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Old 11-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #21
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Cash is a good idea IMO. On our recent trip to Canada we discovered () that the Discover Card is hardly taken anywhere. That left us with one credit card to use, and that one has been hacked twice in the past two years. Glad we had cash!
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:59 AM   #22
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Debit cards should not be used like Credit cards. I speak with some expertise having worked in the card industry for many years. The key to any card use is disipline. Most people have what is called overdraft protection using a savings account or line of credit as the back up account. It is not uncommon for a credit line of $50k or more. Hacking into a debit card account gives the thief access to the balance in your account and also the funds available thru the companion accounts. The 2nd major flaw in use of a Dr card for things like car rental, plane tickets, and hotels is that these merchants often place a hold on your card for potential additional charges that often are more than the initial purchase amount. These holds are strictly regulated but it can tie up significant amounts on your deposit account. Debit cards should never be used for online purchases and my recommendation is that they should only be used for ATM transactions and purchases at trusted local merchants if used at all for point of sale.

For those old enough to remember cards use to be called charge cards when they were issued by individual merchants and later by banks. They morphed into credit cards as time went on and banks encourage you to accept larger and larger credit limits. A dirty little secret that banks don't want you to know is that they consider the best card customer the ones who max out their credit line and make minimum payments. These customers are considered sheep who are routinely fleesed for interest charges and over limit fees. You can and should limit your card credit limit to an amount you find appropriate and turn down automatic limit increases.

Carrying large amounts of cash is dangerous and cash losses are not reimbursable. I say carry enough for emergencies and for the few transactions where cards are not accepted. There is no such thing as a surprise balance on a credit card statement unless it is a fraud. If you can't control your spending, using a debit card won't help.

Credit [charge] cards are wonderful tools that have to be protected and used with great care. Unfortunately there has been a rapid rise in identity theft and card fraud. An account with a reputable bank that utilizes state of the art fraud protection proticals that you monitor closely is safer than any other point of sale tool.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:09 PM   #23
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^^And there are some nice rewards credit cards out there for the financially disciplined as well. 1 to 3% can add up over the course of a year. For example if you have to pay a $200.00 electric bill anyway, you might as well get a couple bucks back while doing it as long as you pay the balance off every month its the same as cash + the reward.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:56 PM   #24
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I have rarely used a debit card to purchase anything and haven't used mine at all for purchases for the past year. I still need the debit card to get money from my credit union cash machines and to deposit checks in the machines, so I have no intention of getting rid of it.

I have had the same 2 credit cards for at least 25 years, one with the CU and one the GM card. I've saved over $12000 on GM vehicles with the card rebates. I have no idea what the interest is and don't care, as I have never not paid off any credit card monthly. I use the GM card enough to get the max $500 rebate credit each year.

After 2 instances of my CU cancelling the card in the past year (Target and I forget the 2nd one), the new ones have different numbers for my card and my wife's card. Same billing, but different numbers, so we effectively have 3 credit cards. I haven't had any other card except those for many years. I'm not about to carry $2000 in cash for a 2 week vacation.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:03 PM   #25
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Amazing how strong the oppinions are here -- and I too am steadfast in mine.

- CASH for 99% of everything
- Debit card for the remaining 1% I can't pay cash for.
- Debit account isn't linked to anything, no other account for overdraft protection
- I accept the fact that hotels, car rentals and occasionally fuel pumps will place a hold on my other available funds and I'll ensure sufficient funds are available
- No credit in my life except for a mortgage -- couldn't care less about my FICO score.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:32 PM   #26
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Even with the risk of carrying cash or debit cards I personally prefer that to the dangers of credit cards. I know with cash/debit I won't get in debt -- when I used credit I always had an idea of what the bill was, but on many occasions the actual bill was quite a bit more and painful to pay in full. No longer do I have that problem.
Not a real problem if you enter the credit charge in a register exactly like you would when writing a check. Personally I like using others money while my funds are sitting in an interest bearing account plus the 1.5% rebate that I get back on my CC. Yes I pay my CC bill in full each month and I know exactly what it is when I get it. YMMV
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:22 PM   #27
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Amazing how strong the oppinions are here -- and I too am steadfast in mine.

- CASH for 99% of everything
- Debit card for the remaining 1% I can't pay cash for.
- Debit account isn't linked to anything, no other account for overdraft protection
- I accept the fact that hotels, car rentals and occasionally fuel pumps will place a hold on my other available funds and I'll ensure sufficient funds are available
- No credit in my life except for a mortgage -- couldn't care less about my FICO score.
And that is why we live in America, each of us can exercise our own believes and make our own choices including your choice to not use credit. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, just pointing out the pros and cons and the pitfalls of making those choices. No need to repeat what I said other than to say that ownership of 1 or more credit cards does not relegate you to a life of bankruptcy any more than keeping a couple bottles of booze in your home makes you a drunk. The fact about credit is that our society makes using it almost a necessity if you choose to participate in many of the more popular activities. Carrying enough cash to cover my expenses on a trip [I'm not a big spender] is not even a consideration for me.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:44 PM   #28
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And that is why we live in America, each of us can exercise our own believes and make our own choices including your choice to not use credit. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, just pointing out the pros and cons and the pitfalls of making those choices. No need to repeat what I said other than to say that ownership of 1 or more credit cards does not relegate you to a life of bankruptcy any more than keeping a couple bottles of booze in your home makes you a drunk. The fact about credit is that our society makes using it almost a necessity if you choose to participate in many of the more popular activities. Carrying enough cash to cover my expenses on a trip [I'm not a big spender] is not even a consideration for me.
I agree -- and to be clear my no credit/no debt is how we live our personal life. My professional life requires lots of travel and am required to use an Amex for expenses. Although a corp Amex, it's my account in my name and ultimately my responsibility so even I can't 100% avoid credit cards -- atleast until I work for myself.

I resisted giving up cards for all the reasons folks mentioned. Finally we did it in 2013, a real adjustment at the time but now I can't imagine ever going back. Having what many would consider a lot of cash on hand at all times was also an adjustment, but like everything you get used to it.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:40 PM   #29
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The money lost out of your checking account due to debit card fraud is refunded "conditionally" by your bank or credit union pending investigation. There is generally no problem unless a merchant challenges it. I just went through this a couple of months ago. One of the merchants "challenged" the fraud, and that money was held until the investigation was complete. According to an investigator I talked to at MasterCard, some merchants just challenge every claim of fraud on a debit card in principal. I had to write a formal statement, and send it through my credit union to get refunded the proceeds that this particular merchant got hit for.

I imagine everybody may have a different experience, that was just mine. As a result, I only use my debit card at the ATM at my bank, and use cash everywhere.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:54 AM   #30
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Awesome response to my post people! I may be more confused now than I was before. Thanks for the great and spirited dialogue. BTW Bassdogs as long as you don't drink up your liquor cabinet on a daily basis you're good!
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