5 Reasons Young Professionals Should Use a Credit Card

5 Reasons Young Professionals Should Use a Credit CardI recently had a discussion with a few colleagues at work, debating whether it is necessary or even beneficial to make day-to-day purchases with a credit card (as opposed to a debit card or cash).

My stance was, and still is, that everyone should be using a credit card for their purchases and then paying it off each month to avoid any interest payments or fees.

This is all under the assumption that you’re not actually using the credit card as a way to take on debt. I’m talking about using it as a convenient form of payment and as a substitute for cash and debit cards.

Oddly enough, less than a week after that discussion, an item I had purchased 2 months ago broke. I can only assume there was a manufacturing error, because this item would typically last for years.

I called the store that I had bought it from and they coldly informed me that it was beyond the 30 day return period. I told them that’s fine, and they’ll be hearing from my credit card company.

Most credit cards offer consumer protection guarantees, and allow you to dispute charges even if an item is past its return period. Fortunately for me (and you), most credit card companies are a lot bigger than your average retailer, and they’re essentially able to “push” them around to get what they want.

In the end, the credit card company chose to accept my dispute and refunded my card for the full amount of the purchase. They didn’t ask me for a receipt. They didn’t ask me to see the broken item. They simply refunded my money within 5 days of the dispute being filed.

So why not let your credit card company work for you…

Here are 5 good reasons to use a credit card for every-day purchases:

  • Building credit score. Having a record of your ability to pay bills on time is essential when it comes time to make bigger purchases in life, such as cars and houses. Paying everything on time with cash isn’t going to help you prove to a mortgage lender that you’re responsible.
  • Consumer protection. Just like the story in the section above this- a quick call to the credit card company has them working for you to fight the big retailers and withhold payment until a dispute is settled.
  • Fraud protection. If your card is stolen, you’re not liable for any fraudulent charges. This is true of a debit card too, but the cash has already come out of your checking account if your debit card is used by somebody else. You’ll get the money back, but it’s a pain and takes more time.
  • Free rewards. Cash back, airline miles, free hotel stays, etc. The list goes on and on. Plenty of free credit cards offer good rewards without any monthly fee.
  • Learning responsible habits. Having a credit card teaches financial responsibility and helps you build good habits that will last you a lifetime.

One extra benefit: credit card companies often offer extended warranties on electronics and other items. Laptops usually come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty for example. Did you know that purchasing your laptop with some credit cards will automatically extend that warranty by a year?

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