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credit cards. i want one but worried. share your experience.

Mar 28, 2021
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i've avoided credit cards all my life and used debit cards instead. growing up my parents always warned me to stay away from them so i did. when i turned 18 my bank was trying hard to get me to sign up for one but i said no because i didn't understand them. recently i've been looking into them to try get my credit score a bit higher. i'm in the UK and my score is 967 which is considered "excellent". i would probably be fine without one but if i'm at 967/999 then i want to push it higher.

i have found a card i think would suit me and i have been pre-approved for it but i can't bring myself to actually apply because i think something bad will happen. i like to think i'm responsible with my money. i have thousands worth of savings and i always keep about £200-300 in my bank just incase. if i want to buy something then i'll wait until i have saved enough money up to buy it instead of dipping into savings or asking people for a loan (which i don't i've EVER done. i don't like taking someones money and being in debt to them). i think if i did get one i'd be responsible with it and pay it off every month. no minimum payments or high utilisation. when i think of credit card i think of it is something to benefit me and not just a quick way of getting money. i mean if i get a credit limit of say £1,000 i won't think oh shit yes i can go buy myself a PS5 and a XSX or oh shit yes now i can go book a holiday. i'd probably just put my phone bill/netflix and other subscriptions on it to make use of it and instead of worrying about each one just pay a single monthly bill.

i know this is probably a very boring topic and probably a lot of people are in their teens or early adulthood on here but i thought i'd ask anyway. could you share you experience if you have had used a credit card? is it really all bad or should i go for it?
 
Mar 28, 2021
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I know the fear, but just get one and fill your tank up or buy some groceries with it once a month, then pay it off and you'll build credit. Once you do this enough times it just becomes habit.
i was thinking that. if i use it it'll probably just be for the weekly shopping, filling the car up, buying train tickets/paying for a taxi, and of course my monthly phone/netflix subs.

i've been pre approved but still i guess what is holding me back most is actually applying and getting refused then i will have a mark on my credit score.
 

Azzurri

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If you ever want to purchase a house or car, you're gonna need to build credit.

At least in the USA you do.
 
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Dark Star

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nothing to worry about, just pay off your monthly statement immediately. building credit is important, do it.

i use capital one quicksilver card, gives you cash back rewards on all purchases 1.5%
 
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Mar 28, 2021
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If you ever want to purchase a house or car, you're gonna need to build credit.

At least in the USA you do.
yeah. but like i said my credit is 32 off being "perfect" (967/999) and i've never used a credit card. i'm 30 and got by fine. got a house (although not owned) and a car. got utilties.

nothing to worry about, just pay off your monthly statement immediately. building credit is important, do it.

i use capital one quicksilver card, gives you cash back rewards on all purchases 1.5%
i was offered some capital one cards but i would prefer one from a bank i'm already with which would be Bank of Scotland or Barclays. I was looking at the Barclaycard Forward but wasn't sure about what credit i'd get. they say minimum is £50 and that would be almost useless. Bank of Scotland are offering me a platinum one better interest rates and £800 credit. plus, i do a lot of shopping on Amazon and they will stop VISA so i want a Mastercard. Barclays is Visa and BoS is Mastercard. I did look at the Amazon credit cards but like i said i want to stick with a bank I'm with.
 
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QuickShot27

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Not a big believer in credit cards, not a view shared by many. I remember trying it once and being in debt $400 for months was a bad experience at the time. It’s a basic thing so people get what they want.
 
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Pilgrimzero

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Jun 23, 2014
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Worse thing to ever happen to me. Big mistake. Ever since getting one when i was a teen ive never not paid a CC bill.
 

bitbydeath

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yeah. but like i said my credit is 32 off being "perfect" (967/999) and i've never used a credit card. i'm 30 and got by fine. got a house (although not owned) and a car. got utilties.
Credit cards are often used in conjunction with an offset account to reduce your mortgage interest rate. Since you have a house you should probably investigate having that setup to save money.

EDIT: I think I read that wrong and you are renting? Well, always good to get into the habit for when you do buy.
 
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Punished Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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The guy from Catch Me If You Can gave a talk at Google about some of his many insights. He got all his kids using credit cards for literally every purchase at a young age. All you have to do is only spend what you have.

On the plus side you get free credit score tracking, additional fraud protection on all purchases, cash back percentages and rewards, building your credit score.

It's kind of objectively better than a debit card. You just have to be responsible.
 

Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
Jan 14, 2018
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Buy only what is necessary.

Don't spend more money than you earn on your job.

Do not be late in payments.

Have an extra 40% savings of what you are going to buy at least for any situation that you have a backup.


Enjoy your buy.
 
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just_some_nut

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Just use it like cash: don't spend more than you have. If you wouldn't buy something with cash, don't buy it with credit. Stick to that and enjoy the cashback savings; can't go wrong.
 
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MudoSkills

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As others have said, you can get some bonuses for using it (cashback, Avios points, protection on payments) but the main reason I used one was to build up my credit score so I could get a mortgage. It sounds like you already have great credit, so unless it's offering good perks I don't see the point.

Also with a score like that and good savings they're gonna go in with a higher credit limit than £1k, although you can request they lower it. Across two cards I have about £15k in available credit, and I have a modest salary.
 
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SlimySnake

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Just pay it off every month. Use it as a debit card. Im surprised you have a high credit without ever using credit cards. Did you pay off your student loans or something? How can it be so high without buying a car or a house?

I had to pay off my student loans, buy and fully pay off 2 cars, lease a couple more, then buy and sell a house then buy another house to get close to max.
 

Kilau

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As other's have said, pay it off every month. We put everything on cards for the points and we never carry a balance unless it's some 0 interest promo.

Just start with a low limit card if you are worried you will spend beyond your means.
 

BigBooper

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Feb 28, 2018
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If you are that worried that you won't be able to control your spending, you might not need one. We don't know how you will react to that kind of thing like you do.

However, I get a lot of reward money back for using a credit card and paying it off every month. It's probably saved me thousands by now.
 

fatty

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Why do you want to build your credit? It is already built. And you not having a credit card at this point, how do you have credit built up? Do you have any debt?

I say don’t do it, it will only give you the temptation to spend more. As for your subscriptions, can’t you tie them to your debit card?

You are in a great position now, and I believe one big reason is because you don’t have credit. Buy your cars with cash and when you do decide to get a house you can still get a mortgage, even if you didn’t have a credit score.

If you've gone this long without one I'd say don't bother.

Points don't matter, your credit is solid. Why introduce temptation to spend more

Yep.
 

Ron Mexico

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If you're just starting out, the number 1 thing I'd look for is a card that doesn't carry an annual fee. From there, I agree wholeheartedly with paying your balance in full every month. The limit on that credit card is a loan against your future income, not an extension of your income.

Down the line I'd get deeper into the rewards cards and truly maximizing your value. Generally speaking (and there will absolutely be exceptions here and there), rewards cards carry some more stringent underwriting.
 

Tranquil

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i was thinking that. if i use it it'll probably just be for the weekly shopping, filling the car up, buying train tickets/paying for a taxi, and of course my monthly phone/netflix subs.

i've been pre approved but still i guess what is holding me back most is actually applying and getting refused then i will have a mark on my credit score.
If you're worried about getting refused and having a ding on your credit, then just go to you local bank with whomever you bank with currently and apply. They should be able to get you a card that won't be refused.
 
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Catphish

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Unless you have the ability to pay it off rapidly, and the interest rate is less than 15%, avoid credit cards like the fucking plague. I have one, very high credit limit, 13%. Emergencies only. I pay it off at the end of each month.

I wasn’t always able to do that. I’ve had the foot of a high-balance on my neck, and it is no fun. It’s really easy to slide into a pit you can’t get out of.

Tread VERY carefully.
 
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Mar 28, 2021
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Just pay it off every month. Use it as a debit card. Im surprised you have a high credit without ever using credit cards. Did you pay off your student loans or something? How can it be so high without buying a car or a house?

I had to pay off my student loans, buy and fully pay off 2 cars, lease a couple more, then buy and sell a house then buy another house to get close to max.
i was surprised too. it was only a couple months ago i even bothered to look at my credit score. when if first checked it was considered "good" (<960) but i checked again yesterday and it had gone up to "excellent". i never went to college/university so no loans/debt. left school and rented house and bought a crappy car i used for about 10 years. got a new one recently. well when i say new it was used lol. i've never been in debt before and done nothing to negatively affect my rating (apparently lol).

If you're worried about getting refused and having a ding on your credit, then just go to you local bank with whomever you bank with currently and apply. They should be able to get you a card that won't be refused.
i was thinking of going into my bank and doing it in person. so far only done the egibility checker and have been pre approved for cards.
 
