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Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

Valued Contributor

Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

Hi, I was wondering if I could please inquire about any advice or thoughts, regarding any input on my wife's position and POV on credit cards and credit card rewards (also my apologies in advance to the moderators, if I may have accidentally posted this question in the wrong sub-forum).  By way of backstory, I recently got married about 4 months ago, and just to put it as concisely as possible, my wife's position on credit cards is that they shouldn't be used at all (**also including for rewards purposes**), except in the rare case of an emergency.  My own position is slightly different, in that I pay almost all of my credit cards in full every month with only a few exceptions that I am carrying small balances at extra-low go-to or 0%-promo interest rates, and I have used the cards' rewards features heavily.  In fact, between cashback rewards and SUBs, I have racked up between $1,000-$1,500 in statement credits and cashback over the past year alone, while paying no or relatively low interest charges (total interest charges across all cards over the past year are about $100, IIRC).  I have very gently tried on multiple occasions so far to explain the benefits of combining credit card rewards with PIF (again with only a few exceptions, as referenced above). For example, I explained to her about cards with 2% cashback on all purchases, and about the Cash+ which of course allows 5% cashback in 2 categories, etc.  However, my wife continues to advocate heavily for cash- and debit-only transactions, with 100% 0 credit card use unless there is an emergency that arises...her response about my mentioning how 2% and 5% cashback cards can very quickly add up to free money if PIF was that she had basically thought it was too much of a hassle and not worth the time, to try to use credit card rewards to generate income. And so I was just wondering if anyone might have any thoughts on how I might be better-able to persuade her otherwise, or help her see the light that with PIF, credit card rewards can be helpful or lucrative Smiley Happy  Thanks

Message 1 of 24
23 REPLIES
Senior Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

It's very hard to convince a spouse who's credit adverse to use credit. My only suggestion is take her last bank statement, multiply everything she spent times 2%, and show her the numbers on the free money she could have earned. Keep it simple and easy (forget about points for now). It's also not a matter of generating income, but of extra warranties and fraud protection. I wouldn't want anyone to have access to my debit card, and potentially drain my account. Yes, I'll get my money back but it maybe a bit before that happens. Using a credit card protects her money in the bank/credit union. 

Gardening until... April 2019




Message 2 of 24
Moderator

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

This really is a tough one and is why you should never attend the Dave Ramsey Speed Dating Seminar! 

 

Seriously, though, DW and I have been together for 16 years and we were both "use a credit card for rewards whenever possible" people when we met.  She is not as enthusiastic about credit cards as I am, but she certainly sees the value of the free and upgraded travel!  About a year ago, we made it to the point where she was tired of hearing about it, but she was content with "use the purple card (SPG) for everything unless they don't take Amex, then use the blue one (CSP)."

 

You're very cash-back oriented, so I like the idea that @Adkins had.  In fact, pull a few months of debit card statements.  Assign those to the particular cards that you would have used, and show her the cash back amount.  It may help to explain that since your cards are paid in full, it is the same principle as using a debit card just that the debit comes about 25 days after your statement period rather than everytime a charge is made.

 

If you were a travel rewards person, I'd just tell you to take her on a business/first international flight to the luxury hotel of your choice and constantly remind her that "this was all free."  Smiley Wink


Message 3 of 24
Frequent Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

Take a deep breath and just let that **bleep** go, lol.

 

At least she's or trying to get you to stop using your CC's and do cash/debit only 😁

 

For real though it's probably better to just let her do her thing and you do yours, it is a very negligible amount of money and she seems happy doing it her way.

 

Congratulations on getting married!!!!!

