Guns on Credit or Layaway


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Reloadron
September 3, 2013, 12:14 PM
THR is an interesting place in that we have firearms enthusiast from a large cross sectional area of age and economic status.

Reading this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9095125) and the direction it has taken got me to thinking about buying guns on credit or using a layaway program like that offered by Walmart for the approaching holiday season.

The Walmart Layaway Program. (http://www.walmart.com/cp/Layaway/1088466?adid=77777777927900003596&veh=sem&wmlspartner=PSFY14Layaway)

Keep in mind that I am merely using Walmart as an example. The once ever popular layaway seems to be returning to American retailers.

Discounting local or state taxes a $1,000 AR will cost the buyer $1,000 or about $250 a month with the $100 down up front.

This is not in my opinion and just my opinion a bad thing as long as the buyer can easily afford the purchase.

Placing that same $1,000 on a credit card with an 18% APR and paying it off in 4 months the rifle will cost around $1,039.22 or an additional $39.22 which isn't all that bad. However, making $50 a month payments things change. You will spend 2 years (24 months) paying off the rifle that actually cost you about $1,197.83 or roughly $200 in interest over 2 years. Both calculations are based on Interest + 1% of Balance.

Personally being older I buy things using my credit cards and when the bill is posted it gets paid in full. I am also a firm believer in not buying things that people can't afford.

So I am wondering what some of the members take is on buying guns on credit or layaway with the approaching holiday season?

Ron

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primalmu
September 3, 2013, 12:19 PM
I'm a young guy, but I'm like you. My credit card gets paid off every month (with the rare exception of when I'm short on cash and waiting for my student loans to go through). My credit card is merely a method of payment, not a line of credit. It does have the added benefit of accumulating points that I can use on Amazon...

tarosean
September 3, 2013, 12:43 PM
If you ask me, nothing should be bought on credit period. Your home, being the only exclusion, since 99.9% of us cannot drop the necessary funds for such a expense.

If there are no fees involved in the layaway go for it.

Telekinesis
September 3, 2013, 12:44 PM
I'm a bit younger as well, but I use my credit card in the same way, paying it off completely every month. I use it so I don't always have to carry cash around for larger purchases, and it is much easier to contest fraudulent purchases made on credit cards as opposed to debit cards.

I don't use layaway/loans (carrying a balance on a credit card) to purchase anything that is not an absolute necessity. I personally view guns as toys or part of a hobby (albeit a useful hobby in the carry/defensive roles) but a hobby none the less. I'll save up over a couple of months to purchase a gun, but there's no way I'm going to choose to go into debt for a toy. I also take the same approach when buying higher cost items like motorcycles.

Carl N. Brown
September 3, 2013, 12:48 PM
A lot of my guns I bought on layaway over the years. But never on credit cards or charge accounts with interest. House or car the only thing you should buy as an interest bearing debt. Evertrhing else you can wait til you have full price in hand.

Frank Ettin
September 3, 2013, 12:49 PM
I'm another old guy, but I learned a long time ago that carrying consumer debt was a very bad idea. So I've never bought a gun that I couldn't comfortably write a check for then and there.

Arkansas Paul
September 3, 2013, 12:51 PM
I would probably do a layaway program to keep something from getting bought while I finish paying. I would not buy a gun with a credit card unless I could pay it off within a month or two. Don't keep giving them money for nothing.

chicharrones
September 3, 2013, 01:00 PM
I used to use layaway once in a great while when I was young for non-gun items. If I had known about lawaway guns back then, I would have probably used it.

One thing I did use a couple of decades ago was "free financing" offered through a local gun dealer about once a year. You agree to pay off your gun in 6 or 12 months and no interest charges are made. It was nice because you could walk out of the store with your gun that day.

The downside was the guns sold for near retail. Back then, I had no internet to check prices out like today. Yet, the upside was I had no internet showing me every gun the world had to offer either. There was less temptation in some regards.

howlnmad
September 3, 2013, 01:02 PM
Three of my LGS have layaway programs with no interest, I use them often. At one of them I have what we call a slush fund. I put money aside for future purchases so when something comes in, the cash is already there.