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newtypepilot

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LIke others have said, you are fine as long as you pay it off every month. Just don't increase your spending all of a sudden.

Also make sure you read the fine print and know all the fees and interest, because usually preapproved credits cards come with annual fee (or waived first year) so you might want to avoid those. I usually prefer ones that offer cash back but some offer perks such as extra airmiles or waived fee on foreign currency transactions so they can be good if you travel alot.
 

jadedm17

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Credit card companies want you neck deep in debt, not playing in the shallow end.
Be smart.

Credit is amazing if you're smart but remember someone pays, be it you with fees and interest or the gas stations and stores you frequent; They'll keep giving you more debt until you're almost drowning. If you're going to use the pros then be aware of the cons like once you stop paying cash its easy to get lost in credit.
If you can stay aware of that then credit can be free money. Just stay vigilant.
 

IDKFA

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Jan 15, 2017
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Good for building up your credit score, but if you're going to get one then be sensible with it.

Although good for building credit scores, I've known people who've treated them like free money and have got into serious debt, which obviously then damages your credit score and will take years to repair.
 

gioGAF

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You need discipline in order to take advantage of a credit card. You ALWAYS need to pay off the debt you accumulate each billing cycle. If you are not able to do that, you should not get one. You will just be getting robbed on a monthly basis.
 

Sub_Level

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If you have a balance on your card and your minimum payment is, say, $100, but your balance is $500 then pay the $500. Or as much of it as you can until you pay the remainder on your next paycheck. Don't pay the minimum.
 

SafeOrAlone

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I was always told not to get one. I acquired one a couple years ago and wish I had done it way sooner. When you're a responsible spender, there are benefits to be had just for buying things you were going to purchase no matter what. If you are compulsive with your money, it's probably not a good idea.
 

Rival

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Credit cards are great as long as you aren’t an idiot. I have 120k points to use with my chase card that I’ll be using for a free trip this spring. And I have about $500 in rewards coming from Costco at the beginning of the year. You just have to not spend more than you can fully pay off every month. What happens is that people overspend or treat credit cards as if they are real money and that gets you into trouble. And I’ll admit 20+ years ago when I was young I did not use them responsibly and got myself into trouble. Use them responsibly and build great credit and it really helps financially. I have a very low interest mortgage and can qualify for the lowest rates when I need a loan. My current fico score is 829.
 
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negator2vc

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I have never see the need for a credit card. If I want something I save money and use my debit card to buy it (including big purchases). In fact I have a secondary account at the same bank which I use for this purpose (the debit card is only connected to this account).
This way I only use money that I actually have and I don't own anyone anything (even for a few days).
 
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Nester99

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Its great for emergencies but you just need to understand you still need to pay for all the stuff you buy
 

Nester99

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I have never see the need for a credit card. If I want something I save money and use my debit card to buy it (including big purchases). In fact I have a secondary account at the same bank which I use for this purpose (the debit card is only connected to this account).
This way I only use money that I actually have and I don't own anyone anything (even for a few days).

Do you plan on traveling in your life. Hard to check into a hotel these days without one.
They provide some peace of mind in an emergency situation. No cash to pay the tow truck driver? I guess your stuck on the road.
 
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HoodWinked

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from your responses you don't seem the type of person that people wary against getting credit cards.

but make sure to get a credit card that has no annual fee, the interest rate is semi-unimportant as you will always pay the full amount every month (no exceptions, never put a balance on the card if you can't pay it). setup autopay so you never miss a payment.

also when you pay a bill or purchase items on the credit card just imagine that amount being gone from your bank account since that will ultimately be used to pay the credit card. essentially a delayed debit card. since you have no credit history might not be feasible but one with no annual fee, a sign up bonus and some % rewards would be ideal.
 
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TransTrender

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LoL I have tons of cards and each of them has a specific perk or purpose.
Also why just pay for stuff when you can get 3-6% back, or more, on ~almost~ every penny I spend.
Of course, always pay off your statement.
Not having a credit card just means you're not getting the most for the money you spend or you're missing out of a great 'free' benefit.
Also some of my cards have annual fees but those are weighted against the benefits to make sure it's worth it and still generating bigger rewards after the fee than other cards may.
 
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Tams

Member
If you are financially responsible, then there's no reason to not get a credit card.

