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All too often, when you start reading financial advice articles, you hear one clear statement that comes through loud and clear: debt is bad! Steer clear of credit cards, because using them could financially ruin you! The truth, however, is more complex than that. While there are certainly some advantages to avoiding debt altogether, having a credit card isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In some cases, it can be an incredibly helpful addition to your financial arsenal. Here are 3 reasons to have a credit card.
Reason #1: Your Credit Card is a Great Way to Cover Financial Emergencies
You’re at the end of a pay period (or worse, stuck in the middle of a government shutdown and unsure when your next paycheck is going to hit) and your gas tank is on empty. An unexpected car repair has hit, and you just don’t have quite enough money in your account to cover it. While your credit card shouldn’t be your only emergency fund, it can be a useful way to ensure that you have the funds you need on hand when you need them most.
Reason #2: Your Credit Card Lets You Easily Track Specific Expenses
Are you going to be traveling, whether for a PCS move or to head home to visit family? If you’ll be staying in hotels along the way, you may worry that you’ll get hit with unexpected additions to your room fees–or worse, that you’ll end up with extra charges that you didn’t authorize. Using your credit card allows you to easily track those costs, making it easier to know exactly what you’ve spent and adjust your budget accordingly.
Reason #3: Many Credit Cards Offer Rewards
No, not every credit card offers rewards just for having it, but many of them do! Take a look at credit cards that will allow you to build airline miles, save on your next vacation, or reap cash rewards over time. All of these are free benefits that you can take advantage of so why not work them into your budget? Check into the cards available to you to see which ones offer the best benefits. You might be surprised by the rewards you can gain.
Credit cards often get a bad rap simply because they are sometimes viewed as a gateway to future debt. The truth, however, is that credit cards themselves aren’t bad. How you manage your credit card can transform your financial future, and proper management will allow you to experience higher levels of financial freedom. Don’t let your credit cards take over your spending, but don’t be afraid to use them, either! Check out these great credit card options to learn more about all the benefits of keeping a quality credit card in your wallet.
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