I’m getting a “free ride” on my credit cards, and I like itby Tim Manni
“There will be one-size-fits-all [credit card] pricing, and as a result, you’ll see the industry will be more egalitarian in terms of its revenue base,” said David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report, which tracks the credit card business.
People who routinely pay off their credit card balances have been enjoying the equivalent of a free ride, he said, because many have not had to pay an annual fee even as they collect points for air travel and other perks.
So, just as responsible mortgagors are subsidizing the home loans of those who haven’t been responsible, now it comes to pass that responsible credit-card users will subsidize card users who aren’t as… discerning.
I’m with Ann Althouse on this one:
I’m one of those people that pay the entire balance every month to avoid paying any interest, and being told I’ve been taking a free ride all these years does not soften me up to pay my supposed fair share to support the credit card system. I just won’t use the card if that’s the deal. I’ll switch to a debit card or pay cash.
Read her post for an interesting back-and-forth on the pros and cons of using a debit card.
I don’t have one yet, but I’ll be looking into it; I’ll be (insert mild oath here) before I’ll readily succumb to punishment for being a responsible credit user. Here’s a handy FAQ on debit card that already enlightened me. I didn’t know, for example, that there can be a difference between a PIN transaction and one that requires a signature. Sheesh!
I have been told that it’s a really good idea to not link a debit card to your primary checking or savings account; I’ve been advised instead to open a new account and not keep a lot of money in it. It may be a bit of a pain, but online banking makes it less so, yes?
As a debit-card noob, let me ask y’all a couple of questions: How many of you regularly use a debit card? Do you pay fees for using it? What’s your bank’s policy on unauthorized use? And do you have a separate account for your debit card?