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Old 08-04-2012, 02:02   #1
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Credit cards -good or bad?

I've managed to remain card free so far, as it seems another bill every month would help tie me to the shore. So many people I know end up in a cycle of payments that are nearly imposible to ever pay in full and be done with. Is a credit card while cruising somthing you view as required? or pass and not have the bills/mail to deal with?
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:36   #2
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Like anything else it depends on how you use / abuse it. Set it up to pay itself in full each month and you can avoid the necessity of carrying lots of cash. If you need local currency you can always use an ATM or even a local bank and use it over the counter. Obviously some of the more remote parts of the world may not have card facilities but in my experience of the Caribbean and Europe that is not generally the case. I personally don't like carrying large amounts of cash, but that is a personal choice. If someone uses a card to run up debts they can't pay then that would be a problem but self-inflicted for all that. As to bills and mail I've not had any for years now as I do pay in full each month and use on-line facilities.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:41   #3
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

As SteveT said, it just depends on how you use it. It can be a real asset and beats carrying a lot of cash but if you can't control your spending not having it may be better for you.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:27   #4
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Good - when you are in charge of the CC.
Bad - when the CC is in charge of you.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:38   #5
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

For us, two credit cards and an ATM debit card for local cash is the best arrangement. The credit cards are set up to be paid off in full each month via automatic payment from our bank checking account in the States. We have Internet access to the bank account and credit card accounts in order to be able to check up on them "real time". The card we primarily use has no currency conversion fee, which is 3% on many cards.

It's a good idea to have two cards from different credit companies in case one is compromised or not accepted for some reason. We don't use the credit cards much at all, but it's nice to have them available. We've never in our lives ran up any credit card debt. There are much better ways to get a loan if you really need one.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:47   #6
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
For us, two credit cards and an ATM debit card for local cash is the best arrangement. The credit cards are set up to be paid off in full each month via automatic payment from our bank checking account in the States. We have Internet access to the bank account and credit card accounts in order to be able to check up on them "real time". The card we primarily use has no currency conversion fee, which is 3% on many cards.

It's a good idea to have two cards from different credit companies in case one is compromised or not accepted for some reason. We don't use the credit cards much at all, but it's nice to have them available. We've never in our lives ran up any credit card debt. There are much better ways to get a loan if you really need one.
I second the part about two cards and make them different, i.e. one MC and one Visa. I recently ran into a situation where a vendor did not take Master Card and luckily I had added a Visa card which they did. I never had this problem in the U.S. but now a couple times in Thailand.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:32   #7
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Credit cards are only bad if you are using them to buy stuff on credit longer than 1 month! I use my rewards card and make $50-100/month, so what's wrong with that!

Second Hud on a card without exchange fees for travel.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:36   #8
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

credit cards allow you to avoid carrying cash. if you loose the card you loose no money. pay them off every month. simple.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:44   #9
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

most international car hire companies will only accept a credit card,for car hire.

when arriving in countries where an onward ticket is needed a credit card generally suffices for proof of funds,and the ability to buy an onward ticket.

many credit card companies include some form of insurance for the card holder
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:08   #10
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Every marina we have stopped in has required a credit card on file, even though we pay cash. Best to have 2 credit cards from different banks in case anything happens to 1 of the cards. Easy to set-up automatic payment in full from your checking account. Just review the account online frequently to be certain there are no fraudulent charges.

If there are 2 of you on the boat, it is also best to have 2 ATM cards, even if on the same account. If 1 card gets stolen, lost or hacked, you can still get cash with the other card without having to wait for a replacement -- which can be a lengthy and arduous process when overseas.

We use ATM cards to obtain local currency and pay everything possible in cash because we pay no ATM fees. Using credit cards in foreign locales usually involves a foreign currency transaction fee and the CC company does not usually give you the best exchange rate. For most Americans, that foreign currency transaction fee is 3%. Money I would consider thrown away unnecessarily. You also must have a credit card for online purchases....something that happens far more frequently that I would have thought before we got out here.

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Old 08-04-2012, 06:25   #11
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

I wouldn't go without one ore two CCs. But which ones?

We like to rent cars in places. We learned, our Mastercard did not have insurance. Only World-Mastercards and above have this insurance included.
Rental Car Insurance: Which Credit Cards Have You Covered

Outside the US, we had a few places which did not accept Master, never had a problem with Visa.

The reward are not important to us, we don't use the CC that much

Our preferred CC has no yearly charge, and no current conversion fees.

Dirk
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife
I wouldn't go without one ore two CCs. But which ones?

We like to rent cars in places. We learned, our Mastercard did not have insurance. Only World-Mastercards and above have this insurance included.
Rental Car Insurance: Which Credit Cards Have You Covered

Outside the US, we had a few places which did not accept Master, never had a problem with Visa.

The reward are not important to us, we don't use the CC that much

Our preferred CC has no yearly charge, and no current conversion fees.

Dirk
Only two cards that matter visa and MasterCard.

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:26   #13
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Credit cards are like guns in my opinion. Good for smart, disciplined people who are running their show. Bad for people who are prone to let things slip, or for the kind of folks that believe any situation was imposed upon them by the "universe" rather than their own action or inaction.

Don is right, you can make some money using if you are savvy, even though I always chafe at the idea of something for nothing....it works.

I would not own my sailboat if it were not for credit cards. I have a couple with high credit lines and long-term low interest 3-5%. Now, if you miss a payment, the rate goes sky-high, so hence the discipline. If you don't make mistakes like that, it can be a real asset to folks with little money but very good credit to accomplish important goals. There is nothing very fiscally prudent about my use of them, but life is short and I would simply not own my sailboat without them.

Citi often has some good deals, and Chase bank has some new ones too with Auto bonuses. Then there's all the car rental advantages and emergencies overseas. etc. They did me NO good in Cuba, I had to carry a bundle of Canadian cash.

Chase (no relation to above)
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:30   #14
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Did you have to bring in the GUNS?
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:36   #15
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Re: Credit cards -good or bad?

Sheesh, forgot I wasn't in the south for a moment, but an international forum where these are sensitive issues that have been beat to death. The analogy did not include worldwide cruising with guns....

Onward
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