So two months ago, I wrote about our new rewards credit card. We have been using the card ever since, and I am pleased to say that it has been a very good experience so far.
A funny story: I got a surprise a few weeks into the new card experiment when my mint.com weekly spending notice told me that I had spent zero dollars that week… because I had put it all on the card! Of course, I had “spent” money, but due to the technicality of me using the credit card instead of my normal bank accounts, it looked to Mint as if I hadn’t spent anything. I got a chuckle out of this: I actually really like the fantasy of spending $0 for an entire week. I saw this little incident as a positive sign.
Another cool thing is that, because we are constantly getting points for spending money (note: we are using the card for things we buy anyway… we are not adding frivolous spending), spending money has become more… pleasant for me. At least I feel that I am getting something for my spending. I admit it, I don’t usually enjoy spending money. Maybe it’s something in how I am wired, but I tend to look at spending money as “losing.” But using this card responsibly like we are, I feel good knowing we are getting something back! Pretty cool stuff!
Other things I am enjoying about using the card:
- Having a delay from when we purchase something and when we need to pay it off. Generally, we already have the money ready to go, but it is nice to know there is a little bit of leeway to pay it off, unlike a debit card, where you have to literally have all the money for the purchase in the account that instant in order to use it.
- For the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying credit card usage. It is becoming a fun game that I can win at! The old experience I grew up with was positively nightmarish. I wrote about it here. I heard about rewards cards for at least three years before I was ready to try one myself. This had a lot to do with old, out-dated associations with credit card debt as “what you do when you don’t have the money to cover your expenses.” In with the new thoughts, out with the old!
- This is another way that my wife and I can collaborate on our spending, and have fun with it. Since this is a travel rewards card, it is pleasant to think about what we can do with our rewards: where we might travel, etc.
Overall, I am very happy about this new “reality” where I can benefit from a system that, admittedly, is designed to make money off financially undisciplined people. I think it is helping that I know what my goals are, and we have stayed consistent. The plan is to pay 0 interest and use the card to earn extra benefits.
So far so good!