More Americans Are Paying Attention to This Instead of Their Credit Card Debt

iQuanti: It’s not uncommon for the average American to carry debt. Some live debt-free, but many others have financial obligations they must carry from one pay period to another. Some have personal loans they’re working to pay back, but credit card debt is more common. 
These individuals can’t always tell you how much total credit card debt they’re carrying. That’s a troubling trend, especially because some of them seem to be focused on something else entirely. 
Let’s talk about what’s distracting some consumers who are using credit cards for everyday purchases.
Credit Card Perks
Economists say that when you get a credit card, you should learn all you can about it before using it. For instance, you should know the APR you’ll have to pay if you carry any debt on that card. APR stands for annual percentage rate. It is the cost that comes with borrowing using a credit card if you carry a balance on it.
Surveys reveal that’s not what many consumers regard as most crucial when it comes to their credit cards, though. More than anything else, some of them focus on the perks that can be theirs the more purchases they pay for with that card.
What Credit Card Perks Do Consumers Value?
Credit cards can come with all kinds of perks, and different consumers might value various ones. For example, some might look for cards with travel rewards. A card may come with a couple of free hotel stays per year, though some conditions always apply.
Another card might give you more cash back on purchases at the grocery store or at the pump when you fill up your car. In fact, consumer polls indicate that more individuals with credit cards value cash back on purchases more than any of the other perks that are sometimes available.
What This Indicates
Experts seem to feel that consumers valuing cash back is due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. When Covid-19 caused a lot of belt-tightening, consumers wanted more cash back when they used their credit cards.
It stands to reason that with an economic slowdown, more people would value getting cash back on their credit card purchases over travel perks or other benefits. 
The Issue with This Trend
There’s nothing wrong with getting cash back when using a credit card. The problem with some consumers stems from them focusing on the cash back aspect and less on the amount of debt they’re carrying from month to month.
When more credit card users know how much cash back they can get on purchases, but fewer can tell you how much total credit card debt they have, that’s potentially problematic. More of that is occurring in early 2023. Not only do some individuals draw a blank if you ask them how much total credit card debt they have, but they also can’t tell you their credit card’s APR.
Americans Must Focus on Paying Off Debt
Getting cash back from credit card purchases is useful, but just because your card comes with that perk, it doesn’t mean you should use it as an excuse to use your credit card for every purchase you make. Paying for expenditures in cash or using checks or money orders means you don’t have to worry about carrying debt. That’s preferable in many instances.
If you do use a credit card, take advantage of perks like cash back, but stay on top of how much you owe and be aware of your card’s APR. Try not to carry a balance from one pay period to another. That’s how you can get deeper into debt, regardless of how much cash back the card offers you for particular purchases.   
Source: iQuanti