Credit Cards

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credit cardsFinancial institutions seem to be very liquid these days. They are giving out credit cards as if it is a bank brochure. The other day, BPI Express Credit sent me two [tag]credit cards[/tag]. I don’t understand why they have to send me a credit card when I already have a BPI Express Credit card since 1989. *snip* *snip* The lady at the Express Phone protested when I told her that I had no need for additional credit cards. A few weeks ago, Banco de Oro (BDO) also sent us credit cards. *snip* *snip* I believe in having a credit card but two are enough, thank you. I used to have a VISA card but I snipped that a year ago . It’s just so much easier to balance my budget. My husband has three credit cards and he plans to snip one card as soon as he pays off a “zero lite” plan.

Why would anyone need so many credit cards? It causes anyone to go into debt much faster, thinking of the additional cards as a standby.

The first credit card I ever had was Diner’s Club in the early 80’s. During those days, credit cards were very limited in the Philippines and often offered to businessmen or the “rich”. As a struggling career woman, I didn’t qualify for a credit card. Anyway, I got mine as supplementary card from my dad. After a few years of wise use, it paved the way for me to get a credit card on my own. Then credit cards became an “in thing” in the late eighties that more bank started on credit card operations.

Through the years, the advantages of credit cards outweighed the disadvantages.

1. Established our credit line. Having a good credit history is often important . It got us our first housing loan in 2000. Because of the credit history with the first loan, we got a second loan.

2. Emergencies. I can think of the Hospital bills where our health insurance refused to cover. When the ATM is down or runs out of cash, I can use my credit card.

3. Ease of Purchase. I like how I can shop online for things not often found in this country. Take for example, amazon.com.

4. Credit Card benefits. I like the reward points which got me a microwave, electric fans, handyman tools, office chairs and I forgot.

The only disadvantage of credit cards is that the ease of purchase makes me want to buy more. This is where discipline comes in. I limit purchases to grocery, medicines and fuel because they are basic necessities in life. Luxuries are best bought in cash if I can help it.

With all the credit cards available to consumers, it makes me wonder why these credit card companies charge renewal fees when they receive so much “commission” from the sales. Oh yeah, I once complained to the bank about the membership fees . They told me to use my reward points to pay the fees. Right. Spend and get rewarded. How thoughtful.