Reloadron
September 3, 2013, 01:07 PM
I would probably do a layaway program to keep something from getting bought while I finish paying. I would not buy a gun with a credit card unless I could pay it off within a month or two. Don't keep giving them money for nothing.
Good point in that especially with new guns that might be hard to find or come by. Placing it on layaway insures you have a lock on it. Again, all assuming it is within budget.

Ron

Arkansas Paul
September 3, 2013, 01:18 PM
^ Absolutely. Buying something you can't afford is never smart.

grimjaw
September 3, 2013, 01:29 PM
At one time, I had a substantial (based on my income at the time) credit card debt, and most of it was guns and ammo. Since I've had that paid off, I haven't bought *anything* on credit and if I can help it I won't in the future. Heck, my last new (not used) vehicle purchase in 2011 was with cash: a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Adding up all the interest payments I made equals a bunch of other things I wish I'd had instead. But I'm cheap nowadays, and if I can save fifty cents on something I'd do it.

Slater
September 3, 2013, 03:11 PM
For me personally, layaway really doesn't have a down side, assuming one can pay it off within the time allowed. You're setting aside a firearm at the current price, and Wal-Mart's plan is pretty straightforward. In the case of the M4 carbine (which is widely sold in my local Wal-Marts), you've got one locked in for up to three months. Who's to say some nut case won't go on another shooting rampage during that timeframe and The Panic sets in again.

morcey2
September 3, 2013, 03:16 PM
I don't use credit for anything other than a house. I do lots of layaway for guns, usually at pawn shops. The only issue with that is that pawn shops aren't like Wal-Mart et al where you get your money back if you don't pay for it. I haven't run into that problem yet. If I do run into a situation where I'll lose the money that I've already paid on layaway, it means that I've run into larger problems than the loss of that amount of money.

Matt

Reloadron
September 3, 2013, 03:29 PM
At one time, I had a substantial (based on my income at the time) credit card debt, and most of it was guns and ammo. Since I've had that paid off, I haven't bought *anything* on credit and if I can help it I won't in the future. Heck, my last new (not used) vehicle purchase in 2011 was with cash: a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Adding up all the interest payments I made equals a bunch of other things I wish I'd had instead. But I'm cheap nowadays, and if I can save fifty cents on something I'd do it.
Good move!

Had your name been Michael and your location Columbus, Ohio I would have wondered what my son was doing in a gun forum. :)

Live and learn. The important part is learn I think. :)

Nice going!

Ron

goon
September 3, 2013, 04:17 PM
I've used layaway before, but I also share the OP's views on CC purchases. I prefer to pay the balance in full whenever possible, or at least to pay it off as quickly as possible.

Having said that, if you thought there may be another panic or spike price on the horizon, then buying the rifle while it's available and paying the credit card fee may be cheaper than trying to buy it after the price has risen 50% or more.

silicosys4
September 3, 2013, 04:40 PM
No to paying for guns with credit cards, and I think I've used a pawn shop's layaway once or twice, but I won't go into debt over a gun. I have too many that I don't use enough, I'd trade or sell one or two of those first.

The only way I'd go into debt or use layaway is for a rare, unusual, or highly desired gun for a better than average price that i'm pretty sure won't easily or quickly appear again if I let it go.

Ledgehammer
September 3, 2013, 04:49 PM
Never understood folks that pay credit cards in full every month. My parents do it. Why even use them if you have the cash. Aren't you essentially paying more because of interest?

silicosys4
September 3, 2013, 04:53 PM
Never understood folks that pay credit cards in full every month. My parents do it. Why even use them if you have the cash. Aren't you essentially paying more because of interest?

