Your theory is similar to mine. I have credit cards which we use to get cash rebates. Costco credit card is for a rebate on gas, as well as a Sams Club discount on gas which is 5%. Also both give rebates for in warehouse purchases. We got a new American Airlines Credit Card for an upcoming trip next year. Had a very expensive operation for my dog at the VET-used the card to pay the VET=2 free airline tickets.I'm with the group that feels that debt is a useful tool if used properly.
My house is totally paid for. I have a 25K HELOC for emergencies. Current balance is zero.
I do have a note on the Pilot. Took advantage of 0.9 financing after I negotiated the best price possible. Put 57% down on it to get payment down to the point that it could be comfortably absorbed into my budget, and conserve investment capital. Owe about 9.4K on it.
I use credit cards for the rewards, convenience and chargeback benefits they provide. I pay them off at the end of every month.
I do have a current exception. I put $757. worth of tires on the Mustang at a Chrysler dealer.
Rationale: Tires were buy three ($1 cheaper per tire than DTD) get the third for $1. Made the tires $143. each vs. DTD's $192.
I got an additional $100. off for opening a Chrysler MC, plus 6 mos. SAC.
I'll probably use 3 or 4 of those months to pay the tires off, so I can dollar cost average the cost into my budget.
Probably never have a use for the Chrysler charge again, as all the benefits are geared toward Chrysler owners.
However, this is an example of how debt can be a useful tool, especially if it can be used in conjunction with self discipline, to prudently manage money and leverage opportunities to save money and conserve capital.
Yes-I'm aware that those who carry balances subsidize the benefits for people like myself-but that's their problem-not mine.
Credit Cards are great when you are smart about the use and payoff every month.