Cash, credit card, or debit card. Which method of payment should you use when and where? We’ll pit them against one another to get a clear winner.
Cash, debit cards, and credit cards all have their benefits, but there are clear winners in this battle. We walk you through each one, tell some stories about how we’ve used them in the past, and make our decision on which is the absolute best.
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Cash is hard to track. Using a card of either type makes tracking your spending easy, all you have to do is log on to your account.
That is one of the few advantages a debit card shares with a credit card. Keep in mind, a credit card is only an advantage over a debit card when you are paying the entire balance every month. If you have credit card debt, stop using those cards.
Security is the biggest advantage that credit cards have over debit and cash. If your credit card is hacked, it’s the company’s money that is gone, not your own. You can call and contest an unauthorized charge and the company does the rest.
There is some protection with a debit card but it’s a much bigger hassle if this gets hacked. At least for a few days, that cash is not in your account. If you had an emergency expense, or even just day to day expenses, you may not be able to access your money.
Rewards are another advantage of credit cards. Whether you want cash back, airline miles, or hotel points, there is a card for you.
Cash is great for greasing palms and cabs out of the ghetto during a mass black out. Sometimes you can get a small discount if you offer to pay for a purchase in cash.
While paying for cash isn’t usually a great idea, it is a good idea to keep some stashed around various places. Home, desk, car, gym bag. Strippers also only take cash so that’s an important consideration.
So credit cards for the win. Better protection and better perks. Keep some cash to hand but use the debit mostly to get that cash.
Mint: You should be using this FREE online software to track your expenses and setting up your budget.
American Express Credit Card: This is the credit card that Andrew uses to get cash back bonuses.
Discover Credit Card: This is the credit card that Matt uses to get cash back.