There are important differences when shopping with a debit card versus a credit card. The new credit card rules highlight the need for consumers to make an informed choices about the payment method used when shopping. Identity thieves have increased their use of skimming devices at both gas station pumps and bank ATM machines.
So, which payment method is best: cash, credit cards, debit cards, or charge cards? This video below from ABC News offers some practical tips to help you make an informed choice.
If you need to build up your credit history and credit score, paying with cash and/or a debit card won't help. If you have the discipline, charge cards offer several advantages over credit cards including the opportunity to build your credit history/score.
For many years, I had an American Express charge card. I used it to pay for business travel, since my employer promptly reimbursed me for business travel. Later in my career, I simplified both my life and my finances by reducing my use of credit/plastic. Ultimately, I paid off all of my credit card debt and cut back to two credit cards from a high of five credit/charge cards (and a high balance of $18,000). Today, I pay my credit card bills in full every month.