How to Make the Most of Your Debit Card

Debit cards have become so popular today that functioning without them would seem almost impossible for most people. As we move closer and closer to a cashless society, debit cards are quickly becoming one of the top forms of payment for day to day living expenses and not many wallets exist without one. While many people view a debit card as nothing more than a way to access cash, everyone should take advantage of its benefits and understand how to make the most of your debit card.


One of a debit cards biggest perks is that it can be a form of spending control and help an individual budget.
Many banks offer an online feature that tracks where you spend your money with your debit card, and at the end of the month, you are then able to see a clear breakdown of every dollar you spent. This is typically broken down into categories like meals, travel, and retail. While some shoppers may tend to go a little overboard on credit card spending, budget control with a debit card is instinctively easier as the money is drafted directly out of your bank account.

Debit vs. Credit

While a credit card may be a better selection when making large purchases for its ability to carry a balance and be paid off over time, a debit card has its advantages with everyday expenses.  When paying with a credit card you may be asked to sign for your purchase but purchases with a debit card have an added security feature which will prompt you to enter a four-digit PIN code. This extra protection can help prevent money from being stolen from your card if it is lost.

Debit cards are also typically only drawing on the funds you already have available, and perhaps a bit more if you can overdraw your account.  In contrast, credit card purchases are all debt and add to a balance that you will have to pay back to the credit card company, with interest. Debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash directly from your account, and while credit cards can be used to draw cash also, it typically comes with an even higher interest rate and even a fee.

Security for Daily Use

With a debit card typically being more secure than a credit card, you should be using it for more of your day to day expenses in order to make the most of your debit card.  Between buying groceries, gas, and daily runs to the coffee shop, you can protect yourself by using your debit card.

Understand Your Card’s Terms

Many debit cards still come with some forms of fee structures. For example, you only have a set number of uses for free every month.  You should use your online banking to keep track of how much you’re using your card and if you’re approaching the limit consider switching to use your credit card for some transactions or taking out enough cash to sustain you to the end of the month.
By Jeffrey Glen

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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