For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know that I’m anti-debt. But I am not anti-credit cards.
I truly believe that responsible use of credit cards can actually benefit you financially. Unfortunately, it is all to easy to be irresponsible with credit cards.
I was recently sent a copy of Jim Randel’s new book The Skinny On Credit Cards, How to Master the Credit Card Game. Randel is also the author of several other books in “The Skinny On” series, including “The Skinny on The Housing Crisis” and “The Skinny on Will Power.”
In “The Skinny On Credit Cards,” simple stick figures illustrate the story of Beth and Billy and how they tackle their credit card debt. With humor and common-sense advice, Randel has written a simple-to-follow, quick read to help you better understand how credit works.
I consider myself pretty credit-savvy. Parts of this book were a little too simplistic for me. But I was also pleasantly surprised to learn a few things – particularly when it came to the discussion of FICO scores and how they are calculated. The conclusion, which includes “The 15 Most Important Points to Understand About Credit Cards,” should be a must-read for anyone who has a credit card or intends to get one.
My strategy is to use credit cards to earn rewards. We put all gas purchases and regular bills (phone, cell, satellite, and internet) on the credit card. We always pay the bill in FULL each month. We’ve never carried a balance. We’ve saved hundreds of dollars using this system.
Randel’s book reminds folks to be cautious using that approach. If you lack discipline, rewards credit cards are a terrible choice for you – they always have higher interest rates – and you shouldn’t rack up debt just to earn some airline miles.
I couldn’t agree more.
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