Money?

Old Jul 29th, 2001, 09:57 AM
  #1  
Moneylady
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Money?

We basically always use a Credit Card to pay for our vacations. I don't know if that's a good thing. You can easily get into debt this way.
How many people use a Credit Card to pay for there vacations?
 
Old Jul 29th, 2001, 01:38 PM
  #2  
Bob
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We use credit cards to pay for absolutely everything possible...even fast food when an option.
Why? The frequent flyer miles.
Drawbacks? There are none. We always pay off the total each month so only the annual fee is due as a 'penalty' for having the card. But getting 40,000-plus "free" FFM's per year is more than worth the annual fee!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 02:17 PM
  #3  
Sue
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We also use a credit card on vacations although we do carry some cash. Like the last poster, our credit cards are always paid in full each month. You also get a great accounting of what you spent so you can budget for your next vacation! We also get frequent flyer miles with the card!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 02:58 PM
  #4  
curious
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Never use a credit card for anything, even travel. We use our debit cards now which can be used in place of credit cards when reserving rooms, etc. My husband and I love the fact that we have no debt but the mortgage. This way we are never tempted to buy anything that we can't pay for right then and there. My sister does as you do Bob and has gotten many perks with FF miles. I should look into this but old habits are hard to break.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 03:34 PM
  #5  
John
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One benefit that CC have that Debit cards don't have is the legal protection. You can dispute a CC charge and their are federal consumer protection laws that help you (really helpful with slimy rental car agencies). Debit cards do not get the same protection. If you are disciplined in your use of CC, they can be a big boon. But if you have trouble budgeting or controlling your spending, CC can get you into trouble.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 03:59 PM
  #6  
Credit Cards R Us
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Curious, if you have the discipline that I know you have from reading your posts, you should ABSOLUTELY ditch the debit cards in favor of credit cards. My latest credit card (we too pay them off in full each month) is a Shell Visa credit card. You get 5% for every dollar spent at a Shell station; 1% for purchases elsewhere. No annual fee.

Frequent flier CCs are also good. My experience is that the ones linked to one specific airline aren't great. Sometimes another flight is more convenient, and my CC gives me FF miles even for flights taken using awards. Fewer black-out dates, and easier to get flights when you can go with any airline.

Let's see. I also have a Borders' credit card, which gives me coupons for free books. I also once had a grocery store CC and a phone company CC, all of which sent me coupons to use. It was pretty neat to get a $40 coupon to send in and wipe out that month's phone bill.

Why do I need so many credit cards? To better keep track of who in the household is spending what -- very useful for budgeting.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 04:59 PM
  #7  
Travel Lady
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Love the credit cards.. Particulary the American Express for the ff miles.
Use the gold card everywhere... Easy to earn those much anticipated travel miles!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 05:01 PM
  #8  
Toni
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We take one major destination vacation a year (other then a yearly trip to visit family and several long weekends)

This is how we pay for it: We put away $100. every month, just for vacation, for approx 11 months before we leave so we will have money to apply towards our bill when we get back.

We pay for ALL our purchases, including groceries, with a FF credit card.

We pay for the first night deposit (with the FF card) months before we leave in order to hold our room, so some of our hotel bils are already paid for before we leave AND we always pay off our cards every month!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 05:49 PM
  #9  
curious
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credit Cards R us, Pardon my ignorance on this subject but does that mean you get 5% or 1% off of the total of your CC bill or what? Also, when you get FF miles do you get a mile for every dollar spent? (Wish I thought of this when we redid our living room last year!). I'm one of those people who throws out all those CC solicitations in the mail without even opening them. Now I'm beginning to realize that I may be missing out on a good thing!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 06:01 PM
  #10  
Bob
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curious:
Capital One and AmEx are two CC's I know of (my wife and I split them) which allow you to accumulate FF miles to be used on a wide variety of airlines...a mile per dollar spent. But there are some restrictions, fewer with Capital One, it seems, but AmEx offers some other great benefits that CO does not.
Tried buying two cars with my AmEx but the dealers wouldn't allow it (max $4000). Could have had a pair of instant round trip tickets to Australia!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 06:06 PM
  #11  
curious
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Thanks for the info Bob. My husband has Amex and mentioned that he thought he could do this for an $ 85 annual fee. Does that sound right? Does the Capitol one card require an additional fee? Nice try with the cars, Bob. Too bad they wouldn't let you put the whole cost on the card though!
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 06:07 PM
  #12  
Credit Cards R Us
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Curious, If I buy a $1000 couch for the living room on my Shell card, I will get a coupon in the mail for $10 in free gas. Same for FF miles (1 mile per dollar). Annual fees vary, but obviously, if you spend a lot for regular living expenses or if you travel on business, you can plow a lot of money through the card and get lots of free stuff. Take note, however: some cards have annual or even monthly maximums, so you can't put your whole house remodel on one card and still get miles/coupons. But you sure can put it on several different cards.

