If you listen to personal finance experts, you might hear conflicting advice when it comes to using credit cards or debit cards. Dave Ramsey thinks credit cards are evil, and the cause of all financial pain. Countless others will espouse the value of rewards or warn you never to use debit cards online or at gas stations because of the security risks.
We created Debitize to finally answer the question whether you should use debit or credit. In our first few blog posts, we touched on how to improve your credit, and why credit cards are good for you – but we haven’t yet explained to our blog readers what exactly Debitize is, and why we started it. So let’s take a closer look at the actual differences between credit and debit:
Credit cards help you build credit:
Your credit card activity gets reported to the credit agencies, whereas debit card usage does not. Using a credit card responsibly is hands down the simplest and best way to improve your credit score. In fact, according to the company behind your FICO score, “people with no credit cards tend to be viewed as a higher risk than people who have managed credit cards responsibly.”
Credit cards offer rewards and other perks:
Banks earn fees from the merchant anytime you make a purchase, and the fees are much higher on credit cards than debit cards. These fees allow the banks to offer you a ton of rewards and perks including:
- Cash back, airline miles, Amazon credit, etc.
- Extended warranties
- Purchase protection if your item is lost or stolen
- Price rewind if you find an item at a lower price somewhere else
- Rental car insurance
- Emergency roadside car assistance
- Trip protection if you have to cancel your trip, your baggage is delayed or lost, or your flight is delayed or canceled
- Exclusive invitations and offers, such as concert ticket presales
- And more (check your card for specifics)
Credit cards offer better security and fraud protection:
When a credit card is stolen, it’s the bank’s money. When a debit card is stolen, it’s your money. While most banks will make you whole, the law covering debit cards does not actually require them to. Also, you won’t have access to your funds until the bank rectifies the situation.
Credit cards won’t limit access to your funds:
Most gas stations, hotels, and car rental agencies put a hold on your account for more than just your purchase. If you use debit, those are funds you won’t have access to until the hold clears, often not for a few days.
Debit cards help you stay on budget:
The funds come out of your checking account right away, so you have no surprises at the end of the month.
No bills to pay with debit cards:
No bills mean less hassle, and also no accidental late fees.
Those last two benefits in favor of debit cards are admittedly very important, and we don’t fault people for passing up on rewards and better credit in favor of better control and convenience…
The reason you have better control and convenience on your debit card is because the funds come out of your checking account after every purchase, and you don’t have to worry about paying the bill at the end of the month. So what if you had the same control and convenience when using your credit card?
This thought process was the reasoning that led us to start Debitize. Debitize lets you use your credit card like a debit card so you can build credit and earn rewards without worrying about overspending or missing a payment. It is compatible with any major credit card and works by automatically debiting funds from your checking account every time you make a credit card purchase. When your bill comes due, we use the funds already sitting in your Debitize account to pay the bill, automatically and on time, every time.
We know you might not trust credit card companies, but at Debitize, we understand them, we help you play by their rules (and beat the banks at their own game), and we give you the confidence to feel better about your money. So why are you still using your debit card? Sign up now and give Debitize a try!