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View Poll Results: Do you typically pay off credit card debt at the end of the month?
Yes - I typically pay off credit card(s) balances at the end of the month. 214 91.06%
No - I often have a balance on my credit card(s) balances and pay interest. 13 5.53%
N/A - I do not use credit cards for transactions or credit. 8 3.40%
Voters: 235. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-28-2008, 12:41 PM   #21
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The only surprise is that only 68 out of 69 voted for #1. Got my first BankAmericard (VISA now) in 1969 and have yet to pay a penny in interest on any CC even though we charge >99% of our expenses on CC, as many of you folks do.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:10 PM   #22
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Have been paying full amount every month for 20 years or so. Before that I would sometimes carry a balance.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
I am the "1" who doesn't use a CC.
Do you never rent a car or reserve a hotel room? AFAIK a CC is necessary for these things.

Our CU pays 4% interest on our checking balance each month (used to be 6%) if we use their debit card 12 times. So we do that for 12 or so small transactions and CCs, paid each month, of course, for almost everything else.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #24
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I voted 'pay every month' but since I don't use them much, I occasionally pay a couple of days late. If I bother to whine, they usually cancel the $1 or so in interest charges since I have a lot of cash with the issuing bank.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:27 PM   #25
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Do you typically pay off credit card debt at the end of the month?

Nords: "Maybe we should ask "When was the last time you had a credit-card balance?" with one of the options being "never".

What is "typically"? 9 times out of 10? 4 out of 5? Over half? The gal reminded me that way back when -20 years or so ago - she would run a balance on her card for a month or two after Christmas. She feels that she would still have said that she typically paid her balance in full. For me, a card company caught me twice i think - once when they credited the payment a day late (reversed interest charge), and once on a big purchase that i paid well before the due date but was charged interest because the amount i paid didn't cover the full charge so they charged on the average balance - split billing cycle or something weird - don't remember, but it made me even more wary after fighting about the $36 for which they billed me.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:33 PM   #26
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Do you never rent a car or reserve a hotel room? AFAIK a CC is necessary for these things.
I do both of those things repeatedly and have for several years, with no problems ever, not even a hesitation, not even once. I even asked a car rental agency about it once, when renting a car, and was told that that information was years out of date and just not correct. Such problems are fiction in my situation and my guess is that these stories probably arose from those not knowing the difference between a debit Mastercard and a (more restrictive) ATM card or else from those with insufficient balance in the bank account to which the debit Mastercard is linked. I am perfectly happy with my choice to not be a part of the credit culture, though I know several here are not at all happy with my choice! Let's see - - 72:0:1 right now, so I can see that I am not going along with the crowd on this one.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:20 PM   #27
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I am perfectly happy with my choice to not be a part of the credit culture, though I know several here are not at all happy with my choice!
No! No! No! Please, either you have misunderstood or I have expressed myself poorly. I also do not like the credit culture. In fact I find it somewhat revolting. The only reason I originally applied for a credit card some 15 yrs. ago was because I had had problems renting cars and reserving hotel rooms, thus my query. Before that I had always paid cash for everything except real estate, and was proud of it. I did not realize that things had changed in these areas, which was why I asked the question. I am delighted that you find credit unnecessary and not at all unhappy with your choice.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:35 PM   #28
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No! No! No! Please, either you have misunderstood or I have expressed myself poorly. I also do not like the credit culture. In fact I find it somewhat revolting. The only reason I originally applied for a credit card some 15 yrs. ago was because I had had problems renting cars and reserving hotel rooms, thus my query. Before that I had always paid cash for everything except real estate, and was proud of it. I did not realize that things had changed in these areas, which was why I asked the question. I am delighted that you find credit unnecessary and not at all unhappy with your choice.
I didn't necessarily mean you!! I'm sorry. There are a lot of people who think that these problems still exist, and even more who think that debit cards are less well protected against identity theft (which might be true for some debit cards, I have no idea, but mine has verbiage in the contract to the contrary and their response was consistent with their policy). I am delighted to hear that somebody else feels as I do about credit cards.

Try getting a debit Mastercard as well as your credit card, and offer the debit card first. I haven't ever had it questioned, though I haven't tried it for international travel since I haven't wanted to leave the country. A debit Mastercard looks like a Mastercard, but it doesn't come with any credit - - there has to be sufficient money in your account. For example, if there is a $300 deposit on a rental car, the money will not be withdrawn but will be frozen (as a "pending withdrawal") until you return the car. I usually keep several thousand in the bank so that isn't a problem for me.

When I couldn't get a credit card back in early 1998, I was terrified - - we become so dependant upon them. I didn't know how I would survive without one. Everybody has one. But surprisingly I have found that I like having no credit card. It has really simplified my life and frankly, I just hate credit card companies after my past experiences.

