Credit cards have a bad rep among millennials. More often than not, the word ‘credit card’ is automatically associated with ‘debt’. This might be due to the lack of knowledge about credit cards, especially amongst millennials.
At close to 450 million, India has the world’s largest millennial population, making them the top consumers of goods and services. Hence, knowing about credit cards and how they can be beneficial is the need of the hour.
First off, you need to understand that not all debt is bad. Consider this: Would an average salaried person be able to buy a house or a car without a loan? How would you pay for that expensive college degree without an education loan?
Without planned debt, it would be impossible for us to meet our life goals.
Unplanned debt, however, leads to poor financial health. Hence, it is essential to become financially literate and understand how you can use a credit card to your benefit.
Here’s how a credit card can take off the stress on your financial needs:
1. Exciting Rewards and Exclusive Discounts
If you’re a young adult, understanding the importance of saving and being cautious about your expenditure is crucial. It’s a bonus when you get a reward for every penny you spend. In a way, you would be saving money every time you use a credit card.
It is a fact that owning a credit card makes every spend much more rewarding by offering discounts, cashback, or rewards points that can be redeemed for movie vouchers, dinners, electrical goods, or even air tickets.
Depending on your expenditure and preference, you can choose a reward program that is likely to benefit you the most.
For example, frequent travelers can earn free flights by using a specialized travel card. Or, if you drive a lot, you can get a card that offers maximum cashback at fuel stations.
2. That Little Extra Support Will Help
Investing and saving are new concepts for millennials who have just stepped into adulthood. A credit card comes in handy by providing that extra financial support for a young earning adult.
In a medical emergency where you don’t have enough money to cover the expenses, what would you do? Yes, you can turn to your savings but, what if you need immediate cash?
That is when you can rely on your credit card. It is the fastest way to get credit without pulling out money from your investments.
In situations where you cannot rely on your income, a credit card can come to your rescue. In a way, it acts as a short-term loan.
However, be sure to make your financial decisions wisely; it is important to understand where and how you can use a credit card in a difficult situation. Also, it is crucial to know how to prioritize your credit card bills during an emergency.
3. A Cash-Free Lifestyle Is a Stress-Free Lifestyle
If there is one thing millennials crave, it’s a stress-free lifestyle.
Walking out the front door with wads of cash can make you an easy target for theft. In an era of digital wallets, carrying money isn’t ideal. Instead, it would be practical to opt for a credit or debit card.
Carrying credit or debit cards is a much safer option, but credit cards happen to be better than debit cards as they limit your liability for fraud. If you promptly inform your card provider in case of fraudulent transactions, you can get your money back and have your card blocked immediately.
Also, by using a credit card, you not only reduce the chances of being a victim of theft; you are doing the environment a favor by choosing paperless transactions.
4. Have a Convenient Shopping, Travel, and Dining Experience
Ever had to say ‘No’ to something you wanted to buy or avoid going out with friends just because you didn’t have enough money to spend? Or have you been dodging plans to go on that life-changing road trip with your loved ones?
We’ve all been there at least once in our lifetime. Fortunately, you no longer have to worry about exceeding your budget with a credit card. So you can buy a couple of drinks more, and if you plan wisely, finally take that trip with your pals.
Credit cards not only offer you rewards for shopping but also come with several layers of security, minimizing your risk of losing money when making an online purchase or during a transaction.
However, careless expenditure will come with a price. While it’s true that the needs of the heart sometimes outweigh the needs of financial security, you need to exercise judgment and be smart about your choices.
Always remember to give importance to what you ‘need’ over what you ‘want’ when it comes to using a credit card.
5. A Credit Score and Its Importance
For some millennials, one of the major setbacks on your journey to fiscal responsibility would be the lack of knowledge about what a credit score is and why it’s important.
A credit score is based on various factors, such as repayment history, types of loans, length of credit history, and an individual’s total debt. It plays a vital role in portraying how good you are with money.
In order to build a good credit score and ensure robust financial health, you must own a credit card. Your credit score decides how creditworthy you are. And being creditworthy makes it easy to apply for a loan.
Lenders use credit scores to evaluate the probability that an individual will repay loans promptly. By paying your credit card bills on time, you demonstrate positive financial behavior that makes you a worthy borrower in the eyes of credit agencies.
Maintaining a good credit score as a young adult will only benefit you by ensuring a secure future. As such, owning a credit card and using it responsibly gives you a shot at a better tomorrow.
6. Easy Money Management and Budgeting
As a millennial, you may find it challenging to manage a household budget with cash. However, credit cards make it easier because you get a detailed statement at the end of each month.
These reports help you analyze and understand where your money is going. You can also pay your monthly bills automatically with a credit card, thereby avoiding any missed repayments, late-fees, or stress.
If you’re lost in thought about how paying off bills using a credit card is beneficial, here’s the answer: it depends on how you choose to use it.
It serves as a great tool for keeping track of your cash flow and expenses. At the same time, the card is effective for budgeting. With planned purchases, you can ensure you get all the reward points you can from paying off your monthly bills.
7. Makes You Financially Responsible
One of the long-term perks of owning a credit card at a young age is that it keeps you on your toes – in the right way, of course. Not only does it help keep track of your finances, but it can also provide a sense of power. This leads to enhanced self-esteem, particularly in younger people.
Using plastic money is convenient, as it makes it easy for you to see where you’ve spent money all month. It makes you budget your expenses accordingly.
By taking control of your financial expenses at a young age, you learn to stay away from instant temptations and realize the importance of having a safety net for your twilight years.
The key is to stay ahead by making sure you’re only using credit cards for planned purchases and regular spending.
Some credit cards offer additional perks you may not know about. Some of these perks include purchase protection, zero fraud liability, guaranteed returns, auto rental coverage, and more.
Irresponsible credit card use can lead you to a whirlpool of debt. However, when used responsibly, the benefits outweigh everything else. It can help you take a step towards financial independence, which is a necessity for every millennial.
Implementing new-age money management skills is crucial when it comes to credit card use, as it helps build a secure and independent financial future.
Stay ahead of the game with a credit card.