Going card free?

Meetups, joint projects, classifieds, dating, exchanges, buying, selling, etc.
User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1441
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India
Contact:

Going card free?

Post by fiby41 »

Do you have/use a debit/credit card?
What made you get/keep one?
What would make you want to get rid of one?

Background: I got a debit card from the bank when I turned 18 which was free for the first year but have forgot to cancel it every year since... like the "one more year syndrome" I think I'll get some utility out of it this year but I save using it or, in some years, transact less than the annual charges. Now I got another card with the salary account and definitely have one too many. Looking for justification to get rid of one/both of them.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1398
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Going card free?

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Yes, it's way more convenient than cash and we've rotated lucrative CC sign up bonuses to extract many thousands of dollars worth of airline and hotel points as a result.

User avatar
unemployable
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:36 am
Location: Homeless

Re: Going card free?

Post by unemployable »

Most of my purchases are credit. I have a debit card linked to my brokerage account I use a handful of times a year to withdraw cash. I basically never use ATMs. My credit card use split between two cards gives me cash back at an average of 2-3%.

I don't need travel points or miles from a credit card. I have more airline miles than I need from my previous lifestyle and for hotels usually stay at Marriott properties where I have status and earn/redeem Marriott points separately. Not that I stay at hotels more than a handful of times a year.

I would get rid of a card (more likely just let it expire) if I found its terms no longer agreeable. Most likely this would involve the imposition of an annual fee or a drastic change to the cashback structure. Otherwise I don't churn cards or chase signup bonuses. Not worth it to me and I don't spend enough anyway. Oh and unless you're willing to lie about your income on the application you generally need a job to get the best deals.

Last time I had any credit card debt was 1996, if that's the lens you're looking through.

From a credit score standpoint, you're usually better off keeping cards you don't need or use.

steveo73
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by steveo73 »

I thought this was going to be about using Apple Pay or whatever it is. I just use my iPhone for everything now. I have to check into places and show that I'm vaccinated and that is all on my phone. I pay for everything via the phone. So now when I leave my house I just take my phone and my keys. It's awesome.

I pay for basically everything using my credit card. I never pay any interest. There are no annual fees.

User avatar
Seppia
Posts: 1649
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Going card free?

Post by Seppia »

It's one of those things that I dislike in theory, but which are almost unavoidable in practice.
Similar to the smartphone*, I would like to do without it, mostly for privacy reasons, but I would make my life miserable in the process. I do remember life prior to navigation apps, for example, and I am just not ready to go back to it.
It's a gigantic time saver, eliminates any stress of getting lost/arriving late, etc.
Also, almost everybody is now on whatsapp/signal/kakao/line/similar, sms and calls are just a thing of the past and trying to force this would just put you on an island, like insisting everybody talk to you via smoke signals when the phone is available. It's just not going to work.

Credit cards are probably a negative thing for many people, as they are a huge tax on those who can't plan/budget and do basic math, but for people like "us" they act as a 1-2% discount card on everything in exchange for full visibility on your spending**. Plus, it's very hard to live without one in 2021 in a developed economy.

Overall, not worth it in my opinion.

*Jacob mentioned a couple of practical issues arising from not having one
** which can be partially countered by using Apple Pay.

Salathor
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:49 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Going card free?

Post by Salathor »

I would prefer not to use credit cards, personally, and I've tried going all cash occasionally. I find that it's usually fun for a day or two but then end up with too much change and I inevitably miss logging a transaction here or there in my budget. Having a no-fee, 1-2% cash back credit card also has the advantage (as mentioned by Seppia) of making sure I never forget money that I spent.

EDIT: and of course I never ever carry a balance

chenda
Posts: 1934
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Nether Wallop

Re: Going card free?

Post by chenda »

I almost never use cash anymore. I can't remember the last time I used notes or coins. Lots of shops here will now only take card since covid.

On my 18th birthday my bank just sent me credit card with a £2000 limit. Hardly surprising that many of my friends quickly got into serious financial trouble. Nor that the banks did as well. This was pre-2008 of course.

User avatar
mouseyo22
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:55 am
Location: "Self-control is true power." Michael Pierre White

Re: Going card free?

Post by mouseyo22 »

I am considering going card free since I will use google pay for most transactions. Pulling the card out of my wallet, inserting it into a chip reader over and over again until it beeps and then putting it back is too much of a hassle. Now I will need to carry only my ID and phone, not a wallet every time I get out of the house.

GandK
Posts: 2034
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by GandK »

We use crypto for part of what we do these days, but even though that's technically not the same as a card, I'd put it in the same bucket: you use an electronic thing to move currency from A to B.

My personal experience is that you need a mechanism to use as your daily driver for purchases, and one more as a backup. (Card lost, account not accepted, theft, etc.) I use a Visa attached to our brokerage account, plus Coinbase.

That said, my family still uses cash as much as possible for privacy reasons.

steveo73
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by steveo73 »

GandK wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:52 am
crypto
I use crypto to buy marijuana but the transactions costs are way too high. I'd go so far to call crypto an absolute joke atm. Sure there is benefit in buying drugs or in speculating but I think the transaction costs are stupid.