Message 4 of 24
Established Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

I kinda used to struggle with this but in a different way. My wife couldn't care less about cards, but she's not opposed to them. Problem is, she uses the first card that comes out of her purse, and it kinda drive me nuts. You know, like getting 1% on gas instead of 5% because she doesn't care, lol.
I've had to show her the difference a gazillion times with rewards charts and all that. She still didn't care because it was hard to remember which card to use.
I wrote "gas" on a piece of paper and taped it to the card. Did the same for "dining" and "anything else." Now she only has 3 cards to deal with and a BIG note stuck to each one of them. Problem almost solved Smiley Very Happy
BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | Synchrony (Lowe's, Amazon & PayPal 2% MC) | US Bank
Message 5 of 24
Frequent Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?


@galahad15 wrote:

Hi, I was wondering if I could please inquire about any advice or thoughts, regarding any input on my wife's position and POV on credit cards and credit card rewards (also my apologies in advance to the moderators, if I may have accidentally posted this question in the wrong sub-forum).  By way of backstory, I recently got married about 4 months ago, and just to put it as concisely as possible, my wife's position on credit cards is that they shouldn't be used at all (**also including for rewards purposes**), except in the rare case of an emergency.  My own position is slightly different, in that I pay almost all of my credit cards in full every month with only a few exceptions that I am carrying small balances at extra-low go-to or 0%-promo interest rates, and I have used the cards' rewards features heavily.  In fact, between cashback rewards and SUBs, I have racked up between $1,000-$1,500 in statement credits and cashback over the past year alone, while paying no or relatively low interest charges (total interest charges across all cards over the past year are about $100, IIRC).  I have very gently tried on multiple occasions so far to explain the benefits of combining credit card rewards with PIF (again with only a few exceptions, as referenced above). For example, I explained to her about cards with 2% cashback on all purchases, and about the Cash+ which of course allows 5% cashback in 2 categories, etc.  However, my wife continues to advocate heavily for cash- and debit-only transactions, with 100% 0 credit card use unless there is an emergency that arises...her response about my mentioning how 2% and 5% cashback cards can very quickly add up to free money if PIF was that she had basically thought it was too much of a hassle and not worth the time, to try to use credit card rewards to generate income. And so I was just wondering if anyone might have any thoughts on how I might be better-able to persuade her otherwise, or help her see the light that with PIF, credit card rewards can be helpful or lucrative Smiley Happy  Thanks


OP-

This is more of an essay but I hope you can use/show this to your wife and have a convo.

Disclaimer: Written by a proponent of CCs.

 

So many experts warn us in hopes of preventing us from using CCs - and with good reason. Many of us mere mortals abuse CCs and end up in debt. But, if you can use the CC responsibily, you are actually much better off paying for stuff with a CC instead of a debit card, cash or check...who uses checks these days anyway?

 

Few perks of using CCs responsibily -

SUB: Welcome bonus of sorts worth anywhere between $50 and $300, and even more sometimes when you start looking at fun stuff like points and miles. The trick here is to find a CC that fits your spending patterns or lifestyle. And you wouldnt have gotten it had you used your debit card, cash or check.

 

Cash Back: Ranging from 1% - 3%. Think of it as a refund...which is mostly tax-free (caveat here, if you wind up getting a huge cash back in the course of a year...and you will have to pay taxes) But hey! The net cash back is free anyway, and you wouldnt have gotten it had you used your debit card, cash or check.

 

Miles: Frequent-flyer miles can be racked up by spending every-single-dollar. You can always redeem it for a free flight ticket, and you wouldnt have gotten it had you used your debit card, cash or check.

 

Safety: Paying with a CC makes it easier to avoid personal losses from fraud. If and when your CC is used fraudulently, you are not at a loss, you simply notify your CC company of the fraud and don't pay for the transactions you did not make while the CC company resolves the matter.

You can also stop or dispute a payment almost instantly, this keeps vendors and service providers honest.

You can also setup dummy CC numbers to ensure that your CC number does not wind up in the dark net somehow.

The Fair Credit Billing Act lets you withhold payment on things that are damaged or are of poor quality.

