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The Pro’s and Con’s of Using Your Credit Card for Major Purchase

No matter how sincere you are about cutting your budget, no matter how frugal you become, there will come a time when you have to make a major purchase using money that you don’t have. There is no avoiding it in this current age of financing. We don’t live in a gold-based economy. We live in a credit-based economy. At some point, your good credit will be the difference between failure and success. There are some things you should never be a cheapskate about. Your attempts to save money on things like shoes, mattresses, and technology too often end up being penny wise and pound foolish. As distasteful as you might find the prospect, you are going to have to use a credit card for something, somewhere down the line. Still, there is no denying the downside to credit cards. Here are a few of those pros and cons of using credit cards for major purchases: Con – Interest In almost every situation, borrowing money means paying it back with interest. The typical way to make money by loaning money is to require the borrower to pay back more than they borrowed. If it is a low-risk loan, the interest ...

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Kaiku Prepaid Visa Debit Card Review

using a prepaid debit card instead of a bank account

Are we coming to a time when there is no need for traditional bank accounts? The creators of Kaiku are certainly encouraging that trend with their new prepaid Visa debit card. The card is targeted toward millennials (ages 18-34), but there is no law that says older folks won’t get some use out of this type account. Here is my review of the Kaiku Prepaid Visa Debit Card. What Is Kaiku? Kaiku is a prepaid Visa debit card that can be used any place Visa is accepted. The Kaiku card comes in several trendy colors like Shark Bite Teal or Ninja Black and is meant to be a simple, fast way to manage money for those on the go who don’t want tons of rules and red tape. Money can be loaded to the card by using their online site or through direct deposit of paychecks. Cash can be added to the card with Redilink or MoneyGram at any location that offers those services.  If you work for an employer who still uses paper checks, there is a handy mobile app that allows deposits by taking a picture of the check. When in need of cash, the Kaiku card can ...

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Should Kids Have A Credit Card?

giving kids a credit card

It’s pretty safe to say that we won’t get giving our daughter a credit card for her 8th birthday next month. I can’t believe how fast eight years have passed, and I bet the next eight will go by even faster. While I’d like to bury my head in oblivion, we are getting to the point where financial and life education are very important. Hopefully, our daughter will be as smart as possible about the real world before we turn her loose to become a productive member of society. Part of that will include learning about debt and credit cards. The question today is, should kids have a credit card? Pros of Giving Kids A Credit Card Hands On Financial Education By giving kids a credit card while they still live at home, parents can keep tabs and set limits. The first credit card would likely be a joint venture between child and parent, which would allow family discussions about credit limits, interest rates, purchases, payments, and how to decipher a credit card statement. Building Credit Many pros suggest giving kids a credit card to build credit, but I don’t agree with that. Kids will have plenty of time to ...

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Why I Love Credit Cards

Beaches in South Kauai

Last week I booked a $700+ per night hotel in the Bahamas for 4 nights over Thanksgiving break. Before you crucify me as a bad financial example, let me share how much I’m actually paying. Thanks to the Chase Ink credit card and a 70,000 point offer that was available last fall, we will only be paying $155.23. Yes, that’s $31.05 per night for a luxury hotel room on a beach in the Caribbean. We plan to fly there using Southwest points and a companion pass. I haven’t booked those tickets yet, but it looks like the cost will be around $300 in taxes for the three of us. This is why I love credit cards. I Am Smarter Than Credit Card Companies As I’ve written about many times, we used to be dumb when it came to using credit responsibly, running up over $30,000 in credit card debt before we graduated from Debt City University. While I don’t necessarily remember those times with glee, one thing I can say about digging deep to pay off the credit debt is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY we will ever pay a penny in credit card interest ever again. I am ...

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Choice Hotels Credit Card Review

Free hotel in Manhattan

If you read some of the more popular travel blogs, you can find many ways to get free hotel nights. It seems that every blogger is looking for that aspirational redemption, using credit card reward points to stay in some of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in the world for pennies on the dollar. I certainly can appreciate that. After all, we recently returned from a visit to the Grand Hyatt Kauai. However, most of us aren’t frequent travelers. We don’t have international trips planned every other month, and we don’t necessarily value  luxury amenities like heated toilet seats and valet parking. In other words, we are looking for decent places to sleep that are close to our destination. We also don’t want to tip out the wazoo for someone to carry our bags and park our car. One of the workhorse hotel chains my family uses is the Choice hotel company. For those of you who are looking into free or reduced cost hotel stays, the Choice hotel credit card might be a good fit for your travel plans. Choice Hotel Family Choice hotels have a ton of properties all over the world. Their brand includes Comfort Inn, ...

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