And now…..this, today on MSN. This sums up why (at least partly) this country is in the mess it’s in. You have “financial websites” pushing the “best credit cards” for “responsible use” followed by a story of maxed-out Americans. It’s like teaching people “responsible use of cigarettes”.

And for the record…I don’t care about your points. I work with people all the time who have lots of points and lots of debt. They. Are. Miserable. I don’t wish that on anyone. You do what you want to do, but I’m not going to play around with something designed to put its users in bondage. The only plastic we use are debit cards. They are accepted everywhere a credit card is, and with the exact same protections. Again, I don’t care what you “think” or “believe” or “have heard” – check Visa’s website. Check Mastercard’s website. As long as your debit card has a Visa or Mastercard logo, and actually use it as such by running it through the Visa system and not your bank you are protected by their Zero Liability Policy. Period.

We have had our debit cards hacked three times in the last ten years or so, at two different banks. Every time we were either notified before the fraudulent charge was sent through, or in the case where it did go through the money was returned to our account the same day.

Anyway – I didn’t actually start this to be a rant against credit cards. Just an observation that the financial writers think it’s smart to teach people about credit cards (or to accept advertisements by credit card companies) at the same time as they’re writing about huge mounds of personal debt. The correlation IS causation. My debit card will do everything your credit card will do with one exception – it won’t put me in debt. Ever.