 

Grace Period: When you pay with debit card, cash or check, your money is gone right away. WHen you pay with a CC, you money remains in your checking account until you PIF. (PIF is the responsible CC users MO)

 

Insurance: Travel, car rental, extended product warranties, lost baggage, etc. Nada for paying with debit card, cash or check.

 

Better Exchange Rates: When travelling abroad. And some CCs have no foreign transaction fees.

 

Expense Tracking: CCs give you a way to track expenses. Receipts can easily get lost, so its nice to have online statements as a backup.

 

Last and most important: Helps build your credit profile: The best way to build up your credit history, without paying high interest charges, taking out expensive loans, or spending money you weren't planning to anyway, is to open a new CC and use it responsibly.

Having a healthy credit profile is very important for everything from opening a new credit card to renting an apartment or even for opening a new cell phone or internet plan.
This does not mean you need to take on debt or pay interest fees, as long as you spend within your means and PIF each month, you will never pay interest, and you will never carry any debt.

Amex BCE | Discover | Chase Freedom | Citibank DC | SYNCB | Barclay Rewards | BoA Cash Rewards | CapOne QS | Chase CSR | Chase FU | Amex Ascend | 2019 Goal: Gotta make it to 200k |
Message 6 of 24
Established Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

Some food for thought :   Smiley Wink

 

If you have a Lowes CC (5%) and need 3 garden hoses, you drive to Lowes.

If you are going to pay in cash, you check the prices at HD, Tractor Supply, Amazon, and Green Thumb.

Is the 5% cash back better than the 8% extra you just paid for the 3 hoses.

Or did you buy 4 because you get 5% back and were there?

 

If we all really spent NO , repeat NO extra money CC's would be a no brainier.

My bet is almost all of us spend more by using CC's than if we did not have them.

I see my 100+ cashback per month but most likely spent more than if I had been forced to use cash.

 

Fico is another enabler forcing one to have credit cards, take out a car loan instead of paying in cash. Need to show that payment history.   If Fico was based on mortgage paid off, cars paid for with cash, and not being in debt.  Extra points for savings and CD's, credit cards might not be as popular as they are.  In my fantasy world negative 5 point per credit card would change the Sig's in this forum!   Smiley Happy

 

  
Fico Scores 840 . . . AAoA = 8 yrs . . . AoOA = 22 yrs . . . Garden (18) . . . * Credit Limits Capped *
Message 7 of 24
Regular Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?


@piroskavalentino wrote:

 

Safety: Paying with a CC makes it easier to avoid personal losses from fraud. If and when your CC is used fraudulently, you are not at a loss, you simply notify your CC company of the fraud and don't pay for the transactions you did not make while the CC company resolves the matter. You can also stop or dispute a payment almost instantly, this keeps vendors and service providers honest. You can also setup dummy CC numbers to ensure that your CC number does not wind up in the dark net somehow. The Fair Credit Billing Act lets you withhold payment on things that are damaged or are of poor quality.

 

Insurance: Travel, car rental, extended product warranties, lost baggage, etc. Nada for paying with debit card, cash or check.


Discussing credit with people who don't understand credit can be tough, but mentioning these two vital functions should turn on a financially responsible light bulb in their mind.

 

A bank may take months to investigate a fraud and return money to your account. A credit card issuer can return the credit used on your credit card account within a week; money never left your actual bank account.

 

The rest of what a particular credit card can offer is an added bonus.

Message 8 of 24
Valued Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

Many thanks and much appreciation to everyone who replied - thank you all for your valuable feedback and comments! Smiley Happy
Message 9 of 24
Super Contributor

Re: Any advice or thoughts please on my wife's POV re. credit cards and rewards?

Easy.  You have all her info so just open up a CC in her name at let nature take it's course.

 

Seriously, I would show her that she could open a CC for paying online bills like cell and utility as long as there is no fee in doing that and have her sock drawer the card.  Also you could remind her that in case something happens to you or your marriage, she would need to establish her own credit.

12/19/2018: FICO 838 EQ 830 TU 827 EX
Message 10 of 24