By Jason Steele
NEW YORK (Credit.com) — For decades, economists have been predicting we would live in a cashless society. And while this may be true someday, many still prefer to use cash as a brute force method of preventing debt.
Nevertheless, here are five times even the most ardent opponents of credit cards will find them necessary:
Renting a car. While it may be possible to rent a car without a major credit card, it is very difficult. Rental car companies will require a deposit, several forms of identification and proof of insurance. If you have ever had to wait in line behind a renter who did not have a credit card, you already understand how time-consuming this can be. Furthermore, most credit cards will already include some form of rental car insurance, saving you money.
Checking in to a hotel. Like rental car agencies, hotels are designed around customers who hold a major credit card. Without one, guests will need to place a deposit on their room to insure against damages and cover incidental expenses. These deposits are often made as a hold on a debit card, which can take several days to clear. If travelers need to visit multiple hotels within a week, these holds can add up to more than a thousand dollars.
Dealing with a shady merchant. One of the lesser known features credit card holders enjoy is the ability to request a “chargeback” in the event goods or services paid for are not provided. And while those who pay with cash can find recourse only in court, customers who pay with a credit card can have the charges quickly reversed when dealing with an unscrupulous merchant or a company that has gone out of business, then submit documentation supporting their claim to make a refund permanent. And since excessive chargebacks are extremely costly to retailers, just the threat of a chargeback is often enough to convince many companies to stop fighting you and do the right thing.