37 answers

How Do You Live Without a Credit Card?

I was just reading over a question about whether or not to close down some credit card accounts and I'm amazed at how many people have ZERO credit cards. This is just a curiosity question - how do you live without a credit card? There are some things I do that I thought "required" a card - renting a car, booking an airline ticket online (or buying almost anything online for that matter), renting a hotel room, etc. I don't know if I'll ever be credit card free, but for those who are, I am truly curious.

Just an aside - I have never revolved a credit card in my entire life, it is paid off every single month. I use my cards like cash. If I don't CURRENTLY have the cash in the bank to pay for a purchase, then I don't make the purchase. BUT, I think I might spend less without a card. Maybe stop buying those unnecessary items at Target, for example!

Anyway, for those with ZERO cards, do you really mean zero? Or is there a card in the freezer just in case?!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Jo - if the card has fraud protection that'll keep people from getting their bank accounts cleaned out by a thief? Also, don't a lot of vendors charge a fee when you use debit instead of credit? I would think that's the downside.

Nikki G - I don't use cash because if I'm going to the grocery store ($130), then Costco ($200), then Target ($100) I don't want to carry that much cash in my wallet. Plus the inconvenience of having to stop one more place, the ATM. Of course, I don't spend THAT much each time I run errands, but you get the idea. Do you go to the ATM maybe once a week? And get all the cash you'll need? I figure that's one way to do it. Still doesn't take care of having hundreds of dollars in my wallet when I have one of my big trips. Anyway, that's the "why" to my madness.

Thank you for all of the responses! I like to read (and learn!) about how people do things. Sometimes I find things that others do that may work for me. I guess I'm in the minority here though. I'll probably continue to use my credit cards, mostly for the convenience of it and for all the rewards. If you use a card responsibly then you can get lots of free stuff. I have a Upromise card that gives me 1% of all my purchases towards my kids' 529 plans. So far they've given me over $500. Not a ton of money, but hey, it'll cover a few books, right? And I have enough points on another card to get my daughter either a Kindle Fire, or an iPod touch for her birthday - for free. The one reason I'd consider not using credit is I know I do buy a few little "extra" things when I am at the store. I know if I used cash I would cut down on that. But, it's not out of control and it's nothing I can't afford anyway. We'll see. Maybe I'll try it sometime. I need to do an experiment - which amount is greater: 1) my credit card rewards or 2) the amount of money I save since I'm not buying crap I don't really need. That would be interesting to see! Thanks guys :)

Featured Answers

It's easy. You don't NEED a credit card to live. You need money to live. Debit cards act as credit cards nowadays, so it's perfectly easy to live without a credit card. Prepaid cards can act as credit cards, as well.

I just don't like the idea of owing anybody anything, ever, even if the plan is to pay it of asap. I also think once you'd made bad decisions with credit cards it's a lot easier to cut them off & work off of cash. It's amazingly easy to live without credit cards, actually.

4 moms found this helpful

You can use debit cards for those required things, we pay for airline tickets. book hotel rooms and such and so long as the debit card is through the bank with teh VISA, MC... logo, than it is used exactly the same as a credit card.

I haven't had a credit card in about 15 years... my husband has NEVER had one.

4 moms found this helpful

Nope. Not a one anywhere. We go in the door of the hotel and rent a room and pay cash. We don't rent a care, we have a car already.

We don't get to have some things, like you buy online, but we don't have a bill hanging overhead either.

3 moms found this helpful

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ETA: No, there is no fee to use a debit card. Debit cards have rewards too, same if not better than credit cards. No, I don't carry that much cash, I use my debit card, same as cash. So I don't see the need for credit cards. Also, I have never had a "hold" on my account from the use of a debit card. That is an outdated practice. And, because my debit card has the VISA logo, it is protected from fraudulent activity by visa, and my bank has fraudulent charges protection as well.

If you don't buy anything on a card you don't have cash for, then why not use cash? If you pay your balances every month, then why not use cash? You can rent a car, book a hotel, and all of that with a debit card.

I have zero credit cards and I never intend to have any.

8 moms found this helpful

Nowadays debit cards that come straight from your checking account will suffice for hotel reservations, car rentals, etc. It's pretty freeing to have no credit cards, to tell you the truth! Requires building up a savings, something that Americans forgot how to do for the most part ...

5 moms found this helpful

I really truly mean Zero.

I will never ever ever have one again.

They are Toxic and make you live artificially.

If I needed to rent a car I would go get a preloaded card or something that I pay cash fro in the first place.

You also can use your debit card like a CC in alot of those situations.

I would still only use a preloaded card. I dont like even using my Debit card honestly.

Cash for everything.

5 moms found this helpful

We have no credit card but do have a debit card with a credit card logo that enables us to do just about everything you can with a credit card. This is how we keep ourselves from overspending and if we don't have the cash it isn't getting bought, reserved, or otherwise paid for.

4 moms found this helpful

I use my debit card for those things that require a card - it's accepted pretty much everywhere now, it's a "Visa", but the $ come out of the bank. If I have a concern, I can select a "credit card' option when I make a purchase (so I can dispute it) but the $ still come out of the bank.

I have no credit cards. I have learned that I lack the discipline to have one; so I don't.

ETA: Just read your other replies. So - "what they said" works here too. : )

4 moms found this helpful

I use my debit card where you would normally use credit (online purchases, car rentals). Go Dave Ramsey! We just paid off our student loan and are working on building up a 6 month cushion savings. Once that's done we'll refinance to a 15-year fixed mortgage. But if you pay your card off every month, I don't see the danger. You can get the perks that go along with the card, without the interest payments. But you're right--you spend more that way. It's just human nature.

4 moms found this helpful

I really dont have any. I'm 32 and if i dont have the money in the bank or cash i dont need it. I use my debit card for online purchases. Works just fine.
Oh and my credit score was 768 too, which i really good considering i dont use credit cards.

4 moms found this helpful

You can use debit cards for those required things, we pay for airline tickets. book hotel rooms and such and so long as the debit card is through the bank with teh VISA, MC... logo, than it is used exactly the same as a credit card.

I haven't had a credit card in about 15 years... my husband has NEVER had one.

4 moms found this helpful

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