Lisa Vanderpump Doesn’t Have A Credit Card

Filed Under: Credit Cards

Obviously we talk a lot about credit card rewards on this site, because one of the best ways to save money on travel is with points. It allows us to have experiences we probably couldn’t otherwise afford. At a minimum, credit cards can save us money on every purchase we’d make anyway.

However, not everyone should use credit cards. For example, if you’re someone who knows you won’t be able to use credit cards responsibly, you absolutely shouldn’t use them. What you’ll pay in financing chargers will far outweigh any rewards you’ll earn.

But when I talk to people about credit card rewards, there’s a whole group of people out there who seem to be opposed to using credit cards for reasons I can’t wrap my head around.

Lisa Vanderpump, star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and owner of West Hollywood’s tackiest restaurants, had an interesting interview with InStyle, in which she said the following:

“You’re not gonna believe it, I don’t even have a credit card. I have a debit card, and it comes out of my account. Because if I had a credit card, I would never pay the bills. I just wouldn’t remember. Pandora says, ‘With the amount of money you spend, you should have a credit card so you can get points.’ But I like to know where I stand.”

No, no, no, no, no. Just no. Where do we even start?

  • If Lisa is concerned about forgetting to pay her bills, she could set them up on auto-pay; it will literally be no less convenient than using a debit card
  • Credit cards have significantly better purchase protection, which, given how much Lisa talks about buying stuff, could come in handy
  • You don’t get rich by making dumb decisions and leaving money on the table, and at a minimum she’s giving up 2% cash back by not using a credit card, which is just so silly; she talks about buying a $20,000 dress, so if that’s the case, she could have at least gotten $400 back

C’mon Lisa, it’s time you get a credit card!

  1. Wealth, success, and intelligence aren’t the natural trifecta they appear to be. In fact, more often than not, “luck” is the most common third element.

    Why this is true is a political debate best left to other forums.

  2. Love the blog in general…but who cares about some D list celeb not have a credit card?

    Lame post. Surprised you didn’t drop in a line about Chase.

  3. The shopgirl at PANDORA probably gets a kickback for signups. It’s issued by synchrony bank. Can’t be that great.

  4. Im sure you have heard of Dave Ramsey?

    Theres tons of people creating wealth without using a credit card. Nothing wrong with it actually. Everyone is different.

  5. @surfer. I almost didn’t even click the article because I could care less about Lisa whoever. But I like the blog so I clicked. Actually he used it to reinforce good points that some beginners may not know who and who happened to click on the article.

  6. Lucky no further than Germany where people hardly use credit cards and instead use debit cards. It’s only recently that i started using an Amex card and collecting points – Thank you.

  7. Why do you believe just because someone is rich they should own a credit card. If she has enough money she doesn’t need credit She doesn’t need the miles as she can afford to buy tickets Dumb article

  8. Given that most Americans are in credit card debt, its not the worst idea to use a debit card. It’s only the US where you have such crazy credit card system that most other countries consider predatory lending. For every one of us that is gaming the system, there are millions of other people who get a credit card and get into debt.

  9. I completely agree with Michael that for many people sticking to a debit card is a wise idea. In fact, I’m pretty sure that there are a number of studies showing that most people spend more money when using credit cards than with cash / a debit card. This would more than offset the 2% cash back.

  10. @ Icarus — As I explained in the article, it’s not just about miles. At a minimum she could be earning 2% cash back. Do you really think she wouldn’t rather pay 2% less for everything she buys?

  11. IMO, if people are using cards for cash back only, they’re better off sticking to debit/cash.
    The value proposition just isn’t there. Statistically people spend ~18% more than they would without a credit card. Sure you can beat those statistics, and plenty worth it when you’re earning at 3-5% and redeeming at 5-15cpm/cpp for stunning travel. But for a measly 2%, why even bother?
    I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan, but I love Lucky and other travel bloggers too. There’s a happy median.
    My only true “cash back” card is my Amex BCP, which I do occasionally utilize when there are no better options to load on Gas Station gift cards at the grocer (for 6%, of course)
    And I do recommend Discover It for the first year for the 10%. Haven’t used it since.

