I know... the title sounds like a spam post. But it's not. I'm not going to try to sell you anything. I'm simply encouraging you to get out of credit card debt... and now! I'm not in anyway a financial adviser and this is a technical blog so I am completely unqualified so I will pose this advice as a question. Why do so many people carry a running credit card balance when they don't need to?

First of all, I love my CCs. They make purchases convenient and if you play your cards right you can get some great incentives (i.e. 3% cash back). But I fail to see the logic behind keeping a running balance. I've not had a running balance in years. I just decided one day... why? If I have savings that could cover the the current balance why not pay it off? By keeping a running CC balance you are basically borrowing money from the credit card companies at 15 - 20% annual interest. Then what are you doing with it? You are essentially loaning it to a bank, sometimes the same bank that loaned you the money in the first place, who pay you 1 - 2% interest. You are paying 13 - 19% just to shuffle money around on their books.

Some say they want to have money in savings in case of emergency. This logic fails me. If you were to use your savings to pay off your CC and then there is an emergency you can still use your CC. Whether you use your savings (and carried a CC balance) or use your CC in the emergency you'll end up in the same place... in debt. Actually if you paid off your CC every month you would have an extra 13 - 19% in your savings. More if you use a cash back rewards card.

Unless you don't have the money to cover the debt, in which case you should not have entered into it in the first place, I don't see any reason to hold a balance. Pay off your CCs first. Ideally in an emergency you will have enough savings to cover it; if not use the CC. Am I missing something?