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I just want to present a counterpoint to your claim that in the EU, CCs matter less: there are countries in the EU like Sweden where cash is virtually non-existent. Basically everything is card-based here, I've even seen panhandlers who accept electronic payments in Stockholm.

Paying by card is common, paying using a Credit Card not necessarily. I'm French and I'm semi-ashamed to admit that when at a store abroad the clerk asked me "debit or credit?" for payment I had to ask him to explain to me what this quaint exotic incantation meant.

When I finally understood how that system worked I also finally understood this weird trope in American movies where a character has a half a dozen credit cards in their wallet, and they burn through those as if it were free money for some reason. That never made any sense to me up until that point.

Counterpoint, my partner got very sick and I burned my savings then borrowed money from every source I could, including credit cards. I knew I was accepting awful terms, but they gave me money and that’s what I needed at that moment and it was the only way I could get it.

I’m not asking for pity, I knew what I agreed to and I’ll pay it but sometimes high interest revolving credit (credit cards ) only choice you have.

That's not really a counterpoint. You had a rare situation and would have taken money from anywhere I guess

As long as it's not a pay day loan everything is fine. If you need liquidity then credit cards are a perfectly sane option. What I never understood though is why you would use a credit card when you don't need to borrow money, which is how most people use them.

I get like a $1000 a year in cash back using credit cards and they all charge no annual fees and I pay everything off in full automatically so I never pay any interest. Add in the consumer protection and the fact that it builds your credit giving you better mortgage/auto loan interest rates, why on earth wouldn't I use credit cards?

> why you would use a credit card when you don't need to borrow money

To build a credit score. When everybody lives in debt, it is expected for you to do the same.

my bank just tops it up after each month. no interest gets charged. i mostly use it abroad and for online purchases.

How the customer settles with the card issuer is not really relevant here. Many US card transactions draw from a checking account instead of a line of credit, but from the merchant's perspective it is just like any other Visa or Mastercard.

The fees for debit transactions are much lower, though.

I know this is the case when actually doing a PIN debit transaction (e.g. not Visa or Mastercard), but do you have a source on Visa/MC debit transactions costing less? Neither Stripe [0] nor Paypal [1] mention that.

[0] https://stripe.com/pricing#pricing-details

[1] https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees

Stripe and PayPal aren't charging you on behalf of the credit card companies--they're making money off the transactions themselves. They're not going to charge you less for processing a debit card payment any more than they'll charge less for cheaper credit cards (using Visa instead of AmEx). Besides debit and credit transactions, there's also atm/direct transactions that cost even less (and likely have no fraud protection from your bank; the links I have posted below don't say much about this as it's not used often). Credit cards are also allowed to charge extra (though merchants rarely do around here, except at gas stations), but my understanding is that that's illegal with debit cards.

See here for info: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/research/average-credit-card...




> I know this is the case when actually doing a PIN debit transaction (e.g. not Visa or Mastercard), but do you have a source on Visa/MC debit transactions costing less?

PIN/contactless debit transactions go through VISA/MC here and they definitely cost less, see below.

However, not 100% sure about remote online/web transactions - most of those providers here are "contact for pricing", but e.g. BlueCommerce and Checkout.fi seem to have a single rate for card payments - though it could be the difference is just "averaged out" (like e.g. iZettle does for card-present EMV transactions: 1.95% for all cards).

Couldn't find an up-to-date English price list for Nets Finland, but here is a 2017 one in Finnish: https://ttlsystems.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SME_Hinnast...

Base rates: VISA Debit 0.41%, VISA Credit 0.91%, MC Debit 0.42%, MC Credit 0.92%. Additionally +0.04€ per transaction.

Remote transaction: +0.30%, foreign EU +0.10%, foreign non-EU +1.30%, corporate card +0.80%.

SumUp Finland: https://sumup.fi/maksupaate-hinta/

0.95% VISA/MC Debit, 2.75% credit cards.