  12. @ BenL — And I think I made that point in my story as well, where I said a lot of people who couldn’t use the cards responsibly shouldn’t use credit cards. However, we’re talking about Lisa V here, who drops money like it’s nothing. I don’t think being able to finance charges (which she doesn’t need to do) would make her spend more.

  13. Like most people on this site, I’m a big consumer and I notice how others pay. I consistently see more paying with debit cards rather than credit cards in stores and restaurants. And it doesn’t seem to be generational like Baby Boomers using Debit and Millennials Credit – it’s all over the place.

  14. Studies have shown people buy more with credit cards than cash or debit, much more than 2% more. An interesting one showed that many more people couldn’t even remember how much a purchase was a short time after it was made with a cc than a debit card or cash. Probably a study not conducted by someone who gets paid by cc companies for referrals. But not that stupid on Lisa’s part.

  15. The real reason to have a credit card is for the protection it offers in case of a dispute
    Though how that may be handled may vary on the quality of the individual bank
    Also instance protection
    Rewards and promotional offers are the icing on the cake
    I wouldn’t touch a debit card dangerous if lost or stolen and 0 protection if something goes wrong
    They are scary in fact

  16. Some people are rich enough to not give a dog’s rip about that 2%. LVP and her husband seem to be in that wealth range.

    Plus, she can afford to fly around the world in whatever premium class she wants, whenever she wants, so I don’t think she is really worried about saving miles or crossing her fingers hoping for an upgrade.

    @Stvr I think the Pandora she mentions is her daughter…

  17. @dwondermeant I totally agree. I think one of the main reasons I use a credit card with purchases is the security. A thief isn’t able to simple empty my account. And then there are the rewards. Travel rewards!

    To each their own.

  18. Credit cards for the most part are a trap for people to get into debt. The majority of CC holders go into debt which is why it’s a profitable business, high interest rates, etc. this is one smart woman who wants to protect her wealth!

  19. The Vanderpump’s sold their last home in Beverly Hills for $19M. Loan companies stick to mortgage payments being no more than 28% of your monthly income.

    Using default values (20% down, 5% interest on a 30y fixed) leads to an ~$85,000 a month mortgage payment on a $19M home.

    Quick google searches have shown that the Vanderpump’s have purchased other homes. So let’s add a mortgage for their daughter and a vacation home for another $20,000 a month and $40,000 a month, respectively. Let’s also assume she purchased their last house for exactly what they sold it for.

    Using the 28% rule above, the Vanderpump’s approximate MINIMUM income is ~$517,000 a month. That means that using an average 40 hour work week, their time is worth at least ~$3,000 an hour.

    Keep in mind this is a very conservative estimate, so more than likely they earn a lot more than that.

    There gets to be a point where the money just doesn’t really matter to them in the same way as it does to most people. Yes, she can use a 2% cash back card to casually drop $200k at Hermes and get $4,000 cash back but she more than likely passively earned more than $4,000 while she was shopping there, which is just a drop in the bucket to their total net worth.

    It’s like if I told you that you could earn a nickel every time you used your card. Great, at the end of the year you’d probably have maybe $15-$20? That’s nice because you can get lunch for one person with that once, but would you really go out of your way to do the research to earn that reward?

  20. Great article! I had the same reaction when I stumbled across her comments about credit cards yesterday. I went on a 5 minute rant about it to my wife. Haha

    Obviously credit cards aren’t for everyone, but people like her should definitely be using them. I mean, just set up automatic payments! How hard is that?!

  21. Let’s get back to the tackiest restaurant comment. Is it good or bad that I and my friends appeared in the background of one of the restaurant shots, signed all sorts of waivers , and then were left on the cutting room floor?
    True story.

  22. Shock horror! /sarc

    Some people don’t own homes, some people don’t drive and some people don’t have credit cards. Whatever works for them.

    The last place anyody should be coming to for financial advice is a blog about miles and points.

  23. LOL @ the Dave Ramsey comment. A guy who charges people to tell them not to buy things they can’t afford…

  24. Credit catd companies are in business to make money. Taking into account the obscene bonuses in the US my take is that most CC holders do not pay off their debts so those companies can make money. If most people would pay off, the bonuses would simply not be there.
    Conclusion: the average american is undisciplined and the corporate american greed puts this to use. No wonder the US has higher than average household debt (and government debt BTW).

