The Pros and Cons of Relying on Your Debit Card

Have you ever reached in your pocket for spare change to drop in a donation jar and then realized you didn’t have any cash? Many people have grown so dependent on plastic that they often find themselves without any actual money. The debit card has become a way of life.

Like most things, however, debit cards have pros and cons. Here is a list of some of the advantages and disadvantages of relying on your debit card. The pros include:

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Your Debit Card is Convenient

Convenience is the number one reason many people consistently use their debit card for nearly all their purchases. Most stores now accept debit cards and allow you to purchase items and, at many places, you can even get cash back if you need it.

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Debit Cards are Time Saving

Debit cards eliminate the necessity for carrying large amounts of cash or holding up the checkout line while writing paper checks and digging for your ID. Between direct deposit and debit cards, you can almost eliminate going to the bank from your to-do list.

Debit Cards are Budget Savers

When you make a transaction with your debit card, the money comes directly out of your bank account, so you are limited to only spending what you have available. You can’t be tempted to charge items that will destroy your budget when it’s time to make the payments.

It’s Easy to Order Online with a Debit Card

Without plastic, shopping online can be nearly impossible. Fortunately, most companies accept debit cards just as readily as they do credit cards, so you can enjoy the convenience of online shopping.

On the flip side, there are some disadvantages to using your debit card. These include:

Debit Cards Offer Less Fraud Protection

It is critical that you guard your PIN number for your debit card. Although both credit cards and debit cards are vulnerable to fraud, credit cards usually freeze the account if suspicious activity appears. If your debit card is lost or stolen, you should report it immediately, because you often don’t have to know the PIN number when you shop online.

You Don’t Get Reward Points

Many people use their credit cards because they want to collect the rewards points. You won’t have that opportunity when you use your debit card.

Using a Debit Card Doesn’t Improve Your Credit Rating

When you use a credit card and make your payments on time, you help build a strong credit history and raise your FICO score. Debit card purchases do not affect your credit rating in any way.

Some Banks Charge Fees for Debit Cards

The bank that issues your debit card may charge a monthly fee for the service, per transaction fees, or other charges. If you use your debit card at an ATM that does not belong to your bank, you often have to pay a charge of $3.00 or more.

Of course, you must also remember to keep track of your debit card transactions, just as you would if you wrote a check, but overall, most people feel that the benefits of a debit card far outweigh the disadvantages.

About the Author: Dee Baugher is a full-time writer with a focus on personal finance and everyday money saving techniques. She also writes about health and education can regularly be found contributing content to

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