As for the solicitations, you can find out about these things in other ways. I found out about the Shell card through a site on the Internet that lists every affinity gasoline CC, and you can get a Visa card like that for pretty much every major gas company or airline. Two of my cards are First USA (FF and Borders); the other two are Chase (Verizon and Shell).

Start a thread, and I'm sure some more Fodorites will get you started.
 
Old Aug 1st, 2001, 06:12 PM
  #13  
Credit Cards R Us
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Curious, you can do better than $85 a year. I pay the following annual fees:

Shell - nothing the first year, $15 after.

Verizon -- no fee.

FF -- Value Miles program. $45/year (we use this for all household expenses, and the free tickets compensate for the high fee)

Borders -- no fee.

Used to have United Mileage Plus Visa, but the fee went up to $60, so we dropped it. Local supermarket Visa card (Giant) was with no annual fee, but they dropped the discount, so we dropped the card.

As you can see, the issuer will wise up and start charging a fee or eliminate or reduce the benefit. That's when I cancel that one and migrate to something more lucrative.
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 11:06 AM
  #14  
L
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Perhaps this advanatge is less important now than when people took wads of cash and travellers check to foreign countries, but with a CC you obviously enjoy the current international rate of exchange when the transaction is porcessed ... of course, some foreign firms wait until the rate is more favorable to them, and less so to you. The same holds true for an ATM card, but the advantage can be dillited if banks charge large service fees. Having a CC or ATM gives you more safety and more leasure time (you're not out walkinh the streets kcomparing rates of exchanges at vaious exchange windows). Ciao
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 07:11 PM
  #15  
Linda
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I'm w/Curious on this one. It's too easy to say "we'll pay it back (and worry about it) later" using credit cards. We travel with our debit card now - it makes us stick to our budget and is just as easy to use as a credit card.

And forget fees - doesn't anyone worry or think about interest rates? I don't pay fees (or get FF miles either) on my credit card - I save money instead paying only 5.99% on my charging - makes it easier to put a tidy sum into the ole "vacation account" every month.....
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2001, 07:24 PM
  #16  
Credit
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But Linda, that's the point. Those of us who pay off our cards each month pay no interest at all, so the rate doesn't matter. We get free stuff for using the cards that you don't get, and we don't risk that someone will wipe out every penny in our bank accounts. If someone uses the card without our authorization or doesn't provide the promised goods, we can dispute the charge. Also, if you miscalculate with a debit card, you can run up huge bad check charges before you realize your mistake.

You might wish to try a credit card if you are sure you can be disciplined. You can get a limit of as low as $500, if you're really worried about it.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 03:37 AM
  #17  
Linda
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Credit: Yeah, I see where you're coming from - I guess I'm speaking for all of us out there that aren't disciplined enough (or always able) to pay off the cc bill in full every month. So a lower interest rate (w/no extra benefits) makes sense for us, as does using a debit card for major expenditures such as vacations. Then I don't have to worry about my "budget-discipline issues".....

Used to have to mess w/traveler's checks every vacation - thank God for debit cards!
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 08:03 AM
  #18  
Sue
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Linda,
Why don't you try using a debit card just like you would a credit card. I mean to subtract the transaction out of your check book balance each time you use it. That way, you will have the money to pay it off when the bill comes due. Plus you're get the freebies we've all been talking about.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 01:56 PM
  #19  
Mr.Credit man
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Wow...
I take my hats off to you travelers who are very disciplined individuals.. How do you do it? I don't want to begin to tell you how many MAJOR credit cards I have? 8-10 maybe?? Couple American Express, Visa, Master Card, Discover, you name it. I do use 1 card quite ofter for frequent flyer miles.. Northwest Visa..How do you all do it.. They are so easy to whip out and use..
I guess I'm one of the few that needs to discipline myself before its too late!! ( I LOVE to travel though)
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2001, 01:59 PM
  #20  
Debt-free
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Oh, it's easy, Mr. Credit man. Before I buy something, I ask myself the same question: "Don't you already have enough crap in your house, and where are you going to put this piece of crap?" Works every time.
 

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