Depending on the card, the interest doesn't apply if paid in full at the end of each month.
The reason a lot of people use credit cards is for the rewards....air miles, cashback, hotel rewards, etc....if you pay your balance off in full every month and avoid those interest charges, and your card doesn't have a ton of hidden fees, the rewards make it worth using a credit card almost exclusively, if you get the right cards.
I do a lot of traveling for work, so I use my card to pay those expenses and repay my card costs with my company's travel reimbursement before the end of the month...so I get loooots of free miles, rewards, hotel stays, etc...
I have taken entire vacations using nothing but card rewards gained exclusively from running company travel funds through my card.
Totally legit, and in my work it's pretty common to do that.

jmr40
September 3, 2013, 04:54 PM
It depends. For one thing none of my CC's have 18% interest. All are 9%-12%. Credit used wisely can work for you. I've ran across a couple of deals that were too good to pass up and paid with credit. Even if I had $200-$300 in interest it was cheaper to buy now with credit in a few cases than to wait and pay cash later.

One particular rifle I found about 2 years ago had not been in producion for 20 years and I'd been looking for one for 5-6 years. I went to a gunshow with the intent to only sell a gun, not buy so I took very little cash with me. In fact funds were low even in the bank at the moment. I ran across exactly what I'd been looking for. A 20 year old rifle, unfired, NIB for $700. The closest current production rifle would have been $1200 and I prefered the older version. I used a CC and paid it off within 2-3 months and have no regrets.

I could have paid cash for the Honda my wife is driving. But with special financing at the time it would have cost me more to pull the money out of the bank. We paid the minimum down and made the payments. In fact we went from a SUV getting 15 mpg to a Honda getting 35 mpg. In the 60,000 miles we've driven over the last 4 years that is a savings of over $8,000 in fuel costs. Even if I had financed at 20% interest it would have been cheaper than waiting 4 more years to buy.

You just have to crunch the numbers. But you do have to be careful that you don't get over extended.

USAF_Vet
September 3, 2013, 04:54 PM
I have vowed off credit cards. Don't have one, just paid my last one off a couple months ago.
I had a lot of credit card debt in my young adults years, much of it to AAFES.

I'm not opposed to layaways, since I usually pay them off in a month or two. Kmart still ha year round lay aways, and I scored a nice family sized tent during a clearance sale. Next visit in, the tent was back up to $275. My layaway price was the $199 clearance sale price.

And because I don't have credit cards, and I don't carry a lot of cash, dropping $20 on a layaway gun is easy, and I can pay it off with a quick trip to the bank.

I don't buy things I can't afford, and I budget and save for things that are outside the standard family budget.

CoRoMo
September 3, 2013, 04:57 PM
Never understood folks that pay credit cards in full every month. My parents do it. Why even use them if you have the cash.
Because buying with cash doesn't put extra cash in my pocket. When using credit cards and paying them off every month, I accumulate reward points that are equal to cash, and this doesn't cost me a penny in any sort of interest or monthly fee. Proper credit card use is 100% free on my end. I can gain almost $400 in rewards every year that I then use to buy powder and primers from Cabela's. That's $400 in components that costs me nothing whatsoever. You can't get that if you use cash for everything.
Aren't you essentially paying more because of interest?
Nope. Buying with a credit card costs me zero extra than if I were to make those purchases with cash. Pay off the balance every month and you pay $0.00 in interest.

460Kodiak
September 3, 2013, 05:00 PM
I buy on credit, get reward points, then pay it off. Money is in my account before the purchas is made.

Got a $1200 gun from Cabela's once for $250.

jmr40
September 3, 2013, 05:01 PM
The reason a lot of people use credit cards is for the rewards....air miles, cashback, hotel rewards, etc....if you pay your balance off in full every month and avoid those interest charges, and your card doesn't have a ton of hidden fees, the rewards make it worth using a credit card almost exclusively, if you get the right cards.


I have a friend who does that. He has a GM credit card with around a $20,000 limit. He charges everything he buys on the card and writes only 1 check every month to pay off his card. I mean every tiny purchase, even in fast food places. He buys a new GM truck every 5 years. When he buys he negotiates the price and when he pays he gets $6000-$8000 off the bottom line by using his card rewards.

Ledgehammer
September 3, 2013, 05:06 PM
Oh I see. Guess I dont have the right credit cards. Lol

Reloadron
September 3, 2013, 05:16 PM
Never understood folks that pay credit cards in full every month. My parents do it. Why even use them if you have the cash. Aren't you essentially paying more because of interest?
Like everyone else we pay the bills monthly in full and use the points. Till last year I pretty much used AMEX exclusively when I could. We got points. Problem with American Express points was they weren't that great. So we cashed in something like 150,00 points for $1,500 in Home Depot gift cards for pending home improvements.

