In case you are wondering if a credit card is actually necessary in your life, or if a debit card is good enough for you, here is a list of a few things that will be very difficult or impossible to do without having a credit card.

1. Make hotel reservations: Most hotels will allow you to pay for your hotel stay with cash, checks or debit card, though in most cases they will make you pay a deposit in case you break or damage anything. If you have a credit card, they wont need to actually charge the deposit, but will be able to authorize a transaction on the credit card instead. Also, if you want to make a hotel reservation before getting there, for example, if you are in a different city and you want to make sure there is still room when you get there, you will most likely need a credit card to secure the booking. If you are traveling, consider using hotel & travel rewards credit cards, which allow you to earn points and get perks such as free travel insurance when you use them to book your trip.

2. Rent a car: When renting out a car to a complete stranger, car rental companies don't want to risk a vehicle worth tens of thousands of dollars. Most rental agencies require you to pay with a credit card, so that if you crash the car or damage it in any other way, they can make sure you will be responsible for paying for it (depending on your insurance). The few rental agencies that allow you to pay without a credit card will most likely require you to pay a big deposit to cover repairs in case of accidental damage to the car. Additionally, if you have a gas credit card, you can earn points or get a discount when you fill up.

3. Make safe purchases online: If you buy something online or through the phone and pay for it using a credit card, you will be protected, meaning that if it turns out to be a fraud or you don't receive the things you bought, the credit card will refund your purchase. If you pay with cash or wire transfer, you will not be able to recover your money in most cases. This means even if someone steals the one-time card number, they won't be able to use it once you have used it!

4. Build a credit history: If you don't have a credit card, you will not be able to easily build up a credit history and a credit score. Not having a credit history is considered bad and risky for the bank. Most banks will not even consider giving you a car or home loan without you having a credit history, and if they do, it will be with much higher interest rates. Having a credit history is very important; it will give you many advantages and help you save lots of money. If you are a student, you should looking into getting a student credit card to start building your credit history.

5. Get rewards and discounts: Having a credit card can give you great discounts and rewards in many places, and can even give you free stuff. Rewards cards let you earn a variety of rewards when you spend on them, such as merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards and more. Cash back credit cards let you earn cash rebates whenever you make purchases with your credit card. So a credit card can really help you save money as you learn how to get the most out of it.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Citi Simplicity<sup>®</sup> Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website

0%* intro APR on purchases* for 12 months and balance transfers for 21 months*

16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)

$0*

Why we like it
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
We least like
  • No rewards program.
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