When it comes to the world of money, credit cards are one of the many objects that people use. Credit cards provide a simple way of carrying money around without having a pile of bills inside a wallet. Linked directly to a person’s bank account, a credit card allows for quick transactions of payment in places like stores and restaurants. Some even believe that owning and using a credit card is better than having cash on hand whilst other people feel the same about having cash instead of the plastic cards. Questions have even been asked as to whether or not credits cards are better than having cash.
One fact in itself could possibly make it apparent as to why credit cards seem to be better than cash. America is known to have the highest credit card debt, which is said to be over $750 million. It is said that there is close to about 700 million cards currently in circulation from many different credit card companies. These companies include Visa, Master Card, and American Express. These companies are said to profit highly from each and every use of a credit card by the consumer. It has even been shown that when paying for items, more money is being spent than that of the actual price of said item. For instance, paying for an $800 dollar TV set with cash will be the set price, perhaps a few dollars higher after tax. However, if paying for that TV set with a credit card, the real price that the consumer is paying is about $960 dollars instead.
Another fact, which may question whether or not credit cards are better to have than cash, is the avoidance of credit card theft and the issues that follow with it. Credit card theft leads to a numerous amount of issues for the owner of that card. Should the card not be turned off in time, many charges could be set. Those charges are then required to be paid back by the owner thus the issuing debt.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are those that feel that credit cards are much better than having cash. Credit cards are simple and fast and people tend to like the idea that if one is stolen then they have all the power in turning it off. Another thing that people seem to enjoy is that in the instance of having their cash stolen that they are not completely broke should the perpetrator not even bother with taking the credit cards. Another reason many people feel that having credit cards is better than having cold hard cash is that they do not have to focus of the initial price of a purchase but can focus on the benefits of having the item.
A British journalist, Olive Burkeman, conducted a study. Burkeman began his study by leaving his cards within his home and putting his cash inside marked envelopes. These envelopes were marked with titles such as ‘transportation’ and ‘groceries’. Doing this, Burkeman had the hope that his spending would have reduced. However, during this process, he has found that it was something of an irritation to other people, as they would have to wait on him to find the right envelope then count the right amount of cash. By doing this study, he felt as though credit cards where better to have than cash because it was a faster transaction.
It looks as though the decision of whether or not having credit cards is better than cash depends on the person. Cash has been seen to have less problems, however, many people partake in the freedom that comes with having the plastic version of cash.
Opinion by Isis E. Stevens