"The number one thing that gets people into financial trouble is overspending, or the lack of control in using a credit card."
Howard Dvorkin is a CPA, and founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services. He's echoing what everyone knows: credit cards can be trouble.
"People tend to spend about 30 percent more when they use a credit card."
But credit cards can really be more like a dog. Sure, they can bite you, but they can also be your best friend. How? Let's count the ways:
First: safer online shopping. If you're unsatisfied or don't get what you paid for, credit cards allow you to withhold payment while the issues are resolved. Can't do that with a debit card. Next: some credit cards double factory warranties: really handy when you're buying big-ticket items like appliances and electronics.
Then there are rewards. Things like free flights, free hotels, cash back. And all you have to do to get this stuff is pay with plastic instead of cash.
Next: travel protection. Some cards offer reimbursement for lost bags and rental car coverage. Finally: building credit. Using a card and paying it off monthly keeps your credit file active and keeps your score looking good. So even though credit counselors are quick to point out the perils of plastic, even they'll say it's not all bad.
"We live in a cashless society. It's inherent that these pieces of plastic are part of our cultural DNA.
However, people need to use them responsibly."
Bottom line? As long as you can pay em off every month, you're kind of crazy not to use a credit card.
Now what you need now are the best cards for you and I can help you with that. Just go to moneytalksnews.com and do a search for "credit cards."
For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.