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10 Reasons I'm Cancelling My Credit Cards

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  • 10 Reasons I'm Cancelling My Credit Cards

    July 8, 2011

    The Treasury may be printing fewer dollars, but I'm going all cash.

    The dollar bill needs you.

    A growing number of merchants won't accept cash anymore. That includes a lot of airlines, which insist you pay by credit card if you want to buy a drink or a sandwich on board. And now comes news that the U.S. Treasury is printing fewer dollars, as we move towards an all-plastic economy.

    Great news for the banks. Great news for the card companies. Great news for the marketing establishment, which can now pore through our transactions and our personal lives in greater and greater detail.

    Me? Call me a contrarian, or just call me ornery, but I view this with gloom. This not a step forward. It's a step backwards. Personally, I've been moving the other way. I've cut down on my use of credit cards and debit cards. The latest news is the final push I needed to get them out of my life completely. I'm going all cash.

    Here are 10 reasons why:

    1. I'll spend less. A variety of scientific studies, such as this one at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have found that people are simply willing to spend more when they use credit cards than they do when they use cash. It's common sense. No wonder our national obsession with shopping really took off when credit cards came on the scene. And I've found it personally. Last fall and winter, when I went for an extended period without carrying any plastic at all, my day-to-day spending rate absolutely collapsed.

    2. The card bonuses aren't worth it. A lot of people use their credit cards for the frequent flyer miles or other bonuses. But many of these deals are getting less valuable. Airlines are cutting back on flyer programs. And how good were these programs anyway? Schwark Satyavolu, co-founder of BillShrink, says that if you are really smart, dedicated and targeted about getting and using your bonuses, you can sometimes get very good deals. But overall, he says, deals are getting less valuable, and are increasingly focused on cards with annual fees. Most of us are doing very well if we manage to get back 2% on our cards. Compared to the extra amount you spend, that's chicken feed.

    3. Cash makes budgeting easy. Personal financial planners encourage clients to draw up budgets. It's great advice, in theory anyway. But I have a confession: I'm just not that organized. Nor, I suspect, are lots of people. But if I go to the bank once a week and draw out a certain amount of cash, it makes the budgeting automatic. Easy.

    4. Less worry about identity theft. Do you worry about handing out your card or details every time you make a purchase? I do. The banks and online merchants work hard to maintain security, but the crooks are just as inventive. And there are plenty of them. People suffer identity theft all the time. Using cash cuts down on the risk.

    5. Fewer impulse purchases. One way credit cards let us spend more is that they make it easier to buy things that we don't need, and may not even want, on the spur of the moment. And the stores are set up to encourage it they rely on sophisticated marketing science to manipulate you into reaching into your wallet. If you don't have the money on you, you can't splurge. If you really want the item in question, you can come back and buy it tomorrow. Chances are you won't.

    6. I can still shop online. Just because I'm using cash doesn't bar me completely from getting online deals. Yes, I'll have to bend a principle, but I won't have to break it: I can buy a prepaid card in a store and charge it up with cash. Okay, so it's plastic, but I have to pay for it in advance, with cash, and it will have a limit. (On the same principle, I can also use a prepaid card as an emergency backup if I travel).

    7. Say goodbye to debt. I pay my cards off in full every month, but a lot of people don't. They use their cards to borrow, and it's a financial disaster. We've seen what the overuse of debt has done to our economy. According to Bankrate.com, the average card charges you 14% interest. Many charge a lot more. And you're paying with after-tax dollars. As an illustration, you'd have to earn at least 16.5% on the stock market (before long-term capital gains tax of 15%) just to keep up. Good luck with that. Says New York University's Stern School of Business, since 1928, U.S. stocks have produced an average compound return of just 9.7%. And Bankrate calculates that someone who buys a $1,000 item on a credit card charging 14% interest, and merely pays 2% of the balance each month, will end up paying $1,750 for that item. It will take 110 months to pay off the bill.

    8. Privacy. Credit cards are great for tracking people. They tell you exactly what you bought, where and when. (Throw in all the data tracked by your smartphone, your iPad and so on, and we're basically rats scurrying around in a Perspex cage while marketing strategists study our every move). I have to confess I hate it. And I love the privacy and anonymity of cash. Last week I meet my wife for lunch. But I stopped by my bank first to take out cash. It's none of American Express' business.

    9. Cash rebuilds the link between what I earn and what I spend. I remember back when I got my first job: I started calculating how much everything I spent cost in terms of hours worked. That new CD cost two hours of my time, and so on. It was a good discipline. Credit cards weaken the link. It's no wonder that the rise in plastic has resulted in an explosion in the numbers living beyond their means. (Is it also a coincidence that the rise of the credit card has also coincided with the collapse in unions? Before VISA, if you wanted a fancier car or vacation next year, you needed a pay raise).

    10. Cash helps people I want to help. The money goes to the merchant and his suppliers. When I go into my local credit union to cash a check, I'm keeping a couple of local tellers in work. Credit cards? I'm helping finance bank executives, marketing teams and call centers in India. I am sure they are all fine people, and I wish them well. But if I had to choose, and I do, I would rather help my local merchants and credit union staff.

    Provided by Smart Money
    http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-bud...d=bb-budgeting
    Last edited by Flamingo; 07-11-2011, 07:23 AM. Reason: To add date and conform to forum posting rules - OP PLEASE TAKE NOTE

  • #2
    Very good article

    My reason for not using CCs in a word: Bankruptcy. 'Hub
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 11-24-2011, 12:18 AM.
    If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.