Now we use the Cabelas card. Every year over the holidays we sent out those yummy Cabelas food samplers. We have about a dozen close friends we send the bacon and other samplers to. This year we have several hundred dollars in Cabelas bucks which will cover everything and leave me room for some ammo.

Heck, we even use the Cabelas card at the local supermarket to buy gift cards and get a ten to twenty cents off every gallon of gasoline we buy at their get go service stations. Between ten and twenty cents off a gallon of gas for every $50 spent.

Like a few members mentioned, you can get the cards to work for you. Now if I manage 2014 real good I'll end up with a new rifle or handgun from Cabelas. :)

Ron

PS, I should point out I used an 18% APR in my example. It was just an arbitrary number and as mentioned your mileage will vary.

wow6599
September 3, 2013, 05:19 PM
I love layaway. I can put a gun in layaway at Bud's or my LGS and give them cash every week, and my wife has no idea!

No credit cards though......you can get in trouble with those things.

bayjoe
September 3, 2013, 06:27 PM
My opinion, if you don't have the funds, then financing a gun is bad business.

ViniferaVizslas
September 3, 2013, 07:14 PM
Get a cabelas card. Pay it off every moth. Get "free" guns with points. I used to do Gander but the points would start to expire.

.17 Savage (gander)
.50 TC Encore (gander)
20 ga Ithaca Flues
20 ga LC Smith
12 ga Husqvarna Model 17 hammer gun
12 ga Meredin
.38 Webley revolver
.380 Mauser HSC
Glock 20 (this summer)

All on points. Plus some fishing stuff. I mostly save for guns.

TattooedHunter
September 3, 2013, 09:17 PM
I have no credit cards at all. My favorite LGS has layaway and I've used it a couple of times. I'm sure I'll use it more in the future. Sometimes I forget they do, which may be good for me.

goon
September 3, 2013, 09:24 PM
My LGS has a pretty fuzzy layaway policy. On paper I think they give you 90 days, but in reality, as long as you keep paying on it and pay it off, I don't think they care too much.

cfullgraf
September 3, 2013, 10:04 PM
Never understood folks that pay credit cards in full every month. My parents do it. Why even use them if you have the cash. Aren't you essentially paying more because of interest?

I get to use someone's else's money for a while when I use my credit card. Then I pay it off when the bill comes.

I do not use debit cards as I feel the security is insufficient at this time. If the card gets hacked, you could lose all the money in your bank account.

TattooedHunter
September 3, 2013, 10:10 PM
My LGS has a pretty fuzzy layaway policy. On paper I think they give you 90 days, but in reality, as long as you keep paying on it and pay it off, I don't think they care too much.
My LGS has the same setup.

montanaoffroader
September 3, 2013, 11:40 PM
I have purchased firearms on layaway plans, but not on credit. At this point in my life, any firearms related purchases are wants not needs, and I see no reason to place myself in debt for non-essentials.

If I have the cash, no problem. But no credit.

medalguy
September 4, 2013, 01:15 AM
I too buy everything with my credit card. Everything. Bottle of water at the C store, credit card. Groceries, same. Gasoline, yeah that too. And guns, ammo and components. I collect a ton of points and use them for travel mostly. All by monthly bills get automatically paid by credit card. Truck payment, clothes, dinner out, credit card.

Last year we used our USAA points for an Alaska 14 day cruise, then rented a car in Seattle and took 3 weeks driving back to tour the northwest. Yep, all on points.

I do use a Chase card also because they offer 5% cash back on selected categories, and when that's hotel or gas purchases, we really rack up the points. But it gets paid off every month.

The trick is to pay the card off, in full, every month. I do this by having the card payment in full automatically deducted from my USAA bank account.

When I was much younger and foolish, I thought I needed every store's credit card, and ran up some impressive balances. Then we decided that was a bad thing and started paying the cards off every month. Now we work with one primary card and one secondary card and that's all we have. Much better that way.

