Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zooming Thru Life
Alternative uses for that always-handy credit card

by Paul M. Carhart

Another tip from the forthcoming book, "Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle."

Nowadays, carrying cash poses its own set of problems. You don't want to lose it. You don't want to tempt would-be thieves with the sight of it. And what you have in your wallet just may not be enough to do what it was you were hoping to do with it anyway.

The answer? That hand-dandy credit card.

Now, I would like to take a moment to just say that I don't really approve of credit cards. There are some things that you need credit to buy. Few people can purchase their house or a new car outright. But, like many others, I had my own trials and tribulations with credit cards in my youth. Now I view them as evil. Yes, they are the spawn of The Devil.

A necessary evil too, unfortunately, if you want to operate in the world in which we live.

The work-around, of course, is the Checking Credit Card (in my case, it's a checking Visa). This card works as a Visa wherever Visa cards are accepted but it deducts the funds from my checking account as if I were writing a check. I can also use it as an ATM card to get access to actual cash (see Chapter Six: Cashing In And Cashing Out, The cash alternative).

On the road, this card is extremely handy. In addition to using it to buy gifts and souvenirs, I can also use it for all those things that you just really can't do unless you have a credit card such as purchasing airline tickets or renting vehicles like cars, moving trucks or scooters. I can even use it to secure my symphony tickets. Or even bypass the movie theater box office altogether and purchase my tickets at an electronic kiosk. Handy indeed!

There also may be limitations to using the Checking Credit Card. Some banks and credit unions impose a spending limit on the card per day as a security precaution, which might facilitate using the old-fashioned checkbook for larger purchases.

There are also less obvious uses for the Checking Credit Card. I can use it as a squeegee to help apply the new screen protector on my PDA, for example.
You can also use the card to scratch mosquito or flea bites. When you scratch with your hands, germs in your fingernails can cause the bite to become infected. But not so with the handy-dandy Checking Credit Card.
Ask your bank for one today!

If you liked this tip, you'll be pleased to know there's a whole book filled with similar advice. Paul Carhart’s book, Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle, will be available from your favorite online bookseller, Winter 2009. Stay up to date: paulcarhart.com.