Do you pay with cash or swipe a card? Some will swear that paying with cash can save you money. After all, you’re only spending what you have on hand. This is definitely true, but that doesn’t mean cash is king.
Why We Don’t Pay With Cash
For our spending purposes, we rarely pay with cash. The only times we do is when we have no other choice. We don’t think paying with cash is necessarily a bad idea. It just seems that using a card works better and offers us a few more advantages. Here are a few.
Credit Card Rewards
We do most of our spending on three different cards. They all provide different rewards. We pick the card we use in order to maximize our rewards.
- Costco Cash Back Visa Card. We use this card primarily for gas, restaurants, travel, and Costco shopping. The reason is simple. It provides 1% for all spending, but provides between 2-4% cash back on all of those categories.
- American Express Blue Everyday Card. This is the card we use mostly for grocery shopping. Same deal as the Costco card, in that it gives 1% on everything, but for grocery shopping you get 3%. With our family of four that includes two very fast growing children, that extra amount adds up.
- Southwest Visa Card. Most of our other spending goes on our Southwest card. This gives you one mile per dollar spent. I’ve done the math, and at least last time I checked, the standard ‘cost’ of a flight using miles works out to be about 20% cheaper than paying in cash. We took an anniversary trip to Cancun a couple of years ago with no cost whatsoever.