Even in today’s economy there are still some very good reasons to have your own credit card. Of course a direct debit to pay off the full balance every month is a must when you have a credit card, it’s important to remember you shouldn’t spend on a credit card in addition to what you spend normally- it’s instead of.
To my mind the biggest benefit of having a credit card is the fraud protection it offers you online. Yes, Visa debit cards do provide some level of protection but at the end of the day the money has still physically gone out of your account prior to you setting in motion the claim to recover it. With fraud committed on a credit card, it’s down to the card issuer and their insurance to sort it out. The same goes for all those other places that you’d be reticent at whipping your debit card out- petrol stations, restaurants and even abroad.
We have a credit card from our bank, and it’s banks like TSB and so on that I’d definitely recommend over some of these specialist ones you can get online. You know where you are with a bank after all.
I was talking to my dad the other day and he’s now of the opinion the only really safe way to pay for petrol in anything other than a supermarket or Shell petrol station (they’re not franchised, they’re all owned by Shell) is with cash. Whether at 70 he’s gone a bit over the top I don’t know but I was reading a report in the papers recently that showed that card fraud for the first half of the year was a shade under £200m. If one person had committed all that fraud, they could have had a new Ferrari 458 Italia for every single day of the week for the 6 months covered. It’s big money and Ferrari would have probably noticed if one person ordered over 150 Ferrari’s. And then there’d be the issue of where to park them all.