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Recent television commercials for Visa cards are sending the wrong message to consumers -”Use the Visa Card, cash is no longer an acceptable form of payment.”

My question is: WHY? Consumers in general are already abusing credit cards. Why give them incentive to continue? This is most certainly, at best, irresponsible of Visa. At worst these commercials will cause more consumers to enlarge and then default on their credit card debt.

It reinforces a bad idea - “Credit should be used as a replacement for cash”. Most (especially young) credit card users do not understand that every time you use a credit card you are, in effect, “creating money”- the charge placed on the credit card is equivalent of the credit card company extending a short term loan.

If you have the cash to pay for something USE IT! Why incur interest charges? Even if you can pay off the entire credit card bill each billing cycle, the only compelling reason to use any credit card is if they are giving you a 1 to 5 % discount or cash back. If you pay off each month that’s like getting free money!

If you can’t pay off each month the 5% might help ease your debt a little, but that’s still no reason by itself to use any card. Do you think just maybe you shouldn’t make that purchase having no money to pay the bill at the end of the month? This philosophy encourages more intelligent spending choices and discourages impulse buying.

For those of you who say “What about business credit card users?”, business users have other reasons for using credit cards:

 Corporate discounts

 Consolidate expenditures

 Can eliminate the need to manage receipts

If you do not show responsibility when using a corporate credit card you probably won’t have it for long. If fact, some companies will fire you for being irresponsible with their credit.

My recommendation: Take all of these offensive, irresponsible commercials off the air.

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