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The Pros & Cons of Using Debit Cards

Learn how to protect yourself from debit card fraud.

By
Laura Adams, MBA,
February 22, 2011
Episode #082

Page 1 of 3

Having a debit card in your wallet is a great tool for making convenient purchases. In this episode I'll discuss the pros and cons of using them and share lots of tips on how to lower their associated risks.

Advantages of Using a Debit Card

Ok, let's start out with the major advantages of paying with a debit card instead of paying with cash, check or a credit card:

1. Convenience is certainly the number one advantage in my book! You don't have to carry just the right amount of cash, write out a paper check and enter it into a register, or make a credit card payment at a later date.

2. It takes less time to complete a purchase. Debit cards are accepted by merchants with less scrutiny than are checks or credit cards. And swiping a card is much faster than writing out a check.

3. It keeps you within budget. When you use a debit card you're limited to spending the amount of money you have in the associated account. This prevents you from accumulating debt or being charged interest and those annoying late fees from a credit card company.  Quick Tip: opting out of overdraft coverage and enrolling in a linked acount ensures that you don't overspend and avoid hefty fees.

4. They're easier to get than a credit card. Most bank checking and savings accounts offer you the option to have a debit card linked to your account, without having to complete a lengthy application.

5. You can easily get cash. You can opt for "cash back" at most stores or use your debit card as an ATM card at cash machines.

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