Layaway is something I haven't used in many years, but it's a good concept as long as the store doesn't charge anything extra for the service. But I still prefer a credit card. :D

javjacob
September 4, 2013, 02:07 AM
I buy everything with my credit card and never have more than a few dollars cash on me only for things that I have to have cash for or an emergency. I get my bill every month and pay it off in full every time. I have never paid a penny in interest. I use like as if it were cash but its safer than cash.

BigN
September 4, 2013, 04:35 AM
Back in the olden days most of my guns were bought via layaway. Fifty bucks here, 20 bucks there, I just didn't have the money or the credit cards. Without layaway, I wouldn't have half the guns/hunting equipment I have now. When I'd pick one up, I'd put another on layaway at the same time. Seems I always had something on layaway. Even though I have the cash or credit to use now, I still use layaway for many high ticket items. It's just easy and doesn't cost anything. I say use the layaway when available (if you can stand waiting for your new gun!)

JFtheGR8
September 4, 2013, 07:10 AM
Buying guns, ammo, etc. on a credit card is fine so long as you're paying off the balance monthly and not accumulating high interest debt. Building a credit history and improving your credit score can only help you for other loans such as a mortgage or car loan. Plus like others have said you can accumulate reward points with some cards.


Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android

sarge83
September 4, 2013, 07:49 AM
No guns on credit but I do use the layaway plan all the time at my local gun/pawn shop. 90 days to get it out and they are flexible should I need an extra month.

TNboy
September 4, 2013, 08:44 AM
I'm too financially conservative to put guns on a credit card or layaway. If I get the gun on layaway 3/4 paid for them have an emergency where I need to use the remaining funds I'm going to loose that money. I think that if I can't afford it in cash right then then I don't need to buy it. That said I like the idea of the Cabela's credit card. I think I would use that as long as it got paid off every month. It's hard to argue with free guns.

dragon813gt
September 4, 2013, 09:00 AM
I use a credit card to pay for everything. For awhile I was using one to pay all my bills including my mortgage. They were giving me rewards points on all purchases as well as well as the bill pay service. Why wouldn't I use it? If I use cash the cash just goes away. If I use the credit card I get a percentage back. Unfortunately most rewards programs have been gutted and you're lucky if you get 1% back. But 1% is still better than nothing.

For a long time I carried balances on credit cards. I recently secured all my debt and the credit card, I only have one now, gets paid off monthly. I won't purchase a firearm if I don't have the money to pay the bill at the end of the month. Which is why I won't use layaway either.


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Ledgehammer
September 4, 2013, 09:01 AM
I still think not spending cash tends to make you a little looser on your purchases. Cc companies know that. Trust me they're not losing money on these deals.

At my lgs the cash price beats the CC price by a nice chunk every time. You're blowing up to 5% by putting it on a cc when you're just gonna pay it off month end anyway...

cfullgraf
September 4, 2013, 09:35 AM
I still think not spending cash tends to make you a little looser on your purchases. Cc companies know that. Trust me they're not losing money on these deals.



True and it is what the credit card companies are hoping for. They make money on the transaction and hope to make more on the interest.

But the competition between credit card companies has gotten so intense, they need to offer incentives to suck, I mean lure, potential customers in. I feel that I am getting more offers for credit cards than before the 2008 crash.

It all depends on how disciplined you are. If you feel that you cannot reliably pay off the balance every month, then you are better to not use the credit cards.

heeler
September 4, 2013, 10:06 AM
We have a very large gun store here that once a year puts on a six months interest free sale.
Several years ago after a home burglary in which my guns and everything else that had any value was stolen I bought a replacement Remington 700 just this way.
I have impeccable credit and walked right out the door with that rifle unpaid for and killed a buck with it weeks later.
Once the slow as molasses insurance company cut my loss check I paid it off.
But I could have just paid the six months interest free if I chose to.

22-rimfire
September 4, 2013, 10:06 AM
I like the layaway approach personally as long as you are reasonably certain you can pay for the item(s) within the allotted amount of time. I have purchased a couple guns that way... often spur of the moment decisions that I don't have the free cash for all at once. Once could argue that in which case, you can't afford it. But we do the best we can.

