Mortification and Credit Cards

Yesterday’s reading in “In Conversation with God” focused on the concept of mortifications, of “taking up our cross” every day.

One possible mortification in this consumer society is to always pay cash.  Or, at any rate, use a payment method that draws directly against cash.

The problem with that, of course, is that in many respects credit cards are better than debit cards.  For the most part, if your account is hacked with a credit card your liability is no more than $50, whereas with a debit card, your bank account can be drained.

On top of that, credit cards offer some good rewards, while debit cards for the most part don’t.

There is a way around this conundrum:  Treat a credit card as if it was a debit card.  To do this, you would not send in simply the entire statement balance, but rather in the first month you’d send in enough to pay off the card if full plus  your anticipated spending for the next month.

After that first month, you need do nothing more than (1) check your balance regularly, just as you would do with a debit card, and (2) make sure that you never run up a charge without the money to cover it being already in your account.

Then you can choose what card has the best rewards, based upon your needs.

About Joel Whitaker

Joel Whitaker is a long-time professional journalist (Tampa Bay Times, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Bulletin, Institutional Investor, executive newsletters) and Catholic convert. He is the RCIA coordinator for his parish.
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