Dave Ramsey says: You will always pay more with credit cards

Jun 27, 2023, 1:00 PM

person handing another person their credit card...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Dear Dave,

I know you recommend using cash or debit cards instead of credit cards. But can you explain why my husband and I shouldn’t take advantage of credit card points for travel expenses that are required for work but will be reimbursed by the employer?


Dear Cathy,

So, your employer is so poor they require you to advance them for your travel? You do understand if your employer decides not to pay you one month—for whatever reason—that it’s your credit card and your debt, right? Even if this hasn’t happened yet, you’re exposed to the risk. All for a couple of airline miles that are virtually impossible to use? No, thanks.

I understand this is standard procedure for some companies, but then a big chunk of corporate America has conned its employee base into taking out a loan on their behalf—with a promise of repayment—and the employee taking on all the risk. On top of that, these companies act as if operating this way is no big deal. Well, it is a big deal. And it’s not a good way to run a business or treat your employees.

Cathy, I once counseled a guy who walked into my office with $11,000 on his American Express card that was “supposed” to be reimbursed. Guess what happened? When he went into work earlier that day, he found a padlock on the door. The company he worked for had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and he got nothing. At that point, he had $11,000 on his American Express card, and the credit card company didn’t care one bit about his company going broke. They wanted their money.

When you use a credit card, you spend more than when using a debit card or cash. Tons of research has proven this to be true. Using someone else’s money just doesn’t produce the same friction in your brain as paying for something with your own money. You don’t feel the sting of it leaving your personal account. Do you want to know something else? I’ve never met a single millionaire who pointed to credit cards and airline miles as the reasons for their financial success.

But I do know a lot of broke, middle-class people strutting around, bragging that they gamed the system. They’ll tell you they beat a multi-billion-dollar company, one that spends tens of millions of dollars every year on studying consumer behavior in depth, at their own game. No, they really didn’t. I’m telling you all this, Cathy, because I want you and your husband to protect your number-one wealth-building tool: your income.

Long story short: If you play with snakes, sooner or later you’ll get bitten.

— Dave


Dave Ramsey

Business principles challenged by customer? What to do...

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsay says: Don’t change your business principles on a customer’s whim

A small business owner asks Dave Ramsay what to do when your business principles say not to accept credit cards but customers push back.

12 hours ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Tell sister no to borrowing money for own sake

Even if it’s family, saying no and telling them it’s time to straighten up and start acting right could be the right money decision.

5 days ago

A landlord discovered his tenant had been using the property as a short-term rental. (Pexels photo)...

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: Get identity theft protection and make your tenants stick to their agreements

Financial expert Dave Ramsey answers two financial questions from listeners. One wonders about Ramsey's opinion on identity theft protection.

12 days ago


KTAR Video

Video: Dave Ramsey financial tips heard on KTAR News 92.3

Hey Arizona, we’re all feeling it. We’re paying more for everything. We want to help you live a happy and debt free life. Join us on KTAR News weekdays from 12-2 p.m. for The Ramsey Show. For the latest breaking news, tune to KTAR News 92.3 FM or the KTAR News app.

16 days ago


KTAR Video

Video: Listen to Dave Ramsey on KTAR News 92.3 weekdays noon-2 p.m.

For news you can trust, count on KTAR News. Dave Ramsey knows you can stay up to date with your community. For the latest about YOUR life and money, you can catch The Ramsey Show weekdays 12-2 p.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM or the KTAR News app.

16 days ago

Illustration of a house with hands above and below it....

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Use rental property sale proceeds to pay off home, become debt-free

Dave says Anthony should use the proceeds from the sale of a rental property to pay off his home mortgage and become debt-free.

26 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Dave Ramsey says: You will always pay more with credit cards