They offer better purchase protection and have rewards that are actually worth trying for (even in the UK). Plus improve your credit rating (not that it matters for much in the UK). Just make sure that a direct debit is set up from your current account for any cards you have (so that you don't forget to pay).

And in right pickles, the ability to spend money that you do not have can be a lifesaver (only for emergencies; never for luxuries). You should absolutely avoid going beyond the interest free credit period as much as possible (as the interest rates are insane) and be careful of the initial sign-up bonus periods. Just stick to the direct debit and always pay your card(s) off each month.

You can use most credit card services to keep track of your expenses, but I suggest using an expenses tracking app (or just a notebook if that's your thing) as well.
 

Tams

Member
I have never see the need for a credit card. If I want something I save money and use my debit card to buy it (including big purchases). In fact I have a secondary account at the same bank which I use for this purpose (the debit card is only connected to this account).
This way I only use money that I actually have and I don't own anyone anything (even for a few days).

Honestly, this is a very immature (in the genuine meaning of the word) view of credit cards. Not using is your business, but before you go giving advice, like here, I suggest you actually learn about how they work and how people use them.
 
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Malakhov

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Always used one. I buy everything with it and pay it whole monthly. Always use one like a Costco credit card which gives back some return at the end of the year. Always get 3-400$ for free at the end of the year
 
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HoodWinked

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Also some of my cards have annual fees but those are weighted against the benefits to make sure it's worth it and still generating bigger rewards after the fee than other cards may.
this is a bit of an interesting one, ya if the math works out and you have enough compulsory spending it's good. but otherwise the annual fee is designed in a way where you are influenced to use the card to justify the annual fee. you really want to minimize any psychological pressures to use a card.
 

Nitty_Grimes

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Don’t tell me, let me guess. It’s Experian that give you that 967 out of 999 for your credit score? Please tell me you don’t subscribe to their £15 a month subscription tier?

If you do cancel it, it’s a fucking rip off mate. As others have said as long as you pay your bills on time and keep everything geeen and not red you’ll be fine.

Who is the pre-approved card with and what’s the APR?
 
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Celcius

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I'm 34 and to this day I've never owned a credit card. It took my a while to be ok with having a mortgage as I don't like having ANY kind of debt, though now I'm shopping for a house and ok with a mortgage.
I just use my debit card in any situation where a credit card would be convenient.
 
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Mista K

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It’s pretty easy. You can get a 0% APR card and set whatever you put on it to auto pay. My credit used to be 800, but I stopped using it and lost my score 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

TransTrender

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this is a bit of an interesting one, ya if the math works out and you have enough compulsory spending it's good. but otherwise the annual fee is designed in a way where you are influenced to use the card to justify the annual fee. you really want to minimize any psychological pressures to use a card.
Right, but I still need to buy gas or groceries, so I'm not pressured to use X or Y card for those necessities...since I need to eat, and my vehicles need fuel to move.

So yeah, you can choose to get 0% return on your weekly groceries, or 6%.
Sometimes I max out the annual benefits on some cards so then I have a secondary card with a slightly worse cashback rate to carry out the rest of the year.
 
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dorkimoe

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I only use my credit card and never my debit

1) credit cards fully insurable so if it gets stolen oh well get a new one and get your funds back
2) pay it off at the end of the month each month- using the money that is sitting in your checking/debt/savings
 
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Tams

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I'm 34 and to this day I've never owned a credit card. It took my a while to be ok with having a mortgage as I don't like having ANY kind of debt, though now I'm shopping for a house and ok with a mortgage.
I just use my debit card in any situation where a credit card would be convenient.

That's not really the point though.

If you're fine leaving some small, but not inconsequential benefits on the table, well that's up to you. But you are missing out on cashback, rewards, and the security of a credit card.

And while most banks will try to get your money back if something nefarious happens with your debit card, they will likely take their sweet time and perhaps not get back the full amount. Spending their money instead means they are much more incentivised to get it back and keep you as a customer.
 
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Celcius

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That's not really the point though.

If you're fine leaving some small, but not inconsequential benefits on the table, well that's up to you. But you are missing out on cashback, rewards, and the security of a credit card.

And while most banks will try to get your money back if something nefarious happens with your debit card, they will likely take their sweet time and perhaps not get back the full amount. Spending their money instead means they are much more incentivised to get it back and keep you as a customer.
My bank has always been very quick and effective if anything has gone wrong, though it's been years since that happened