When we have threads about how someone is having difficulties with their credit card company for one reason or another, you may imagine me in the background, reading and smiling like a Cheshire cat but not wanting to hijack somebody's post.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:36 PM   #29
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No! No! No! Please, either you have misunderstood or I have expressed myself poorly. I also do not like the credit culture. In fact I find it somewhat revolting. The only reason I originally applied for a credit card some 15 yrs. ago was because I had had problems renting cars and reserving hotel rooms, thus my query. Before that I had always paid cash for everything except real estate, and was proud of it. I did not realize that things had changed in these areas, which was why I asked the question. I am delighted that you find credit unnecessary and not at all unhappy with your choice.
I got my first credit card at 25. And I would have been happy to continue life on a cash basis, but I was unable to rent a car during my honeymoon (fortunately, the young wife had a credit card), so I caved and got a card. I also was not aware that one could now rent a car with no credit card.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:00 PM   #30
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I got my first credit card at 25. And I would have been happy to continue life on a cash basis, but I was unable to rent a car during my honeymoon (fortunately, the young wife had a credit card), so I caved and got a card. I also was not aware that one could now rent a car with no credit card.
I wouldn't suggest trying it with an ATM card - - if anyone does experiment with this, make sure it is a debit Mastercard and looks just like a Mastercard, and make sure you have a nice fat checking account balance. I always put $2000+ in checking before I travel.

Also I wouldn't try it for international travel without a CC as back-up. Might be fun to experiment with that, though.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:19 PM   #31
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The credit card industry sucked me into the reward point program. If I really looked at my transactions, I may well spend more because of it. They have won! ...even though I pay them off early every month.

When I get further into "cheap bast*ardhood" I may reduce my card spending.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:43 PM   #32
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The credit card industry sucked me into the reward point program. If I really looked at my transactions, I may well spend more because of it.
This is in the same category as doing something solely for the tax write-off -- not, I suspect, an issue with this group.

Of course, the CC card companies want you to spend more (who doesn't?)... but not for the reasons that you are implying. The "rebate programs" are simply sharing the fee charged to the (for instance) retailer for offering that method of payment. You can, of course, elect not to get your share but I am not sure it penalizes anyone other than yourself. In any event, you will pay the same for whatever purchases you make.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:48 PM   #33
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The credit card industry sucked me into the reward point program. If I really looked at my transactions, I may well spend more because of it. They have won! ...even though I pay them off early every month.

When I get further into "cheap bast*ardhood" I may reduce my card spending.
I can see how one could be more prone to spend by having a c/c over a debit one. But I'm as cheap as they come, so I don't think it has been a problem for me. But when I do charge as in gas, groceries, etc.....it sure is nice to see that end of month rewards credit made directly to my Penfed account.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #34
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I charge everything I can to my CC and never carry a balance. This year I've charged $32K and received $648 cash back.

I have an automatic payment large enough to cover any minimum go to the CC every month JUST in case something happens and I fail to make an on-line payment in full. (avoids accidental interest charges and late fees which happened once long ago when I used to mail in payments)
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:03 PM   #35
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I wouldn't suggest trying it with an ATM card - - if anyone does experiment with this, make sure it is a debit Mastercard and looks just like a Mastercard, and make sure you have a nice fat checking account balance. I always put $2000+ in checking before I travel.

Also I wouldn't try it for international travel without a CC as back-up. Might be fun to experiment with that, though.

I second that. In Bordeaux (France) earlier this year on vacation I went to rent a car from Hertz that I had reserved. Penfed Visa was not acceptable, next I tried my Debit Visa card not accepted (I had over $3k in my checking account). Finally I presented my Amex card which was accepted - when I came to pay 2 weeks later I used my Penfed card which has better cash back.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:36 PM   #36
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I like the comfort of a credit card for emergencies . I've had some emergencies [family illnesses ] that $2,000 would not have been enough to cover and money market transfers while fast are not instant .
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:10 PM   #37
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I like the comfort of a credit card for emergencies . I've had some emergencies [family illnesses ] that $2,000 would not have been enough to cover and money market transfers while fast are not instant .
Transfers from savings to checking in the same bank are fast - - and even though personally I find that $2000 is enough to last me for an overnight trip, obviously one uses common sense in deciding on how much should be where for how long, ya know? :confused: All of this is soooooooo easy to do these days with electronic banking. The amount of funds you might need so precipitously fast that you couldn't possibly do electronic transfer from Vanguard for any of them, can be there for you and "as safe as money in the bank". Often one's 10-month emergency fund is a different pot of money than the "OMG my family member is sick" money.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:19 PM   #38
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The illness I was referring to used up over $10,000 of funds suddenly and while most of it I was able to write a check for .The flight alone was $600 so it is nice to have the back up of a credit card plus My Savings is with Vanguard and it takes two business days before the money is actually in my account .
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:32 PM   #39
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I like whipping out my credit cards for those expected/unexpected expenses instead of having to make transfers, but hey, that's just me.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:43 PM   #40
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You can, of course, elect not to get your share but I am not sure it penalizes anyone other than yourself. In any event, you will pay the same for whatever purchases you make.
Or, you can ask the merchant - "What can you do for cash?" - often the answer is a few % off.

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