Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-25-10, 11:34 PM   #1
Digital Gee
I need more cowbell.
Thread Starter
 
Digital Gee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Reno, Nevada
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Elite, 2012 Masi Evoluzione
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OT: Throwing away the credit cards

I've decided to toss my credit cards for at least a year. I'll pay cash (or occasionally use my debit card) and charge NOTHING.

Curious to hear from others who have beaten the credit card habit. What's been your experience? Any cautionary tales to share? Am I being foolish?
__________________
2015 Sirrus Elite
2012 Masi Evoluzione

Proud member of the original Club Tombay
Digital Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 12:17 AM   #2
ro-monster
Senior Member
 
ro-monster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Bikes: Pacific Reach, Specialized Myka Expert
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, you aren't foolish. Years ago I ran up several thousand dollars in debt on credit cards. Then I was laid off twice within two years and couldn't make the payments, which caused the interest rates to increase from merely ridiculous to completely insane. That was when I swore off credit cards, and I've never looked back. Once you are free from them you realize how reprehensible the credit industry really is.
ro-monster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 04:29 AM   #3
Brian Sharpe
Senior Member
 
Brian Sharpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 'burbs of Ottawa ON Canada
Bikes: Marin Larkspur / Giant Defy Alliance 1
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have become a society of debt slaves, our ancestors were right to avoid it. In modern banking jargon a "deadbeat" is someone who pays off their credit card purchases each month.

Credit cards are useful - I use mine for all my business purchases to collect travel points & my family gets at least one free trip a year.
Brian Sharpe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 04:41 AM   #4
JamieElenbaas
enthusiast
 
JamieElenbaas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southern Mississippi for the time being.
Bikes: 2010 BMC SL 01 Roadracer, 2012 Davidson Tandem
Posts: 509
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Done the opposite. Almost all purchases are done on a mileage card. The catch is the balance is zero at the end of each month.

What is there to buy on Pitcairn Island? ;-)
JamieElenbaas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 04:41 AM   #5
scroca 
commuter and barbarian
 
scroca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Potomac, MT, USA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I find my credit card useful. My wife and I make all our purchases with it, unless the merchant doesn't take credit cards. We pay the balance due by the due date and never incur interest. It works for us.
scroca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 04:42 AM   #6
bhchdh 
Senior Member
 
bhchdh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hampton Roads VA
Bikes: '07 Trek 520, '09 Gary Fisher Triton, '04 Trek 8000, '85 Trek 500, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 510, '92 Trek Multitrack 700
Posts: 1,743
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Not foolish at all. We gave up or credit cards ten years ago. No down side.
__________________
"When I hear another express an opinion, which is not mine, I say to myself, He has a right to his opinion, as I to mine; why should I question it. His error does me no injury, and shall I become a Don Quixot to bring all men by force of argument, to one opinion? If a fact be misstated, it is probable he is gratified by a belief of it, and I have no right to deprive him of the gratification."

T. Jefferson
bhchdh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 04:47 AM   #7
Rowan
Has opinion, will express
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 14,658
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
I have a debit card with a modest line of credit with interest charged at much less than CC interest. The LoC is for emergencies, particularly so if travelling overseas. I"ve rarely tipped into the negative for several years now, and when I have, it's only been for a hundred bucks or so and for a day.

I, too, had a credit card balance and was jobless about 10 years ago. An auto teller machine "ate" my card, and it was the best thing to have happened.

All my on-line transactions are with a debit card, and I take out a lump-sum every week for various household expenses.

One thing that might bear checking is what happens to your credit rating if you pay down your account. I am led to believe America's fiscal system has an odd way of dealing with credit ratings when that happens.
Rowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 04:52 AM   #8
scroca 
commuter and barbarian
 
scroca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Potomac, MT, USA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
One thing that might bear checking is what happens to your credit rating if you pay down your account. I am led to believe America's fiscal system has an odd way of dealing with credit ratings when that happens.
You won't hurt your credit score by paying down your balance due. You can surely hurt it by running it up too high and by not paying debts that are due.
scroca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 05:45 AM   #9
DnvrFox
Banned.
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Bikes:
Posts: 20,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Everything goes on a credit card. Gives me an accurate record of expenditures, and handy at tax time.

However, the balance is paid each and every month. I never incur interest and we get free airplane flights and notable cash rebates.


Quote:
One thing that might bear checking is what happens to your credit rating if you pay down your account. I am led to believe America's fiscal system has an odd way of dealing with credit ratings when that happens.
Fortunately, we have no need for additional credit beyond the two credit cards we use, so, I don't worry about credit rating, although I get enough "Please signup for our credit card" and "You are pre-qualified" and other similar advertisements, so I would guess the credit rating is pretty good.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-26-10 at 06:00 AM.
DnvrFox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 05:48 AM   #10
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never had one in my life, and have never had a problem not having one. Anything you can do with a credit card you can do with a debit card. The difference is that with a debit card you actually have the money to pay for it.

