I was scammed.
That was how husband and mother described my booking transaction with Expedia. I booked last December 29 for a family room in one hotel in Subic. I filled out the necessary online form and gave my credit card details. There was an assurance that the amount will not be deducted until I confirm my booking. Confirming my booking meant receiving an email acknowledging my inquiry. Then I will be directed to the site, choose the itinerary, and from there I will tick and confirm booking.
A few minutes after my inquiry, I received and email detailing my booking was confirmed. The email also informed me that I could not cancel my booking anymore. This caused so much stress on my part. My husband and mother, who are both not used to transacting online, blamed me. Both told me I was too trusting.
I kept my silence. This mother did not want to argue with them.
I am free
After learning Expedia deducted the amount to my credit card, I immediately called the credit card company. I canceled my card.
It has been four months since I canceled my credit card. And we are using cash to do our grocery and buy some necessities. I find it more practical and liberating.
Should I thank that I was scammed? Because I cut my card after that and now we are left with no choice but to pay everything in cash or not shop at all?
I have a choice
Which made me realize – from the beginning, we have a choice. We may opt to use our card for convenient or have that financial self-discipline.
How to use credit card to your advantage
A credit card can be an ally during the most desperate times. How to use it then to our advantage?
Pay bills in full every month
That credit card I canceled was with me for 17 years. I must say that despite having been tempted to buy unnecessary things, I was never indebted. It was because I always pay my bills in full every month. That means I was able to avoid paying interest on my purchases.
Pay bills on time
Aside from paying in full, I paid my bills days before due date. Otherwise, a late payment charge of 5% of the overdue amount or P300, whichever is higher, will be charged to my account. A timely payment also merits good credit standing and increases one’s credit score.
Take advantage of rewards point
Certain points are earned after each successful payment. And each point can be exchanged for certain items, gift certificates, and even hotel loyalty points. Take advantage of this perk.
Use credit card as compliment to your budget
I only use my card to pay for our grocery. And at the end of the month, I always allot a budget for our grocery, the same amount I used for our purchase. When I was still working, I also made use of my card to buy school supplies and the kids shoes, bags and other school needs. I always choose the deferred payment arrangement so as not to hurt our monthly budget.
Use credit card for big purchases
When we started our family fifteen years ago, we were able to acquire furniture and appliances using a credit card. Aside from that, we only swipe our card on monthly grocery and for the boys’ school needs. We resist the temptation of using the card for dining and recreation or small purchases. We also made sure not to buy a new appliance until we’ve paid off the last purchase in full.
Use credit card to your advantage