When Should You Ditch the Credit Cards?

July 9, 2013

ditch credit cardCredit cards offer a lot of convenience. It’s possible to make purchases quickly and easily. And, when you make a large purchase that you don’t have the cash for, a credit card allows you to get the item immediately, and make small, manageable payments over time.

Unfortunately, it’s just this convenience that can cause problems for some consumers. The access to easy money can get out of hand, and pretty soon many consumers find themselves in debt, unable to cope with what they owe.

Savvy Credit Card Use

When used responsibly, a credit card can be a great financial tool. It’s possible to use credit cards to build up your credit history so that you can get better rates on your loans, saving you money over time.

And, of course, many consumers like credit cards because they offer rewards. It’s possible to get free travel, and even cash, when you use the right rewards credit cards.

However, if you find yourself unable to use cards responsibly (and responsible credit card use means that you need to pay off the balance each month), it might be time to ditch the credit cards.

3 Signs You Should Ditch Your Credit Cards

Take a look at your financial situation. Be completely honest with yourself. If you display any of the following behaviors, chances are that it’s time for you to get rid of your credit cards:

  1. You carry a balance regularly: One of the worst things you can do financially is carry balances on your credit cards. When you carry a balance, the high interest rate associated with your card comes into play. Even if you have rewards, the interest you pay essentially wipes them out. If you never seem to pay off your cards, and if you are perpetually carrying a balance, it’s time to get rid of the plastic.
  2. You spend just to get the rewards: Savvy credit card use requires that you use your rewards cards in conjunction with your regular, budgeted spending. If it’s not in the spending plan, you shouldn’t buy it. Unfortunately, many consumers buy things that they can’t actually afford “just to get the rewards.” If you realize that you are buying things that you don’t really need just so that you can rack up the rewards (and then you end up carrying a balance), it’s an indication that perhaps you need to ditch your cards.
  3. You never seem to get ahead: Do you feel as though your balances are retreating too slowly? Can you never seem to get ahead? If this is the case, chances are that you need to get rid of your credit cards. Many people end up in a debt cycle where they keep spending on credit cards, vowing to pay off the balance this month, or next month. However, it never seems to work. If you are in this position, and you constantly end up back where you started, it might be time to get rid of credit cards.

Credit cards don’t fit everyone’s spending style. There are those who use credit cards to great effect, and are very successful. However, not everyone has the same measure of success. If you can’t seem to make them work, then get rid of them and use other ways to pay for what you need.

Are you thinking about ditching your credit cards? Leave a comment and tell us why!


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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2 Responses to When Should You Ditch the Credit Cards?

  • Kevin Watts

    For the longest time I was against the use of credit cards because of the financial mess it got me in. Now after correcting my habits and behavior in regards to finance I see the value in using credit cards.

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor

    I only have a few cards and I pay them off in full each month, so I don’t have any plans to ditch my cards, but I would definitely ditch them if they were putting me in a bad financial spot.