Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nightly Business Report & a Question About Credit Cards

My appearance on Nightly Business Report went well: I took credit card companies to task for their arbitrary rate hikes and challenged the notion that they're good for the bottom line over the long-term, especially if consumer confidence is damaged.

I couldn't embed the video, but click here and scroll to the 22:30 mark to watch my commentary.

In the meantime, my twitfam had questions sparked by the commentary. @futurechefbelle asked, "What do you recommend a student to do as far as credit cards are concerned? Should we wait for the economy to bounce back?"

Answer: Most people should have a card for STRICTLY emergencies or when you absolutely need one. Even some discretionary activities like renting a car or a hotel room or even getting an airline ticket are hard to do without a card.

Keep in mind that credit cards in and of themselves aren't evil, (although @grahamesq tweeted me this gem:
"My dad has been preaching to me since I was about 8 that credit cards are 'economic suicide' "). What is evil is the abusive relationship most of us have with our cards, buying things we know we can't afford under terms we know are to our disadvantage using money we borrow from modern day corporate shylocks.

You can, and probably should have a card, but like insurance, it's something you want to have but rarely, if ever need to use.

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