Debit card (bank card) transactions in the US require a PIN. Credit cards require a signature but most gas stations require a zip code.

It would be nice if the US had PINs like Europe does for credit cards.

I make around $1500-$2000 a year in cash back from my credit cards and $195 in fees. 6% back for groceries, 3% for gas, 3% on online shopping, and 3% for restaurants. All my household utilities and bills are run through my Delta card to collect miles and a $200 yearly voucher.

> It would be nice if the US had PINs like Europe does for credit cards.

Some cards do offer this feature, all issued by credit unions as I recall. Spokane Teachers Credit Union, First Technology Federal Credit Union, and State Department Federal Credit Union are the three I know off the top of my head. Target's MasterCard version of its REDcard also has a PIN but you cannot apply for that card directly.

(I have cards from each of them, except SDFCU, and have considered getting that one simply because it would be a chip-and-PIN Visa card and I don't have that particular combination.)

Chip and PIN is exactly what I want. I’ll see if my credit union offers one, Delta Community Credit Union.

I have six CC , my total AF for them is $2500. Every year I got at least $6500 back from using those cards. Not to mention travel insurance, car rental insurance and purchase insurance which comes with those cards and it's worth at least $600 a year.

> Paying by card is common, paying using a Credit Card not necessarily.

Care to expand on that?

Here are the statistics for Denmark.

"International Credit Card" are a small fraction of the total -- under 5%. The vast majority of transactions by number and value are by debit card.

(The national/international distinction is between Dankort, the Danish card payment system only used on most debit cards here, and the foreign companies like Visa and MasterCard.)


Dankort is dying though and some banks don't bother issuing it, some of my coworkers just have a Visa but not a Visa/Dankort. It works just as well. I doubt my Fitbit even supports the Dankort bit of the card, but I have never had any difficulty paying anywhere.

(For international readers, in Denmark, unlike Germany, the national debit card can be combined with a credit card on one card and then the terminal just chooses automatically)

Card != CC. The point is that in EU there's less motivation to use credit cards than in USA because the situation is better for payment cards that are not credit cards. If you refer to Sweden, I believe that the split there is that something like 40% of the cards are credit cards, and the majority are not.

Likewise in Australia. The only difficulty I've found using a debit card in recent years is when renting a car: with a debit card, they generally want to put a "hold" on the account for a few hundred dollars.

I can't get a credit card anyway since my income isn't high enough, and I wouldn't want one because they charge annual fees in Australia.

Banks in Australia run their own payments system, so it's possible to pay by card without going through Visa / Mastercard. Some cards issued by banks don't even have the Visa / Mastercard affiliation, but I think the Visa / Mastercard debit feature is needed it you want to make card-not-present transactions online.

There are a number of credit cards in Australia that do not charge annual fees. Many require being linked to an active transaction account, but not all.

They generally don't have any kind of linked reward points structure, but that's not a huge loss as most of those got nerfed after the ACCC changes a while back (see elsewhere in these comments).

I see there are some of these around these days, perhaps it wasn't so common last time I was looking which was at least 5 years ago. But at this point, there doesn't seem to be much benefit in having a credit card. I'd also be unlikely to qualify for one, either due to not having a stable income of $20k plus per year, or because I'm not a permanent visa holder in Australia, despite living here for over a decade.

As a Swede, I thought the CC number would be lower. Most people my age never had a credit card.

I do have a Visa DC and a MC CC for redundancy if my bank is down, most people I know doesn't even get why.

You are correct, credit card transactions are about 18% by number and 25% by value.


(Seriously, people, these kind of statistics are extremely easy to find. No need to make them up!)

I have a DC and cc from the same bank.. not sure if it gives much of any redundancy, but it was the best deal on a cc I could find.

In Sweden, the best CC deals are the petrol station branded CCs (Shell/Circle K) as they both give you cash backs, have some insurance, have the standard grace period, and are "free".

It's a bit balkanized, with Swish taking the place of Venmo in Sweden, and other local variations elsewhere.

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