Oh, and before anyone asks we are debt free and own our own home, car, and mod-cons.
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 05:54 AM   #11
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,944
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
I went bankrupt back in the recession of '92. I haven't had a credit card since.

I've learned that
  • if I can't afford an item, then I also can't afford that item plus interest.
  • I spend less overall since I deal with objects (cash) instead of abstractions (figures on an account).
  • it's easy to figure out if I can afford something, since I don't have to factor in interest or bill juggling.
  • a pile of savings is infinitely more satisfying than a wallet full of plastic.
  • I have more time since I have fewer bills, I pay them all on receipt, and don't have to track when to pay and how much.
  • financial "emergencies" are simply the result of poor planning. I've learned how to plan better and haven't had a financial "emergency" in over 15 years.
  • My "credit score" is only of interest to those who want me to pay them interest.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 05:56 AM   #12
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,944
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
and mod-cons.
What the hell is a mod-con?
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 06:05 AM   #13
donheff
Senior Member
 
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Bikes: Specialized Tricross Comp
Posts: 1,313
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieElenbaas View Post
Done the opposite. Almost all purchases are done on a mileage card. The catch is the balance is zero at the end of each month.
+1 I do the same. DW and I are looking at a frequent flyer trip to see friends in Hawaii to escape the winter in January or February.
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 06:07 AM   #14
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
What the hell is a mod-con?
Modern conveniences. We don't live in a shack.
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 06:14 AM   #15
ezdoesit
Senior Member
 
ezdoesit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Jersey
Bikes: Fuji Touring 2008
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sharpe View Post
We have become a society of debt slaves, our ancestors were right to avoid it. In modern banking jargon a "deadbeat" is someone who pays off their credit card purchases each month.

Credit cards are useful - I use mine for all my business purchases to collect travel points & my family gets at least one free trip a year.
Wow I didn't know I was a deadbeat amazing and I like it cause I don't owe anyone anything and keep it that way.
I use the credit cards to extend my money in savings account to acquire interest then pay when the bill is due.
If I can't afford it I won't buy it PERIOD>
And I am retired so I have to watch my pennies so I know how much to spend on my bicycle he he.
ezdoesit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 06:54 AM   #16
gtragitt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Houston, TX - Energy corridor
Bikes: 2011 Trek SOHO Deluxe, and 2010 Specialized Roubaix Expert
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I need credit cards for all my travel. I do pay them off completely when the bills arrive. My rebate on a Costco American Express card last year was over $2300. It will be over $1500 this year. I have stopped using it in foreign countries because American Express now charges a currency conversion fee.

I use a Capital One Visa for foreign countries to avoid this fee. None of my cards have an annual fee. I did cancel my Platinum American Express card due to the high fee. It was good for getting into airline lounges, but I never used it much because the Costco AMEX gave me a good rebate. I had previously been getting it free with my Ameriprise investment account.

Sometimes in foreign countries they only take MasterCard; so, I have one of them also. I used to have a GM MasterCard, but dropped it due to the fee. It had previously been worth it because I racked up huge rebates for purchasing GM cars. I am not planning to buy another car in the next five years; so, I had no desire to keep this card.

The American Express lounges in foreign airports allowed access with the Platinum AMEX card. After I dropped it I can still get in with my Hilton Gold AMEX card. This card also increases my HiltonHonors points, which I use for free nights in hotels. I stayed in the NY Hilton last month for free (about $400/night) and in Nashville last week 2 nights for free.

Although I have no interest fees and annual fees, I probably spend much more by using them than by using cash.
gtragitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 07:19 AM   #17
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
Posts: 6,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pay for every single thing I can with an Amazon.com credit card -- you earn points as you go, which you can cash in at Amazon to buy stuff.

Balance gets paid to zero every month, automatically out of checking. Keeps me from running up a balance.

There's nothing wrong with credit cards if you can be in a position enough not to carry a balance. Right when I got out of a college I would need to carry a balance for a few months (I bought my first serious bike that way!) but I haven't carried a balance since 1980 or so. My parents were both Depression babies so I grew up with an unnatural fear of carrying consumer debt; my parents pounded it into me. I passed up a lot of fun opportunities when I was in my 20's because I didn't have the money to pay cash for things like vacations w/my friends and I refused to run up a credit card balance -- I'm actually not sure if that was a good thing (example: pulled out of a bike tour down the California coast once because I was out of cash, so I stayed home...). It's nice now not to be in debt; but it would have been nice then to take the trip!