GandK
Posts: 2034
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by GandK »

steveo73 wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:08 pm
Sure there is benefit in buying drugs or in speculating but I think the transaction costs are stupid.
Transaction costs for a US citizen buying US merchandise can get high (no pun intended). Usually the merchant handles transaction fees behind the scenes. E.g. when I swipe my Visa at the pump for gas, the Visa fee paid is invisible to me. And when using crypto it isn't. The problem at the moment is that CC fees are baked into prices and then handled by merchants, but crypto fees aren't, so when using crypto we end up paying fees twice.

That said, my family is currently in Europe, and crypto fees are less than exchange rates for Euros. So we are coming out ahead there.

IlliniDave
Posts: 3426
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by IlliniDave »

Having spent some time listening to Dave Ramsey back in the day and dealing with a now former spouse for whom a credit card functioned like crack, there's a corner of my brain that dislikes and mistrusts them, but my inner cheapskate overrules for the "cash back". I currently have one credit card and one debit card. The former I try to run as much as I can through, the latter is used mostly just for transacting at my bank's ATM.

When I was just starting work I got a credit card to "build my credit", something I was advised to do. I don't remember exactly, but I think at some point my bank just issued me an "ATM" card back when ATMs began to be ubiquitous. In the past I once ditched all my credit cards and just used a debit card for a couple years. I went back to a credit card because I couldn't get any perks with the debit card that rivaled the cash-back facet. I've also thought about giving up all plastic for personal privacy/security, but the PITA factor with that is pretty high.

cmonkey
Posts: 1808
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: Going card free?

Post by cmonkey »

I try to use cash for almost everything, I just enjoy the privacy of it and enjoy the physical experience of cash. We don't spend near enough to really benefit from cash back.

Scott 2
Posts: 1953
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by Scott 2 »

Credit card also offers fraud protection. I think you're liable for the first $50 if the number is stolen. In practice, I've never had to pay even that.

Similar if a merchant is being unreasonable. You have the charge back lever to pull. For smaller transactions, the credit card company may just eat the amount and give it to you as a cost of doing business.

I do suggest carrying more than one card network - ie Visa and Discover. That perspective may be outdated, but years ago, it was possible for only one to be down.


Do the google pay / apple pay programs offer anything comparable in the cash back / fraud / charge back protections? I haven't seen a big upside to trying them.

chenda
Posts: 1934
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Nether Wallop

Re: Going card free?

Post by chenda »

Debit cards are now offering similar fraud and consumer protection as credit cards I believe.

sky
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am

Re: Going card free?

Post by sky »

I prefer using a credit card. I carry a couple of hundreds in cash but never use them.

User avatar
unemployable
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:36 am
Location: Homeless

Re: Going card free?

Post by unemployable »

"I use my phone, it has everything else in my life on it. Not sure why you idiots deal with carrying around a wallet too."

"I use credit cards, which give me cash back and time to pay. Not sure why you idiots are paying more for the same goods."

"I use debit cards; when it's spent it's spent. Not sure why you idiots deal with remembering when your due date is and potentially carrying debt."

"I use cash for everything. Not sure why you idiots consent so freely to giving the banks your personal information and risking ID theft."

"I use crypto, it's the money of the future. Not sure why you idiots deal with a currency they're literally trying to depreciate."

Can Wheaton levels be horizontal, where you're just moving sideways, not up, and not solving more problems than you create?

User avatar
Seppia
Posts: 1649
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Going card free?

Post by Seppia »

I think a lot of it is situational.
At least for me, it is.
I am still working, which for a variety of reasons makes me a bigger spender than I would be if I weren't.
So for example for me the cash back is a bigger prize than for someone else, and the inconvenience of paying cash is bigger than it would be for someone who has more time to plan and less opportunities to spend (as an example, more than 50% of expenses I have are business-related which get reimboursed).

ZAFCorrection
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Re: Going card free?

Post by ZAFCorrection »

Going off Seppia's point, I would see card usage as a proxy for engagement with the standard consumerist system, where spending money with large companies is the way to solve problems. Cards make that process smoother and offer some kickbacks for engaging. If your lifestyle depends primarily on non-monetary solutions or P2P transactions, it makes sense that cards might begin to be more trouble than they are worth.

Buying all your Doritos at the 7-11 with cash seems conceptually oxymoronic to me.

WFJ
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:32 am

Re: Going card free?

Post by WFJ »

Very tricky to execute and more likely to do major harm to your health and wealth.

#1 Emergency = Do you want to be treated immediately with the best care or have to wait to find an ATM?
#2 Theft = How much of $1000 stolen in cash or credit card will be lost if one is robbed?
#3 Ramsey = Ramsey cites a study (but doesn't name it) so there is no way to know the validity of the methods or the economic significance of this study he proclaims as "Truth". For example one large purchase at a car dealership that can easily be done with a credit card is a pain in the ass to even use a check, and illegal to use cash. Just one large credit card purchase in a massive study will result in statistically significant difference in spending but maybe completely due to an outlier. There is also a huge issue with matching, are people with credit cards and people without credit cards the same in all other economic variables (nope). Would have to match all individuals on credit score. There are several other issues with p-hacking and selection bias making this claim of Ramsey worthless, but he says it with such conviction (he's clueless what a p-value or economic power means).

Post Reply