Consumers Prefer Debit to Credit Cards—But is it a Good Idea?

Consumers Prefer Debit to Credit Cards—But is it a Good Idea?

February 21, 2018         Written By Lynn Oldshue

According to recent research, 61% of consumers in the United States say they prefer using their debit card over their credit card. This was a significant increase from the 52% a year ago. While it is a good idea to avoid credit card debt by only spending money you have in your checking account, is it good to always opt for debit over credit?

Due to identity theft concerns, paying with your debit card may not be a good idea. If someone steals your credit card number and makes unauthorized charges, you simply need to alert your credit card company, and they will generally reverse the charges.

Featured Fair Credit Card

Top Features:

All credit types welcome to apply!

But if someone were to use your debit card number fraudulently, the money will disappear from your checking account as soon as the purchase is made. By law, your bank can take up to 10 days to investigate the matter and return your money, which means you will not have access to these funds during this time.

In addition to fraud protection, using a credit card responsibly will help you build a positive credit history, which a debit card will not do. A good credit history will likely result in lower interest rates on your future mortgage and car loans. If you don’t use your credit card for a long period of time, the card issuer could potentially cancel your account. Since lenders like seeing a good mix of accounts on your credit history, not having a credit card can hurt you. Additionally, if you do not have credit, you could have just as difficult of a time getting loans as someone who has bad credit.

Credit cards offer a number of protections that do not come with other forms of payments. Many cards offer purchase protection, price protection, car rental insurance, travel insurance and a host of other features. Check your credit card agreement to see the additional and complimentary perks you receive by making transactions with your credit card.

Finally, many credit cards offer cash back, travel, or other rewards. When you use these credit cards responsibly, you can earn free rewards.

The only downside to using a credit card is the interest rate you will pay if you do not completely pay off your entire balance each month. But as long as you do, there is every reason to use your credit card to make purchases.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 21, 2018. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®
EDITOR RATING
Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No annual fee; $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 in first 90 days; 0% on Purchases for 12 months

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval

Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee


lynn-oldshue

About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.