While the Bible doesn’t expressly prohibit the use of credit, it’s very clear on one point. If you choose to use credit, do so wisely. These days, that wisdom includes much more than prudent practices like paying off your card’s balance each month. Now, especially for missionaries who do much of their financial business internationally, there are some other important considerations.
Watch those fees! Credit card fees are like termites. The show up quietly and can cost you a bundle over time. For missionaries like you, two significant ones are annual card fees and international transaction fees. These are two banking fees that ECCU missionary members don’t have to worry about when they use the Everyday Cashback credit card. These savings, combined with many others, can save you about $600 each year in banking fees.
Look for rewards. In her Crown Financial Ministries article What Does the Bible Say About Credit Cards?, Arielle Vogel writes this:
When used wisely, credit cards can help you earn rewards and benefits. Credit cards can kind of get you free money. Depending on the card, you can earn cash back points, flyer miles, and other perks by making purchases with your card and paying it off in full at the end of each month. But remember – no reward or perk is worth carrying a balance on your credit card.
So if your credit card doesn’t offer some type of reward for using it, you may want to find one that does. And again, not all rewards are equal. Some cards limit cash back to specific types of purchases. Others, like the ECCU card, give missionary members 1.5% cash back on every single purchase. This can add up when you’re using your card for things like airfare.
Focus on security. Whether you’re traveling in the States or internationally, you need to be wise and careful when conducting financial business. That includes simple practices like notifying your card company when you’ll be away from home. You also want to be sure that your credit card offers the latest security features. Missionaries carrying the ECCU cashback card, for example, enjoy 24-hour fraud protection, $0 liability for unauthorized charges and EMV chip technology.
For more helpful hints on international use of credit cards, check out What to Know Before Using Credit Cards Abroad.