The title is a nod to National Condom Week.
First off, I haven’t paid a penny of interest on purchases. I did pay advance check fees (3%) and interest on those check amounts, but only because it was still three times cheaper than going to the bank. Case and point – I needed a grand to add to my heap of cash when I purchased my 300SD. The bank said, “well, we can tack that thousand dollars onto your wife’s existing car loan”, but that would mean paying $100 “new loan fee” and higher interest. Naturally, I told my bank to piss off and I wrote a check from my credit card account.
Secondly, I am a very disciplined fella when it comes to purchasing things. It helps that my wife’s the “spender” of the family, so I have leverage when I need something, like a new DVD-ROM from NewEgg. I buy things using temporary account numbers my credit card can issue whenever I need one, which practically eliminates potential fraud and overspending. The temp numbers expire and they have a pre-set spending limit.
Finally, I accumulate airline miles. I know that cashback bonuses can be nice and more appropriate, but my credit card company has a kick-ass reservation system, no blackouts, no airline or destination restrictions. For that reason, I try to funnel everything I possibly can through the card.
All these things are grand, but paying that bill is a different story, you might say. I’ve established a system of paying the credit card bill online in full biweekly on the same day one of the paychecks gets direct deposited to the bank. This approach has a budgeting function built-in, i.e. we know exactly what bills get paid during the first fort-night, and what purchases must be made during the second. The remainder of the paycheck gets funneled to EmigrantDirect. The second paycheck allows for more flexibility and is added to the credit card payment if unforeseen expenses came up, or remains deposited in the checking, then separated and partially sent to EmigrantDirect.
Needless to say, when the paper bill arrives in the mail, the balance has already been paid.
What’s your credit card story?