Tuesday 7 May 2013


Credit Cards - Angels or Demons?

Credit cards, like money, are often being demonized by people. You've heard someone said that we should avoid credit cards at all cost and all that blahs. I wouldn't blame them. I've seen one too many people who suffered from overspending via credit cards. Facts are facts. These plastics enable you to spend even your next 10 months salary in just a swipe! 

Part of my advocacy in keeping up this blog is to educate young people on Personal Finance (How do you handle your own money?). Alongside, I wish to enlighten readers on some misconceptions about money. And for one, MONEY and CREDIT CARDS are neutral elements. They are not good or bad. It is you (one who uses them) that make them beneficial or otherwise. That said, what's the upside of credit cards? Or are there any?!

One of the usual come-on gimmicks of credit card companies are good old perks, but you know what? Sometimes it's true! Case in point: I do my shopping and grocery using my one and only credit card. I earned points on every purchase and I think I've redeemed about Php 5,000 last year. I used my points as cash too whenever I purchase on their respective malls. 

My logic is, gagastos lang din naman, I might as well take it to my advantage!
♣ Tip: If you can, limit your credit card to ONLY ONE. That way, you can minimize the risk of over-swiping. Also, make sure that you're buying because you need to. Purchasing because of these points may lead to a scary billing statement next month! :D

Believe it or not, I can see a credit card limit checklist on my application form. I opt not to disclose the name of the country and embassy that I'll soon apply to but there are credit card related details that need to be disclosed. It's a first world country (obviously) but it really surprised me that embassies are keen to know something about your credit rating (even if you're applying as a tourist).

Another true to life experience. While someone can argue that this can be a debit card or cash, there are some instances that credit cards are the most convenient option. On my way to Prague, Czech Republic few years back, I was alone and I had no idea that I need to rent a hotel inside the airport (Schiphol airport, Netherlands). I only have USD's with me and surprise! They're not accepting any currencies except EURO. Thank you LORD that I had my credit card or else, isa akong palaboy! Haha! Click HERE to see my mini-adventure.

♣ Tip: Make it a point to CALL your CREDIT CARD COMPANY and inform them that you'll be traveling from this to that date. This will ensure that your transaction won't be rejected. You need this to save you from humiliation specially on a foreign land. Agree?

On a personal note, my monthly credit card statement shows me pretty much how very good (or very bad) my spending habits were. I can see how much I spent in clothes (you know how I love dresses) and fine dining eat-outs. It allows me to pay my dues in a lump sum payment (I use online banking) and revisit purchases I need to control.

♣ Tip: I suggest that you pay your dues 100%. Please KNOW that the bank does NOT love  you. Credit cards are one of their products meaning, they earn income from them. How? Via interest. If you pay only the minimum amount, the rest will be charged an interest. I like to get all the perks but not the downside that comes with it. ☺

Overall, I think having a credit card does me good and not otherwise. 
It's all about knowing helpful information and make them work for you. -CMK


  1. "Thank you LORD that I had my credit card or else, isa akong palaboy! Haha! " I can so relate to this, though I don't own one, but my sister does..kind of..cos she's using mom's. She's always broke but she has a car and mom's credit card in which she could buy gas with. She can't eat in affordable restaurants because she needs to be where credit cards are accepted, so you think she has it all but really it's just the power of the card. LOL :)))

  2. HELP! haha! I need your expert advice on what bank should I put my money on and what should I invest on so I could make my money grow. I'm just a teenager, I graduated from a medical course so I don't know squat about banking and finance and stuff (total caveman) haha I sell bikes as a sideline and I'm thinking that if put it in a really good bank it would help me in the long run, Instead of just bikes I would own a small sports store. hope you can help thanks! you could reply to my email its


    -Ken :]

    1. Hi Ken! Firstly, thanks for this very juicy question.

      I'm planning to feature this on my money matter segment so keep in touch. Btw - you can follow me on twitter (name: @callmekristine) so I can follow you back and tag you once the post is out and published.

      Good job! Fresh grad and earning! Slow clap dude! :)

  3. I think credit cards really are handy. When you don't have enough money on hand to pay for something, you can do it with a swipe of a card. We have to be cautious though. Credit cards are really tempting to use even on small things or shopping sprees. Hihi


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