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Can you live without credit cards?

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(Reuters) - As more cyber thieves steal personal and financial information, can you insulate yourself from the risk of having your money and identity stolen by giving up credit and debit cards?

Many consumers are rethinking their use of plastic after a massive cyber attack on retailers such as Target Corp and Neiman Marcus. For most Americans, living without credit and debit cards seems inconceivable. But Brie Hoffman has tried it, and mostly succeeded over the past six years.

Hoffman, 52, says an occasional online purchase and buying an airline ticket are the only uses for her sole debit card, which sometimes serves as a second form of ID. It's a relief not having a credit card, says the California resident, who has worked as a schoolteacher and as a companion to an elderly man.

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I only use prepaid debit cards that I constantly swap out for new ones. Never had any unwarranted expenses because of this. So yes. Yes I can.

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i am in my fifties and have not had a credit card. i do have a prepaid card that i purchased from the post office to rent a hotel room and things like that but i've never had credit extended to me with a card, and never will

what a nasty trap to find oneself in

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I have a debit card, but not a credit card.

I used to have a credit card in my younger days, but I found it encourages bad spending habits. That's all credit cards are for, to encourage people to spend, and usually spend money they don't have. They should really be called "debt cards".

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I am a cash and solid steel home safe gal me self.

The banks and credit card companies can kiss my solid safe behind.

If I do not have the money for a luxury, I will save for it if I need it that bad, and I have had the occations where by the time I have saved for it, I do not want it anymore, wonder how many people have racked up a debt on their credit card for something they regret later?

I have used prepaid, but can not beat cash.

Each time i have had lump sums with a couple of zero`s on the end going into the bank (nothing illegal) the bank has phoned me and asked me if I want a credit card or update to another account!!!!

my reply:

"why would i want a credit card when I have that kind of money, and do not worry yourselves over it, it will not be in your bank for that long"

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Just have a debit card linked to an account where you only keep a small amount of money, and another account where you keep money that you can't afford to have stolen.

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I can see going card free. I think counting out cold hard cash keeps spending more in perspective than sliding a piece of plastic through a machine.

Our bank acted immediately after the Target incident was exposed, couldn't use my card on-line and issued new cards. They don't want to loose money either (probably more than me) when their customers refuse to pay for purchases they did not make.

No one will replace my cold cash if it is stolen, but my bank will take care of any purchases I didn't make on my credit card. And, they call me all the time before approving any unusual activity on my card. Yes, that can be a pain in the butt, but I'd rather have it that way.

I worry more about identity theft! but out bank helps with that too.

And also how our privacy is being taken away as our personal information/preferences/activity is shared (on-line).

Edited by QuiteContrary
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Just have a debit card linked to an account where you only keep a small amount of money, and another account where you keep money that you can't afford to have stolen.

The bank also has a legal responsibility to keep your money safe. so if any money was stolen they would by law have to reimburse you.There are also such things as chargeback. my cousin foolishly lost money via a cold call from someone pretending to be from Microsoft they said her computer was infected and as a result running slow. they talked her through the process and eventually remotely took control of her computer and installed what turned out to be Free anti virus software, for this service they charged her £60.00 and she foolishly gave them her card details, when she checked with the bank they had taken £250.00. when my cousin notified the bank they asked if she had reported it to the police and did she have a incident number, she had, so the bank then used charge back and repaid the money into her bank account. :clap: chargeback or see terms under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

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I live quite happily without credit cards,apart from a pay as you go card i just use for online purposes and my debit Card.

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I think counting out cold hard cash keeps spending more in perspective than sliding a piece of plastic through a machine.

I thought so too... but I heard the results of a study that indicated that younger people think of cash as money already taken from their bank account, and view it as "already spent."

This makes sense, when you consider the shift in mentality given the use of smart devices and instant, online banking. I can look at my balance in real-time in seconds. My paycheck is deposited automatically, and when I withdraw cash, my balance goes down instantly. And I pay all my bills online. To me, what money I have equates to the intangible number in my online accounts. So, it is easy to think of that cash in hand as already gone, and easier to spend.

At least the study would indicate that is how younger people see it.

Edited by Neognosis

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I don't have a credit card I probably won't have one in the foreseeable future either.

While it has its uses, such as renting a car or moving van (they refuse to take checks now) I see it mostly as a liability that I am not willing to deal with.

Too much paperwork and information being exchanged and for what? Little to no guarantee that my information is secure?

Nah..I'll find my way around without it. Even some online stores allow checks for payment so one just has to do their own research.

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I am a techno dinosaur. No cellphone, no cable, etc. I don't want any of it. I also save up until I can pay with cash for something, not on time. Credit is a trap.

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Sure i could live without a credit card. But i've had one for years and years just for convenience ... I pay it off EVERY month therefore, with this card, it has never cost me a penny to use .. ( other than the one (or two) months i paid it off a little late. )

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I have a debit card, but not a credit card.

Same here, I've never had a credit card.

All household bills are paid online, and supermarket shopping is always paid by cash along with other odds and ends.

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I don't have a credit card and I hope I am never stupid enough to get one. I do have a debit card but I prefer to draw cash out for the week, That way I can keep a track of what I'm spending. I have bought things on credit before, Essentials like washing machines etc that I cannot afford to buy in one lump sum, But then I will pay one thing off before buying another and prefer not to do this unless absolutely necessary. If I want something like a holiday, I have to save for it. It feels like more of a reward then, Watching the cash mount up, Rather than just sticking it on the plastic.