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    • #3
      excellent post!!

      but i have comment about number 6. the prepaid card thing...NO way...we tried that and 100% of the gas stations do NOT accept them...most online merchants require a debit with a pluse or star logo on the back or they do not accept them.

      we LOST money using prepaid cards because of their limitations...actually we have a couple that had 10 dollars here or there we just couldn't use anywhere.

      the other information is GREAT!!!
      8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

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      • #4
        18 months into my chapter 13 and I don't have a credit card. I have been able to do all of the things with my debit card that I could previously do with my credit cards, except of course, spend money that I don't have. Is it always easy? No, but I have found that having to make a determination on every discretionary expense has really changed the manner in which we approach life. Things that we might have considered needs in the past are really not. By exercising this sort of discipline, we have been able to still do some of the fun things in life, like vacations and hobbies. Cash and carry is really not that bad.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
          excellent post!!

          but i have comment about number 6. the prepaid card thing...NO way...we tried that and 100% of the gas stations do NOT accept them...most online merchants require a debit with a pluse or star logo on the back or they do not accept them.

          we LOST money using prepaid cards because of their limitations...actually we have a couple that had 10 dollars here or there we just couldn't use anywhere.

          the other information is GREAT!!!
          What gas stations you go to tobee? Every gas station I go to, I have no problem using my prepaid debit card. I know if you use a prepaid debit at the pump, it will put a dollar amount block on the card. I always use it inside the gas station store. I just tell the cashier how much I want to spend on the gas pump number, the person tells me to swipe my card, and I am done. Never had a problem.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chicagoed195 View Post
            18 months into my chapter 13 and I don't have a credit card. I have been able to do all of the things with my debit card that I could previously do with my credit cards, except of course, spend money that I don't have. Is it always easy? No, but I have found that having to make a determination on every discretionary expense has really changed the manner in which we approach life. Things that we might have considered needs in the past are really not. By exercising this sort of discipline, we have been able to still do some of the fun things in life, like vacations and hobbies. Cash and carry is really not that bad.
            I just had my 341 last month, when the discharge finally comes, I don't even want to think about getting another credit card. Just knowing that I used credit to buy depreciating consumer junk which got me into this mess is reason enough for me to not do it again. If I don't get a credit card offer from here on out is just fine with me. If I would have stuck to just spending what I made, and saving up for what I wanted, I wouldn't be here right now. lol

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Goteki45 View Post
              What gas stations you go to tobee? Every gas station I go to, I have no problem using my prepaid debit card. I know if you use a prepaid debit at the pump, it will put a dollar amount block on the card. I always use it inside the gas station store. I just tell the cashier how much I want to spend on the gas pump number, the person tells me to swipe my card, and I am done. Never had a problem.
              we tried it at 7/11 and racetrack and bp and i know a few more...not a ONE would take the card!! maybe the pumps here in florida are not set to take them????

              we gave up and just use our debit card.
              8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AngelinaCatHub View Post
                My reason for not using CCs in a word: Bankruptcy. 'Hub
                I'm right there with you!

                NEVER EVER EVER again for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Prepaid debit cards - many of them specifically state that you cannot used them at the pump or at gas stations...sometimes spouse gets gift cards, and I usually have never been able to used them at the pump. I usually wind up using them to pay part of cable bill and the such.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    well we do have a couple. however, the ONLY time we use them is for making reservations...and or a large repair that if it goes bad we can dispute the charge. ( we had a problem with one of the banks with our debit card and couldn't dispute charges!!). so, for example last month when we needed a rather expensive car repair, and we really don't know about the shop that did it, so far, we have NOT had the best luck finding a new mechanic, or dentist, or doctors...it's been hit and miss. but then again when we moved out from calif to the east it took us a few years to find good anything.

                    but we just don't want to get ripped off. that is the ONLY time we use them and they are always paid off within 30 days!
                    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
                      we tried it at 7/11 and racetrack and bp and i know a few more...not a ONE would take the card!! maybe the pumps here in florida are not set to take them????

                      we gave up and just use our debit card.
                      It could be a Florida thing. I use my prepaid master card at several BP, Exxon, Sunoco, Sheets, Sams Club locations here in Maryland,"sams club puts a block of $50". I've never tried 7-11 yet, but now I am curious to see what will happen. Prepaid transactions could be different here in Maryland then Florida.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IamOld View Post
                        Prepaid debit cards - many of them specifically state that you cannot used them at the pump or at gas stations...sometimes spouse gets gift cards, and I usually have never been able to used them at the pump. I usually wind up using them to pay part of cable bill and the such.
                        I have a mango money prepaid, and it only says that if you use the card at the pump, it will put a certain amount block on the funds. I just go inside and use the point of sale keypad, then go out and pump my gas.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't see the problem of having a credit card again - JUST REMEMBER TO PAY IT OFF EVERY MONTH!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            havent had a CC since mid 2008... and closed it due to rate jacking from 7.9% fixed since opening it 4 years previously to 18.99% for no reason. Crap One at its best...

                            Havent missed having one at all... much easier paying all cash for everything.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JackBondLove View Post
                              I don't see the problem of having a credit card again - JUST REMEMBER TO PAY IT OFF EVERY MONTH!
                              Why go into debt for even a month if you already have the money in the bank? It doesn't compute to me. Unless it is a necessity rather then a want, I don't want go into debt. I bet if a survey was taken of everybody on the forum, I bet many of them would have said they use to pay their credit card balances off every month BUT an emergency happened, and things took a change for the worst. When I use cash via my prepaid, I DON'T HAVE TO REMEMBER TO PAY ANYBODY OFF NEXT MONTH. Can't go into debt using your own money.
                              Last edited by Goteki45; 07-13-2011, 01:20 AM. Reason: mispelled word

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