Credit Cards: A Blessing And A Curse

1902 words - 8 pages

In the world today, when the average American is standing at the cash register, ready to pay, he or she will likely pull out of their wallet one of the following: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or a Discover Card. What do all of theses names have in common? They are all credit cards, the easy, fast way to pay for purchases when you don’t have cash, the store doesn’t accept checks, you would rather pay at a later date, or a variety of other reasons. Although there are many positive reasons to have a credit card, carrying this small plastic card can also cause many problems if one isn’t prudent and logical when making purchases. When deciding whether to sign up for a credit card or not, one must consider the advantages and disadvantages of having one; it can be resourceful in emergencies, it is safer than carrying large amounts of cash, and it is an effective way of borrowing money for a period of time. On the other hand, there are many disadvantages: if purchases aren’t paid for in a timely manner, the credit card holder will have to pay interest, or if they don’t pay it negatively affects their credit score, as well as creates unwanted debt. Overall, having a credit card is an important and serious decision that must be weighed carefully, because there are many pitfalls to look out for, but with smart choices and good decision making skills a credit card can be a very useful financial tool.
To illustrate, there are many positive reasons for having a credit card which will make your life easier financially, such as: when you are making internet purchases, in the event of emergencies money will be readily available, it will be much more convenient when traveling or making expensive purchases, and it gives you the ability to establish good credit history (Strain). The first point, making internet purchases, is especially important in this increasingly wireless world we live in. Many people prefer online shopping over battling the crowds at malls and stores. However, when online shopping, paying with cash or check is not viable, but a credit card is an easy option. If someone is not sold on the idea of having a credit card for online shopping, they should consider the financial aspect of online purchases versus buying in the store. Buying online can save you money on the items you are interested in. For example, there are many good deals available on the internet today, and without a credit card, you could potentially pay extra for the exact same thing you could have bought online, not to mention that it will cost extra to use gas to drive and purchase the item (Strain). Also, if you are a fan of the Shopping Network or late-night infomercials, calling in and ordering that special purchase will require a credit card. Essentially, anything not purchased in person must be bought using a credit card, and with so many people buying from websites, T.V. specials, or catalogs having a credit card is very important. Another positive aspect of credit...

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