function without a CC. I travel with work and file my expenses. I could get a company Amex and charge, but I'm currently also allowed to use my "personal" card. My personal card has better rewards than the company AMEX, so I use it, but either way, I MUST have a CC.

I suppose I could just keep a reserve in my checking account for trips, but honestly? I don't want to have that in my checking account. We transfer our surplus (beyond a reasonable "float") into savings.

Also, my CC has v. good benefits, like $0 theft, assistance with buying, good customer service, etc. I was in an odd geographic location once and got a phone call from the CC "We noticed you've got charges in XY. Is that you?" My debit card just put a hold on the card - without contacting me to find out that yes, yes I was in the backend of nowhere and in a city known for international. . .uhm. . .fiscal theivery.

C.Ann
08-02-2009, 12:38 PM
Why live without credit cards.... when you can use them responsibly and benefit from the rewards???

Why purchase a Chevy rather than a Toyota? Personal preferences..;)

Dismom55
08-02-2009, 04:43 PM
We have been married for 36+ yrs and have NEVER had a cc. We do not believe in them and have been very glad when times get tough that we do not have that one more bill to pay. Recently tho I did decide to open just one CC, I opened it simply for the rental we will be using for our trip to Disney this Sept. Here is what I did, I took $800 from savings and opened a secured CC, in our case if something should happen we can close the acct and use the secured money to pay off the CC. I will use this acct for no other reason and have been saving the money to pay off the CC after we return from WDW. Thus avoiding finance charges. This way if money should suddenly get tight, well I don't have to worry over one more bill, just contact the bank and take care of it right then and there.

If I had it to do over, I would make the secured amount just a little larger in case of emergency or to be able to go ahead and charge the hotels while traveling.

What I have done in the past is to use my ATM card for all things that require a CC, I am not so comfortable with that now with so many hacking into acct and such.

We have always paid cash for things except a car and house, that is how we have the money to make an occasional trip to WDW, otherwise we would be mired in debt and unable to go.

Just my opinion, not always easy but we have managed so far.

CJMickeyMouse
08-03-2009, 09:37 AM
Why purchase a Chevy rather than a Toyota? Personal preferences..;)

Well, I personally would not buy either, but I definitely won't turn down free money! :):thumbsup2

kydisneyfans
08-03-2009, 10:18 AM
Well, I personally would not buy either, but I definitely won't turn down free money! :):thumbsup2

That's what we do. My wife and I have 17 open accounts between us, and we make less than the average American family income. We get paid over $500 a year for charging stuff we would buy anyway, from fuel to prescriptions and food. Stores are constantly sending out coupons for discounts on the store cards. We spent Saturday doing nothing but going from store to store in the mall getting "gifts" with our $15 off anything coupons from Lane Bryant, the Limited, etc.

Our open credit lines total over $125K. We haven't paid interest in over 3 years on any card. We have 5 different cards through Chase, none of them have been shut down or credit limit lowered. Out of the 17, only the Meijer CC had the limit lowered. We pulled our credit reports last week and we are in the top 2 percent in the nation regarding our credit scores, not bad for our lower than average income.

As for carrying "debt" while using the grace period, if I charge $500 today and it is not due until Sept 15, that $500 goes into an account to earn a few pennies, then it is paid around the Sept 10th. It is not debt.

Having the credit cards open and not using them much works, but it's definitely not for everyone.