I'm Stunned at the Number of Consumers Without a Credit Card

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I love to people watch. Often times when I'm tasked with something boring, like a trip to the DMV or having to go to the Doctor's office, the time flies by as I occupy myself with watching the habits of others while they're in public. I think doing this has helped sharpened my ability to read other people and it certainly keeps me sane when I'm waiting for hours on end.

A few days ago, my wife and I we're at a local restaurant where the cashier was visible. Every few minutes during our visit, a waiter/waitress would head over the POS (point of sale) and tally up a bill. When they came back with payment, I was shocked to see that all but two transactions in an hour we're debit card or cash. Considering there were roughly 30 payments during this times-span, I couldn't believe just how many people in my town either didn't have a credit card, or decided to pay with cash or debit card.

I know I'm biased, as I spend most of my days reading and writing about credit cards and the credit industry, and I also know that my quaint little town in Connecticut doesn't have the most forward thinking individuals, but for only 7% of customers to use credit (small sample size) worries me. The savings that is out there for credit card users is enormous. Up front bonuses, annual cash back, no annual fees ... and most still choose not to take advantage (some by choice, others because of poor credit).

If you have a good credit score and do not own a credit card, I would urge you to do so for the following reasons:

  • Credit Cards allow you to save money on every purchase with rewards programs, and bonuses.
  • Credit Cards allow you to have an emergency payment method. Some emergencies call for immediate payment and if the cash is not on hand, using a credit card allows for a safety net.
  • Credit Card purchases are much safer than cash or debit card. Identity theft or fraud is is always covered by you card issuer.

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