Last edited by BengeBoy; 10-26-10 at 07:26 AM.
BengeBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 07:31 AM   #18
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 (WIP)
Posts: 2,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Finished with credit cards a few years ago, and now I am debt-free except for my house... no regrets.
FunkyStickman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 07:44 AM   #19
jdon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 4,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have one credit card I use for online purchases and travel but never carry a balance. Even then, I prefer to ask for a cash discount than collect reward points.
jdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 07:53 AM   #20
echo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I went bankrupt back in the recession of '92. I haven't had a credit card since.

I've learned that
  • if I can't afford an item, then I also can't afford that item plus interest.
  • I spend less overall since I deal with objects (cash) instead of abstractions (figures on an account).
  • it's easy to figure out if I can afford something, since I don't have to factor in interest or bill juggling.
  • a pile of savings is infinitely more satisfying than a wallet full of plastic.
  • I have more time since I have fewer bills, I pay them all on receipt, and don't have to track when to pay and how much.
  • financial "emergencies" are simply the result of poor planning. I've learned how to plan better and haven't had a financial "emergency" in over 15 years.
  • My "credit score" is only of interest to those who want me to pay them interest.
I like that thinking, I always got by without a credit card...then one day my bank offered one to me and I accepted, charged a bunch of crap I would never spend cash on...racked up the limit, realized what I had done - shredded the card, paid off the balance and will never go back to plastic again...except for using my trusted debit card.
echo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 08:08 AM   #21
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Bikes:
Posts: 7,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
1. Get cards that have cash-back bonuses, and no annual fees.
2. Don't put any charges on a CC unless you have the money in the bank to pay for it.
3. Pay balance in full every month.

4. DON'T carry a debit card! The protections of a CC card against bogus charges don't apply.
It enables someone to reach directly into your bank account.
Shimagnolo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 08:12 AM   #22
myrridin
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 2,325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
I've decided to toss my credit cards for at least a year. I'll pay cash (or occasionally use my debit card) and charge NOTHING.

Curious to hear from others who have beaten the credit card habit. What's been your experience? Any cautionary tales to share? Am I being foolish?
I would be very cautious using a debit card. Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not usually include fraud protection. Once they take your money it is gone, and the bank will not feel any obligation to correct the problem. I've had issues when using my cards (credit) in retail locations, and then having numerous fraudulent charges immediately following. Since the only use of the cards was the retail purchase that week it seemed a pretty clear case of where the fraud occurred.

Use your debit card only at a bank ATM and just use cash elsewhere. If not, at least don't keep much money in the bank account linked to the card.
myrridin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 09:08 AM   #23
rck
Senior Member
 
rck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: monroe (sw) wi
Bikes: cannondale 400st, dean el diente, specialized hybrid
Posts: 1,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like others in this thread, I have one credit card. My card is also a cash back and the balance gets paid in full at the end of every month. The only downside is that I end up buying bicycling related toys that I might have passed on if I had to rely on cash on hand. On the other hand, there are worse problems to have!
rck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 09:22 AM   #24
CraigB
Starting over
 
CraigB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Indianapolis
Bikes: 1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
Posts: 4,081
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like others here, I use my cards regularly, but always pay them off each month. I was a credit card abuser in my youth, and it took me many years to climb out of the hole I'd created for myself. Now nothing major gets purchased unless I can fit it into the budget. And that's pretty seldom.

On a related note, I have steadfastly avoided ATM cards for the past 20 years. I found I was getting cash at the drop of a hat. That behavior has changed as well.

It's a shame we can't be born with hindsight.
CraigB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-10, 09:45 AM   #25
HawkOwl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 2,635
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The key is self discipline, not whether you have plastic or not.

Also, be very sure you understand the rules of Credit Card vs. Debit Card. I'm not sure what is happening now, but before the new rules took effect banks, contrary to what consumers thought, did not limit purchases to the amount of money in the person's account. The typical consumer agreed to "overdraft protection" which was used by the bank to assess overdraft fees and interest charges. Also, the protections for credit cards are not universally applicable to debit cards.

It is nearly impossible to travel without a credit card to rent cars, make airline reservations and so forth. Many hotels will not rent to you unless you have a major credit card. But, if you do travel you need at least two credit cards. One as a back up when the first is eaten in and ATM or there is some screw up. It has happened to me and others.

If you want to see why banks like consumers to have debit cards just pay attention at the check out at a store. Credit card folks generally keep their receipts where debit card folks don't. With no receipts people have no clue how much they are spending so people have a tendency to spend more.

In short, plastic is a valuable tool. Banks love it when the consumer can't exercise self-discipline and pass control to the bank by using a debit card.

Oh yes, I have multiple credit cards which I pay off each month as due. One is a fee card because I get a cheap airline ticket that is worth more than the fee. I never, never put a purchase on a card just to get airline miles. Airline miles are like cash except the airline determines that they are worth. I do put most purchases on cards that give me cash incentives.
HawkOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:50 PM.