As credit cards become much more prevalent than before, we are finding that there are ways to use credit cards that were not possible just one or two years ago: travelling on the subway in Taipei, buying a cup of coffee (yes, I did that!), paying for doctor’s fees, paying regular bills, fees or memberships, and so on. Some of the ways get quite ridiculous, so it’s getting much harder to resist the swipe and forget reaction of credit card users!
Of course, online it’s possible to spend a lot of money using your credit card. You don’t have to worry about it till MUCH later. Seems ironic that we are actually using our own personal credit cards MUCH LESS than before, even though it’s easier to find ways to use them.
The September Credit Card statement arrived this week, and I have just paid it! So, you’re asking what was on it? Actually, the total this month was only half of last month’s, or NT$6300, a little over US$200.
So how did we rack up that NT$6300 in charges? Well, there was the usual $2000 insurance charge, a telephone charge for my mobile phone, and I recently purchased an annual subscription to EMusic.com, which cost about $3300. Somehow, though going to several nice restaurants, buying clothes, gasoline, books, and other knick-knacks, we managed to avoid swiping for almost all of these things in September.
If you’re really shrewd, though, it is possible to earn quite a bit of interest, or at least reduce your interest payments through balance transfers and through cash back credit cards which credit money to your account everytime you spend.
It seems dumb for me not to charge things to credit cards, when some cards are begging payments to be made through them, and offer 3% or 4% cashback. Now that would be a nice payment of nearly $189 or more on the money I spent! It’s getting harder to argue against using a credit card in those cases.