Myth/Peeve #3: I should use my debit card rather than my credit card.
EHHHHHH! WRONG! Credit cards first, debit card second, a preloaded debit card third, and cash never! If you have access to them AND (and this is a BIG “AND”!) use them correctly, credit cards are way, WAY better than debit cards. Here are just three of the myriad reasons to use a credit card:
One, spend less time dealing with money stuff. When you use a debit card, staying on top of your spending and making sure you always have enough in the bank to cover your monthly bills is a giant pain in the bum-bum. Right? With a credit card, you have a 20 or 30 day grace period to pay for purchases, which really simplifies the process of managing your cashflow.
Two, get rewarded. Ask not what you can do for your card… ask what your card can do for you. Most credit cards these days offer you some sort of bonus for their use. Cash back, points, miles, airline tickets… the list goes on. That’s free stuff, just for spending money that you would have spent anyway!
Three, improve your credit score. Using your debit card is only one tiny step up from paying in paper bills and coins. Because you’re not demonstrating that you can handle having access to a line of credit AND (another BIG “and”!) treating it responsibly, your credit score will not be as high as it could – and if you’re financially responsible, as high as it should – be.
So you see. Plastic passport to debt slavery it need not be. Use – just do not abuse – and you will reap many rewards. Now go forth and swipe!