When to Use Debit vs. Credit Card?

by Chris Bjorklund

Considering how many people get into trouble with credit cards, using a debit card can be a good way to make sure you live within your means. But, there are some disadvantages to using a debit card.

First, debit cards don’t offer the same protections that credit cards do when it comes to damaged, defective, undelivered or unsatisfactory merchandise. Credit card regulations give cardholders the right to withhold payment while they dispute a charge. But, because debit card purchases are typically treated as cash transactions, the buyer has far less leverage. Particularly when shopping online, it’s advisable to use a credit card. Also, a credit card is better at protecting you in cases of fraud because you can dispute unauthorized charges without paying for them. Someone who gets hold of your debit card could drain your bank account, even if only temporarily, until the bank replaces your money.