Despite the fact that we are still digging our way out of debt (we’re down 17%!), we recently started using a credit card for our everyday purchases.
I’ve always been a big believer in using my debit card AS a credit card. Especially since our bank charges a $1 fee after you make more than 9 ATM or debit purchases in a month.
Learn more: Dear Credit Cards
Many personal finance experts will recommend against using a debit card as credit card since it does not offer the same benefits. Yet when my account number was stolen my bank quickly deactivated my card when a $600+ purchase at a Walmart (ew) in California (never been), was attempted. The $130 they did manage to take was immediately put back in my account. Maybe my bank is just that awesome, but a recent experience has me singing a different tune.
When going out to eat for a “date” with my girls my credit/debit card had a hold placed on it for $65 when the server accidently rang through another table’s purchase. The hold happened on a Saturday, and was there until Thursday of the following week. Nothing to worry about, but definitely inconvenient.
Since we had just paid off one of our cards that we intend to keep I decided it was time to try to use the skills we’ve learned about managing money (don’t overspend!) with the benefits and protection of using a credit card.
We did an experiment last month when I purchased my plane ticket for San Francisco, and a mattress for my son on the card and paid it off immediately and in full this month. I can honestly say it’s the first time I’ve ever paid a card in full and not used my credit card as a tool for affording things we couldn’t.
Learn more: Travel Smart With Credit Card Rewards
We’ll see how we do this month. I’ll update you at the end of our “month” (really 28 days ending mid May), here’s hoping my experiment works! So far I like having money in savings, and an empty credit card. It actually feels pretty good!