Charge it! Words that every retail store loves but as the shopper, they make us nervous. Face it; we all have to use a credit card for SOMETHING so we might as well get one that has the best bang for its buck. I have always been a gal that likes a great deal (if you have been following my blogs, that won’t shock you) so I want to tell you my personal choices. I am sure there are MANY great credit cards out there. If you have one, please share it below in the comments for those of us “shopping around.”
I have been working since I was 16 (maybe 15?) and was lucky to have my parents start a bank account for me. My first “credit card” was a Visa Cash and Check card (that counts as a credit card, right??) I still have the same card (well, a current version of the same card) that I use as my “fun money.” Because it is linked to my checking account, if I don’t have the money, I don’t use the card, Plain and Simple.
But life happens and people need to spend money that they don’t have yet. That is where we need a “real” credit card. For my family, we needed a “real” credit card 3 years ago when our house flooded. Let me clarify. Our dishwasher didn’t flood, our bathtub didn’t break, our HOUSE flooded. Big time! In fact, the majority of our city flooded. Thousands of people lost their homes and were unable to repair them. For us, we took out loans and put things on our credit card. So, when making BIG purchases (new cabinets, new flooring, heck…. new EVERYTHING), we decided that we were going to use a credit card that was attached to an airline, so that when everything was done and over, gosh darn it, we were going on a trip! We deserved it! But first, let’s talk credit cards.
We use the American Express Delta SkyMiles Card. Yes, there is a $95 annual fee (that up until last year was basically made up when it offered it’s clients an amazing $99 companion flight coupon) but in the long run, if you spend a lot, you earn a lot!
Here are the perks we like about our card. We can pay the fee of a flight with miles; not only can we check our first bag for free on every Delta flight, but up to 8 people on our reservation can too! We get 20% In-Flight savings on food and entertainment and priority boarding!
I have other friends that love their credit card for the perks so there is not one card for everyone. BUT there is A card for everyone. Stop just using your cash and check card and test out some credit card companies and see what they have to offer. When you have kids that are in activities that require you and your family to travel every weekend, these hotel bills add up. Might as well earn some free miles (or cash back!) at the same time!
Kristi Reinke, 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher in Minot, North Dakota