Credit Card or Debit Card: What's Best For Me?

To charge or not to charge has become the question for millions of persons world-wide and the answer may not be easily forthcoming.

Depending on a number of factors such as: today's myriad of choices in credit/debit card platforms, economic trends and of course, a person's financial needs, requirements and preferences, this is one financial question which can best be determined by defining the difference between the two types of cards, the way they work and for whom are they best suited.

Credit Cards

A credit card is not attached or connected to any checking account as it is basically a system of making purchases based on the future promise of the card holder to pay back the amount of the purchase PLUS interest and any fees accrued in monthly payments. Credit card expert Douglas Adams knows all about them, and explained to us who can best use them in the list below...

Who Can Best Use Them?

* Those persons who can exhibit a sense of fiscal responsibility in the handling of finances and the repaying of their obligations are the best candidates for credit card usage.
* Those persons wishing to build up their credit score.
* Those persons who wish to repair their credit history.
* The credit card is especially good for persons who make big-ticket item purchases such as do many small business people as they can easily dispute any over charges or unsatisfactory work paid by credit cards.
* They are also best to use if traveling or paying at a restaurant, as long as they are not let out of the sight of the card holder due to identity theft/fraud.
* For persons which may desire to enroll in some credit card rewards or cash back program.

Debit Cards:

Looking very much as their plastic counterparts, debit cards many times are mistaken for credit cards; however, there are several differences between the two mediums of exchange.

Basically, debit card use is contingent on the amount of money in a person's checking account: every time one makes a purchase the amount is instantly subtracted from the checking account and one receives a receipt immediately without having to wait for an entire month to know the transactions as one would with a credit card.

Who Can Best Use Them?

* This medium is best used by persons who have poor or no credit and/or prefer not to use credit at all.
* Many persons have both a credit card and debit card and use them interchangeably.
* Those who want instant online accessibility for monitoring bank balances in a "pay as you go" platform and who adhere to not going over a certain cash amount in their own bank account.
* Those who prefer to not carry a checkbook or cash on their person.
* At times, debit cards can also be used as charge cards.

So, which should you choose? Both types of cards undergo a totally different process and incur differing results. Depending on your lifestyle, particular choice at any given moment, and personal preferences, there's no best choice except the one you choose.

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