Credit Cards...what to Get Now?

Updated on October 24, 2011
H.J. asks from Saint Paul, MN
13 answers

Sounds like a question for someone who has many but I have had "a "credit card...the same one since I was sixteen. Due to circumstances( which has nothing to do with affording it...we actually have no money out on credit right now) that card is no longer. Now here I am over 11 years later without one...I have no idea where to even start. At the moment I have paperwork sitting in front of me for a no fee, but no frills card through my credit union. (which is the type of card I got 11 years ago). My inlaws are incuraging me to go with one with perks but the thought of filling out an application online for a credit card just bothers me...Have you don't this before. is it that big of a deal or am I making it one.

This will be my only credit card. my husband has one already but would have to co-sign on mine since I make no income.

I truley feel naked without my "safety card" in case of emergencies ( in other words...can you wait here while I drive home and transfer money so I can pay... is what I want to avoid).

So what card do you like...are the perks worth it?

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So What Happened?

Well after a little more research I decided to go with the credit union again with the same low limit just like I had is enough to feel comfortale. I make my online purchases with credit as a security feature along with other purchases that are more useful made with credit and then paid off. I have never 'NOT" paid off a card in full monthly so for myself and our family I do not see any issues with my not having any personally income (my husbands icome is MY income...we don't do that silly his and mine thing). My husband and I both agree that I need to have the card. I didn't feel like the "perks" would be beneficial since I do not use the card enough.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I use my debit card like a credit card, and act as my own creditor. I.e., I try to keep $700-$800 in there at a time.

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answers from Charlotte on

You SHOULD have a credit card. As long as you use it as if you were using cash and always pay it off every month, you won't be in trouble.

When my dad passed away, it took hours on the phone to get him off the card and the credit card company to allow my mom to keep it, since she is retired and on a fixed income. If she had not been on this card, she wouldn't have been able to get one at ALL. And she needs one, to get gas with, to get a rental car and hotel room when she travels, and to make her life easier in general. She never spends more than she can afford, either.

If you don't use it much, don't worry about the rewards. It'll take too long to accrue them. Your credit union no-frills low fee (or no fee) card is just fine.

And, DON'T ever use it as a debit card. I believe debit cards are evil. If someone figures out your PIN and takes your card, your bank account money will be gone, and you'll be up a creek until the bank returns your money. With a credit card, as soon as you report losing the card, or a wrongful charge placed on it, you have an easier time dealing with it.

Good luck,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

just remember it's not a *perk* if you don't pay it off every month, then it's called debt

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sounds like you are responsible. We have a cash back card through our bank. We do pay our cards off every month though so we don't incur any charges. I just cashed 2 of them out after 3 years (totally forgot about the points) We received $1000 just for buying things on the cards over 3 years.

Do your research to make sure there are no catches though.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You can get a credit card without an income...I did last long as you have a good credit score. Of course best advice is to pay it off each month. (I have savings). Online credit applications are secure...I got one that earns Disney dollars...try and get something out of it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I encourage you to stick with your credit union. They deserve your support, because while the big banks have been busy "screwing" people over many local credit unions including the one I use have been helping pay their bills if they lost their job.

Most people do not realize that when you use a credit card that gives you points or rebates, the vendor with whom you use that card is forced to pay the credit card company a bigger percentage. The same is true when you use a debit card (higher percentage) versus a credit card. As a small business owner with a very small profit margin, that percentage difference can really hurt when our customers go with "perk" cards.

If you don't use a card much I also see no advantage to getting a card with perks as you will unlikely see any personal benefit. I vote, support your credit union!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I don't understand all of the people who are so anti-credit card. I have a discover that gives me up to 1% back on most things and 5% back on gas (although they have various versions and you should get the one that is best for what you spend most on). I always pay the full balance on time, I would never charge something to my card that I don't have money to pay for. As a result I don't have to worry about carrying cash around with me all the time and I make $300-400 per year for buying groceries and gas and other things we need. A credit card is only a bad thing if you spend money that you don't have or don't pay your whole bill on time.

Additionally, when my husband and I got married he had a MC and I had a discover and we both got cards for the other one. If you are anti-opening another account why don't you just get your husband to add you to his account and get another card?

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answers from Chattanooga on

i only use prepaid cards myself so i know i don't spend more than i can afford

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry - I would say NO THANK YOU!! To ANY credit card...we made the choice in 2006 to go credit card free and it was WONDERFUL!!! Yeah, it was hard at first.

It has nothing to do with filling out applications on-line, as long as I KNOW the site and McAfee didn't scream at me...I'll do it. However, I would NOT get a credit card...

You state "due to circumstances"...i will take that to mean you couldn't afford it. So why get yourself in more trouble now?

I would set aside money and start a savings account so you can have your safety net...for your emergencies...

Having a credit card with no income is not the wisest move to make. Sorry I can't offer you the advice you want to hear.



answers from Washington DC on

I have a Discover, but they will raise your limit if you are a good girl and always pay on time. THey raise it here a little and there a little .Then all of a sudden you have a 20,000 limit. No thank you. When they send you the notice that your limit is raised, you need to call them and decline it.
You can pay at Sears and online.
THey are also very proactive when it comes to usage and "overusage" or funny charges.
--THey cancelled us in IN while we were moving from NC to CA, too many charges from different states, I had not told them of the move.
--THere was a $3 Walmart charge that was manually plugged in and we were called, no we did not purchase those two drinks , the card was cancelled an we were reissued another. An employee got ahold of our number.
--I had an issue with an online company and their products and Discover went to court in a class action suit because of it, not only my issue but there were many like mine. THey refunded over $100.

I also have a credit union Visa/debit. This comes directly form my checking account. THere are no frills.



answers from Tulsa on

skip the perks. go for Discover which allows you to take the perks as credit toward your bill.


answers from Washington DC on

I would not get a credit card if you didn't HAVE to. Or only as long as you can be sure you can pay 100% of the balance every month. I am trying myself to get one right now. I have been denied because since I am a new business I have no "business credit" history. I am a business owner but since I am new (not licensed for at least 2 years) my bank will not approve me. So, I tried to get a personal card and I don't have enough income and my husband has bad credit so here I sit. Struggling to not have my business fail. My credit score is amazing and I have no debt, but they still won't approve me. Oh well. Sorry for the rant. In my opinion credit cards are bad unless they are for a business (where you will be investing it in) or if you are sure you can pay it all off



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm not a fan of credit cards. If you have 6-9 months of expenses set aside in an "emergency fund" you won't need one at all.
Credit is largely an American myth.
If I had to recommend one, what's wrong with the "no frills" one from your credit union? I'd get that one & let that be it.
Perks aren't free when you're spending an average of %28 more per transaction. (And that's what statistics show). So how are those air miles, car bucks, etc., "free"?

Next question: Do You Use Debit or Credit?