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I'm with the rest of you, I have no credit cards but I do have a debit card which I only use to pay certain bills - I always figured if I cant afford something with the cash I have on hand, then I cant afford it when the bill comes in

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The bank also has a legal responsibility to keep your money safe. so if any money was stolen they would by law have to reimburse you.There are also such things as chargeback.

That happened to me once. I always check the bank statement when it arrives in the post, and this one time there was a transaction on it that I didn't recognise. It was a card payment of £50 to somewhere. So I phoned the bank and they put me on to their fraud squad who said they'd do a chargeback and send me a new pin number in the post as a precaution. It all ended well as the £50 got refunded back in. It just goes to show how it pays to always check your bank statement.

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Even some online stores allow checks for payment

Which gives an online store your bank account and routing number.

Back in the day, people were check washing and forging checks. I suspect that an organization can figure out a way to steal from you if they have your bank account and routing number. Especially if they have an image of your check.

I don't have a credit card and I hope I am never stupid enough to get one

That's a VERY shortsighted statement.

I do have a debit card but I prefer to draw cash out for the week, That way I can keep a track of what I'm spending.

That's a good idea, however, if YOU can draw cash out from your bank using your debit card, then someone can potentially pirate it and do the same.

Really, aside from cash or trade, nothing is 100% secure. And carrying around cash is not exactly safe either.

As for your "stupid enough to get a credit card" statement, I think you mean to say that a credit card can be USED in a "stupid" way.

IMO, NOT having a credit card is "stupid."

There have been a few times where having a credit card has gotten me out of a jam. When my kids are older, I will make sure they each have one, but that they understand that they should not use it unless it is an emergency. And an "emergency" is something like being stranded someplace without a car or food, NOT needing beer for the weekend or a television.

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I always check the bank statement when it arrives in the post,

I check my bank statement every day. Now that it is technologically possible to do so with just a few taps of my iPhone screen, it is irresponsible NOT to do so.

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Which gives an online store your bank account and routing number.

Back in the day, people were check washing and forging checks. I suspect that an organization can figure out a way to steal from you if they have your bank account and routing number. Especially if they have an image of your check.

That's a VERY shortsighted statement.

Not at all, Its what I think, Sorry if that's not "cool" with you, I don't really care though :)

That's a good idea, however, if YOU can draw cash out from your bank using your debit card, then someone can potentially pirate it and do the same.

Really, aside from cash or trade, nothing is 100% secure. And carrying around cash is not exactly safe either.

As for your "stupid enough to get a credit card" statement, I think you mean to say that a credit card can be USED in a "stupid" way.

IMO, NOT having a credit card is "stupid."

There have been a few times where having a credit card has gotten me out of a jam. When my kids are older, I will make sure they each have one, but that they understand that they should not use it unless it is an emergency. And an "emergency" is something like being stranded someplace without a car or food, NOT needing beer for the weekend or a television.

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That's a VERY shortsighted statement.

Its my opinion

IMO, NOT having a credit card is "stupid."

also a VERY shortsighted statement

Edited by SheWomanCatTypeThing

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As for your "stupid enough to get a credit card" statement, I think you mean to say that a credit card can be USED in a "stupid" way.

.

As for your "credit cards can be used in a stupid way" statement, Sure they can. I have already stated I am not against credit. I just prefer to use store credit than a credit card. That way I keep a track of what I'm paying off. I've seen from people before, Its all too easy to stick things on the plastic (For some, Not all before you try to jump on that statement) And I don't exactly trust myself not to get carried away, That was why I said I hope I wouldn't be stupid enough.

I'm sure lots of people do use them responsibly. I have no need for one, Or no desire. I've managed up until now without one.

Edited by SheWomanCatTypeThing

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also a VERY shortsighted statement

hmmmm.. not really. As I've said, there have been a few times where having a credit card has gotten me out of a jam.

It's the way you USE a credit card that is the factor.

Saying that you would have to be stupid to have a credit card is a bit of an off-putting and short sighted statement.

I don't have a credit card and I hope I am never stupid enough to get one

I'm curious... do you think that I'M stupid because I have a credit card that I use responsibly?

And as an aside, I often use my credit card for gasoline, which I get "reward points" back on.

I pay the balance in full every month, and every year the "reward points" pay for a new set of tires on my motorcycle.

So, tell me, am I stupid for having a credit card?

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I only use credit cards. My work involves doing projects in different states and requires hotels, equipment rental, etc. It would be dangerous and impractical for me to walk around with a few thousand dollars of cash in a strange town for my work related and living expenses. I avoid debit cards, as they are a direct link to my bank accounts. Cashiers checks, traveler's checks, and even banks are hard to get in some of the more remote projects. So that leaves me with credit cards.

If I get the card stolen the damage is limited to the credit max if for some reason I fail to cancel the card. I have a card specifically allotted for work and one for personal use so it is fairly easy to spot an unauthorized charge. And to be honest, if the charge is fraudulent I can just refuse to pay because it is credit after all. (Unlike a debit card which actually takes from money you already have.) And as an added feature, if you have trouble budgeting, you can set the maximums on your credit cards so you don't overspend to the point that you can't pay it off every month.

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