    Now, obviously there are disciplined exceptions, I assume Lucky is one of them, and by virtue of the majority of people being undisciplined, they can play the system. I would not hesitate to do the same would I have a chance. No easier money than making use of stupidity of others.
    However the fact that someone chooses to not have a CC, probably qualifies that person as being a potentially very smart person. The biggest inhibitor to build wealth is debt.

    Btw I did not see a signup link. What a refreshing article therefore.

  25. I think the point that Lucky is trying to get across is that normal people might read her comments and think that they apply to them as well. So hopefully anyone that silly will read the article and understand why the logic fails.

    So the filthy rich don’t use a credit card. Hard to believe. I’ll bet someone in their entourage has a card that pays for anything she purchases because so many purchases cannot be made with cash. They say that the Queen never carries any payment device. But I certainly could not get away with that.

    Normal people cannot rent a car, buy a drink on a plane or reserve a hotel room without a credit card. Most car rental agencies will not accept debit cards. Most hotels will not accept debit cards.

    So I totally agree with Lucky.

  26. Lisa has an American Express Centurian card. It has been shown on the show.

    Of course, that is not a Credit Card.

    Perhaps she donates the Membership Rewards points to Charity.

  27. @Chris: Dave offers books and classes that charge. But virtually all he teaches is available for free via his weekday radio program.
    So I’m afraid the lol is really back-at-ya.

    There never seems to be a consistent answer to whether car companies/hotels require credit cards. Ultimately, it’s untrue that you cannot rent a car or book a hotel with a debit card (though your success may vary depending on location/company) Admittedly, for those of us who value travel, having a CC makes things much simpler and convenient.

  28. Once set up on autopay it would require no further effort for her . However it sounds like she has so much money that it is just not worth the trouble . Staying out of trouble with a debit rather than credit is a good strategy for many .

  29. Have you ever thought about why credit cards give you points, cash backs, purchase protection, etc…? There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You just need to forget one payment or have the auto-pay mandate on your account expire for them to slap you with all kinds of charges. For many people having to deal with all this is not worth the benefits it brings.

    Credit cards work for you but it’s pretty ignorant on your part to assume it should work for everyone else and that everyone should think and feel just the way you do.

  30. “C’mon Lisa, it’s time you get a credit card!”

    She does not need one – she has a Centurian charge card.

  31. @Paul: I saw no real ignorance on Lucky’s part. He explained his reasoning and people have shared their counterpoints.

    To the point of “no such thing as a free lunch” -that could be viewed as ignorant, given that you’re making an across the board statement. This whole website is derived on the concept of “free lunches”.
    So just because it doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anyone else, either 😉

  32. There is no harm in the usage of debit cards over credit cards. It’s a choice. Even Warren Buffet discusses the usage of credit cards limited to emergency situations. I understand that this may be against the fundamental philosophy of your blog, but the choice to use a debit card is a good idea, especially in the US where a large fraction of people have poor financial management skills.

  33. “Even Warren Buffet”….

    Warren Buffet recommends whatever makes a profit for him. He’s against oil pipelines because he owns railroad companies that transport oil by rail car. He opposes tax cuts because he owns insurance companies that sell life insurance as an investment and tax avoidance scheme. Just because he’s a financial genius at guiding Berkshire doesn’t mean his public recommendations are altruistic good advice. Qu contraire. 😉

    As for the majority of folks who have poor financial management skills, I both feel sorry for them, and also am quite grateful to them. Without those millions of people carrying balances at 19%, and paying late fees every time they miss a payment date, I wouldn’t be getting 70K/100k miles/points sign up bonuses every time I get a new cc.

  34. @Robert Hanson – exactly the reason I am citing. Berkshire has investments in American Express, Wells and BoA last I checked. The three make significant income from charging interests to CC holders. It would be in his best interest to promote the usage of credit cards, but his personal and corporate philosophies differ greatly. So yes, “Even Warren Buffet” recommends against usage of credit cards, whenever possible.

    As for the credit industry in the US – it has always been a dicey industry one way or another and I don’t want irresponsible loan holders from defaulting with detriment to the greater economy. Therefore, I strongly advise against usage of credit cards until one’s expenditure to income ratio reaches 1:7.

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