Friday, August 15, 2008

To Swipe or Not to Swipe

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Last night, I was trying to book an emergency airport to airport cargo transport for a client. It was many times more expensive than our usual shipment by sea and the hard part was that we have to pay on the spot. Then, for the nth time that it happened to me, my cash came short to cover the bill. Fortunately, I have my handy credit cards that helped me settle all the dues (...as if they were saying Mighty Mouse' famous line.."Here I come to save the day!").

Its good to have credit cards as long as you know how to use them and have the will power to resist the temptation of whimsical buying. I learned that lesson the hard way long ago. Imagine, even when I had a low interest credit card back then, just because I chose to leave a balance every month and pay only the minimum, it practically ate up my monthly salary. There were even times that I missed the payment due dates because of lack of funds only to receive a hostile reminder from my creditor. If not from family support, I wouldn't have been able to pull myself out of that debt. We were so thankful for them.

That was why, my wife & I lived on cash for a time. It was only after I landed on another job and a few years of healing did we consider applying again for credit cards. Although we use the pre-paid debit cards instead to make cashless transactions especially for groceries.

Then at work, when I was given a new regional assignment some four months ago, I requested to avail of our corporate business credit cards. It was a practical alternative to our usual revolving fund. Since most of the time I am away from office for weeks, I no longer worry about delayed reimbursements and revolving funds running dry. Like what happened last night. If I didn't have my credit card with me, I couldn't have shipped my stocks and most probably would have to deal with an irate client today.

There are a lot of credit card providers to choose from in the market. You can actually compare their benefits. But the thing to remember when using credit cards, is to use them only when necessary, take advantage of their cut-off periods to maximize the credit term and as much as possible, NEVER LEAVE AN OUTSTANDING BALANCE UNPAID.

1 comment:

Liza said...

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