Cash-Back Credit Cards: What Do You Think?
As you probably already know, I’m not a big fan of credit cards. I hate them, in fact. I still have one account open, though every time they send me a new card I shred it immediately. I figure that whatever convenience or credit-maintenance benefits there may be to using the credit card, it’s just not worth it to get involved with those people ever again. I don’t like the fact that they have user agreements that allow them to practice usury as long as they give me enough (fine print) notice. I don’t like the fact that I’m less conscious of money being spent when I use them. And basically, I don’t ever want to pay another dime in interest to a credit card company ever again if I can avoid it. To me, avoiding this is most easily accomplished by not using them at all in the first place. Sure, it’s a little like the abstinence “method” of birth control, but it’s got a much better track record.
There are always people, though, that inisist that using a credit card is worthwhile, both for the convenience and for the rewards they can earn through the accumulation of points. Dave Ramsey is pretty clear and straightforward on this: his theory is that these types of programs are offered simply because the credit card makes money off them. So, yeah, maybe here and there there are some people who are beating the system with frequent flyer miles, etc., but overall, they are making way more than they are spending. I happen to know that credit card companies charge their merchants more for accepting rewards cards–oh yeah! they get you coming and going–probably because people are more likely to spend if they think they’ll get something for free. Overall, it just seems like bad news to me.
A recent article in the Consumerist got me thinking about this issue. The post discusses what the best cash-back reward card is, based on one person’s experimentation. I’m sorry, but you will have to go read the article to find out the answer to this, because in my mind it is like arguing what is the interrogation technique that is most enjoyable for the terrorist, but I did want to throw this out there for you guys to comment. Do you have a cash-back card? Have you made money on it?