An Argument Against Credit Card Rewards

A few years ago while my uncle, while he was still alive, made a good argument for why the Christian should not gamble - it is a selfish act - if you want to win, you are wanting someone else to lose. You are violating the golden rule. Put another way:

Gambling, then, is an essentially selfish exercise.  Not only is the gambler indifferent to the good of others.  He must actively wish them ill if he wants to succeed.  Sometimes, the harm caused is indirect, as with a lottery, but with gambling, it is always present.

- Matt Bassford, His Excellent Word

Today I came across someone making a similar statement about using credit cards to get points or cash back rewards.

It has me thinking - now that I have shown my financial responsibility, have an emergency fund and have a reliable budget , why not get a credit card? I am confident I could avoid the potential financial pit falls and the risk for me would be low or even non-existent! I could earn points, rent cars easier and have an easier time if I ever get my accounts hacked! After much internal deliberation I have decided to never get a credit card -ever. For one big reason.

The credit card industry is one that preys on poor and vulnerable people. It convinces them that they will provide security. It costs millions on people thousands and thousands in interest. The industry has scammed the population into believing you need debt to prove your worth and reliability. Every cent of perks I would get, would be on the backs of those paying back interest.

Even if credit cards are not significant risks to me - I do not want to participate in this system that does so much harm. I refuse to perpetuate a status quo that aims to get people into a cycle of large revolving debt. It would not be consistent for me to live any other way.

/u/frantheman61390 on reddit

My points or cash back is coming at the expense, in part, from other consumers.

I tried to be sure and do some research on where cashback rewards come from. Most of the sites I found agree that they are funded by interest payments, fees, and interchange (charges imposed on the merchant for processing a card transaction).

The exact breakdown of a particular card's revenue -- interest, fees and interchange -- depends on its pricing structure and cardholder behaviors. But among major issuers, interest usually makes up the biggest share of overall revenue, and interchange and fees contribute a smaller portion.


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