The Case for Cutting Out Credit Cards Completely

Four practical reasons why debit cards should be your primary -- if not sole -- purchasing tool.

Some people have the vigilance and discipline -- and, sure, the savvy and an admirable passion for managing their money -- to own and even prosper from credit cards. Other folks, namely me, don't. But that doesn't mean we're dumb about money. We're smart enough to learn our lessons, to recognize our weaknesses and to understand their consequences for our financial goals. We fear debt, exult in ownership and find comfort in the controlled boundaries of our checking and savings accounts.

My wife and I own no credit cards -- no Visa, Mastercard or American Express cards, and no lines of credit with any retailers. Debit cards (plus cash and, on occasion, checks) are how we pay our way through life. We don't spend what we don't have.

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Robert Long
General Manager,
Long coordinates the daily editorial activity across He joined Kiplinger in April 2009 from, where he was executive producer. He led AARP's online evolution, launching companion Web sites for AARP The Magazine and the AARP Bulletin, the world's largest-circulation publications. His background includes stints at pioneering dot-coms and at trade-newsletter publishers United Communications Group and Ragan Communications, where he edited Ragan's Web Content Report, among other titles. Long is a Syracuse University graduate.