My opinion, if you don't have the funds, then financing a gun is bad business.

I agree except most layaway plans do not include any kind of financing cost (interest). Stores do this to spur sales especially on large ticket items. Many choose to shop at Walmart or similar stores simply because they have the layaway plan.

huntsman
September 4, 2013, 10:55 AM
If you ask me, nothing should be bought on credit period. Your home, being the only exclusion, since 99.9% of us cannot drop the necessary funds for such a expense.

If there are no fees involved in the layaway go for it.
+1 I've never used WW layaway for guns but I've gone this route at a couple of LGS and it worked great.

Kudos to the OP for this thread, debt can be a cruel taskmaster and impulse buys for guns and ammo could be a temptation big time, a CC with no self-control is a recipe for trouble.

X-Rap
September 4, 2013, 11:10 AM
Buying on lay away or credit removes an important consumer tool IMO. It won't work at the big retailers but guns, tools, trucks that are bought with cash or paid in full with a check leave lots of room for negotiation of price. When you have to use a lay away the seller knows he has to wait for his money and and that the buyer wants the item enough at the moment to lay down cash and potentially not be able to complete the transaction.
Cash and carry for me and if buying from a large, non negotiating retailer I'll often use a card and free money and points until I get the monthly statement.
Debt is the bane of our society and like cocaine for the masses.

Reloadron
September 4, 2013, 11:32 AM
Buying on lay away or credit removes an important consumer tool IMO. It won't work at the big retailers but guns, tools, trucks that are bought with cash or paid in full with a check leave lots of room for negotiation of price. When you have to use a lay away the seller knows he has to wait for his money and and that the buyer wants the item enough at the moment to lay down cash and potentially not be able to complete the transaction.
Cash and carry for me and if buying from a large, non negotiating retailer I'll often use a card and free money and points until I get the monthly statement.
Debt is the bane of our society and like cocaine for the masses.

Years ago when Kathy (my wife) and I began to look towards retirement we knew that being totally debt free would play a major roll in the scheme. Several years ago we replaced Kathy's truck. We have not bought new in decades but like good condition, low mileage used (same as most of my guns). Found her a nice Yukon Denali at a local dealership. They wanted $12,500 and I offered $10,000. Interesting as when doing a test drive besides a driver's license the sales guy wanted our phone number. They would not come off the $12,500. I thanked them and we went home for the day. Kathy wondered why the phone number?

Next morning (Saturday) at 8:00 the salesman calls and tells me another couple is considering the truck. I told him if you have a couple that will pay the asking price by all means sell the truck. Then he suggest I stop in and talk to his manager. OK, I can do that so I meet the manager. I finally told the guy as he gets into financing I don't want financing (which they make out on). It's like this. You want to sell the truck? I will write you a check right now for 10K plus tax and title. That is as good as it gets. I drove the truck home with a temp tag and later Kathy took me back to get my truck.

This also works well with guns. I see a gun I want I make a cash offer out the door. While this is nice to be able to do it didn't come easy. We are finally at that point in life. Twenty years ago? Not that easy. :)

I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond in this thread and provide the logic to their decision making process. It has been informative.

Thanks
Ron

SHOOT1SAM
September 4, 2013, 12:42 PM
I look at lay-a-way as virtually the same as using OPM.

New guns, not so much...but a used gun that I've maybe been looking for and don't have all the funds, at that moment? You bet I'll put it in lay-a-way so as not to miss that opportunity.

At my LGS's, they don't have to negotiate the price down :scrutiny:, but there's no interest charges :), an if I can't for some reason pay it off in the proscribed amount of time?? They know I'm good for it and won't back out of it.

Sam

Ledgehammer
September 4, 2013, 01:30 PM
Look at 99.9% of the gunbroker sellers. They all say add 3-4% for CC. I have literally gone into my lgs and saw a gun for sale at 500. I said what is your cash price he said 475. Boom I saved 25 bucks by paying cash baby. Some things never change. Cash is king.

