When you’re at the checkout and the cashier asks “Credit or debit?”, do you freeze up for a few seconds?
We ALL do…most of us still don’t know the best time to use them.
Thank goodness for Lifehacker.com, who has this nifty list of the times you should use credit and when to say “debit”:
Shopping online . . . use CREDIT. Credit cards have much stronger fraud protections built in. Most have “zero liability” policies for fraudulent use, so you never lose money. It’s a lot harder to get your money back if someone uses your debit card.
Expensive purchases . . . use CREDIT. Most credit cards offer extra warranty protection that goes beyond manufacturers’ warranties. So if something breaks after the regular warranty is up, your credit card might still cover it.
On vacation . . . use CREDIT. The anti-fraud protection is extra important in unfamiliar places. But you can also get deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars. Using debit often means they put a hold on your money until your payment clears.
When the other party needs immediate payment . . . use DEBIT. Debit transactions go through instantly, but credit transactions can take a day or two to clear.
If you’ve automated your budget . . . use DEBIT. You can set up your paycheck to be divided up automatically into different accounts, and keep a separate account for fun expenses. Use a debit card for that account, and just have fun until it’s empty.
If you’re bad with money . . . use DEBIT. It’s the only way to make sure you never spend money that you don’t have.
If you need to get foreign currency . . . use DEBIT. When you go to an ATM in a foreign country, a debit card gives you the wholesale exchange rate that banks only offer to each other. You get a worse rate using a credit card to buy from an exchange. You’re best off using an ATM inside an actual bank. In an unfamiliar place, there might be more ATMs that are set up to harvest your card information.
NOW you know!