Sapper771
September 4, 2013, 01:58 PM
I guess I am in the minority. I use a CC to purchase firearms. I use the CC to build on my credit. I dont have bad credit, I just want to make it better.

CC's are dangerous though, so I have rules. I only put one item at a time on it , then I pay it off $100-$200 a month. I also do not purchase anything that is more money than I have in the bank. That way , if need be, I can pay the entire amount. Any extra money that I receive is usually thrown at the CC bill too.

I can get an item that I want, not deplete the funds in my account severely, build upon my credit, and easily afford the $100-$200 monthly payments I make. This has worked well for me , YMMV.

I have used layaway before too. Most places around here dont do layaway anymore though. Most say that they had too many issues with it.

bainter1212
September 4, 2013, 08:12 PM
I use a credit card exclusively for gun purchases. That way I can build up my credit faster, buy the firearm I want when I want it, and pay for it over 2 or 3 months.

My CC is limited to $1000 so no runaway debt problem here.

-Gadsden-
September 4, 2013, 09:31 PM
Credit cards really do not need to be used much more than a few times a year to remain active, and usage is not a high percentage of how the credit bureaus calculate credit score. On time payments, keeping a low balance and length of time that credit line has been open are more important. I use my credit card once every 3 months or so to make a McDonalds purchase.

I hate paying interest on anything and would much rather save the money and buy the gun with cash than with credit. If I can't make a purchase with cash comfortably, do I really have any business buying it with credit?

The issue with "rewards cards" is that they often change the spending habits of those who hold them. IF you maintain your normal spending habits, then you are getting a deal. But if you buy more than you normally would (consciously or sub-consciously), you're just buying the points and not earning them. Not to mention lots of rewards cards have fees which can further blunt any actual net benefit.

gspn
September 4, 2013, 10:04 PM
Depending on the card, the interest doesn't apply if paid in full at the end of each month.
The reason a lot of people use credit cards is for the rewards....air miles, cashback, hotel rewards, etc....if you pay your balance off in full every month and avoid those interest charges, and your card doesn't have a ton of hidden fees, the rewards make it worth using a credit card almost exclusively, if you get the right cards.
I do a lot of traveling for work, so I use my card to pay those expenses and repay my card costs with my company's travel reimbursement before the end of the month...so I get loooots of free miles, rewards, hotel stays, etc...
I have taken entire vacations using nothing but card rewards gained exclusively from running company travel funds through my card.
Totally legit, and in my work it's pretty common to do that.

Boom. That. I have the cash...but I get get free stuff for using the card and I pay no interest...and i don't have to worry about carrying much cash.

When I bought my last TV I didn't want the risk of carrying $3k in cash down to Best Buy. I used a credit card, got points to use toward other stuff, paid no interest, and had zero risk of losing cash to a misplaced wallet or worse.

Unless there is a strong and compelling reason for me to use cash (ie no sales tax) then I'm using the credit card. It's less risk, zero interest, and I get other benefits for running the purchase across it.

In the end it depends on why you use the credit card...convenience...or necessity. There are a whole lot of folks who don't need it...have a butt ton of cash...and use if for the convenience.

hey_poolboy
September 4, 2013, 10:10 PM
We have no credit cards. I'd love to be debt free, but we still have a mortgage.
All of my hobby stuff (guns and mountain bikes) gets bought with cash. Most of it is from side jobs, that way it isn't coming out of the budget. My lgs has a pretty easy layaway policy, but I'm too impatient to take advantage of it. I'll just save up and keep my slush fund handy.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 4

browningguy
September 4, 2013, 10:17 PM
Personally I use a credit card for almost every purchase I make. I get good points and rewards on my Amex and MC.

And I really don't see a problem with people using credit cards for purchases of long life items as long as they have a reasonable interest rate, they are also good things to have available for emergencies when you might be short of cash flow for a couple of months.

Anybody can abuse anything of course, and this isn't addressed to those people.

AlexanderA
September 5, 2013, 01:44 AM
I use credit cards a lot, but I always pay them off in full every month. That way I never pay interest, but I get a lot of reward points. I would never go into debt to buy a gun, or for that matter anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. Live within your means, and you'll be a lot happier as you go through life.

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