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Debit Card vs. Credit Card: Which is Better for Your Needs?

Debit cards and credit cards are small plastic cards used for cashless transactions. They both provide convenience and safety to users who are wary about bringing cash in public or those who frequently shop online.

The big difference

But how are these two financial tools different? The major difference lies in where the cards source the money. When you use a debit card, the money in your savings or checking account gets deducted for your payment. On the other hand, when you purchase something with a credit card, your payment is charged to your line of credit.

To put it simply, credit cards allow you to spend for something by borrowing money that you don’t have yet, while with debit cards, you get to spend only the money that you have in the bank.

When to use a debit card or a credit card

Both cards have their own advantages and disadvantages, so be wise when choosing which one to use for a specific situation. Here are the ways in which one of the cards is better to use than the other:

When a debit card is the better choice:

  • Small purchases – Debit cards have daily spending limits, making them the better option for smaller purchases such as groceries
  • Using cash in the currency of a foreign country – When traveling abroad, you’ll get a better exchange rate on a foreign currency by withdrawing cash from an ATM with your debit card rather than paying with a credit card.

When a credit card is the better choice:

  • Large purchases – Credit cards are ideal for buying expensive items like gadgets, appliances, and other big purchases, as they have their own warranty protection for your purchase on top of the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Traveling abroad – Credit cards offer a lot of discounts and promos for frequent travelers. You can also benefit from the fraud protection that comes with a credit card. So if you lose your card or have used a shady ATM, you can have your card blocked right away.

Which of the two cards do you use more often and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Credit Card Fraud Protection Tips: Dos and Don’ts to Keep Your Card Safe from Scammers

Credit card fraud comes in many forms, but they all have one ultimate goal: to be able to use your account to make expensive purchases. You don’t want to pay for and fall into the debt trap for expenses you didn’t make, right? So as early as now, keep these precautionary measures in place to protect your credit card:

Keep your eye on the card during a transaction.

Make sure that nothing suspicious is being done with it and that it’s returned to you before you go away.

Don’t share your card details with anyone.

When someone calls you, represents himself as a staff from the bank, and asks for your credit card number, this might be a tactic to steal your personal details and use the account for large purchases. The only time you must share your credit card information is when you initiate the call to the bank’s customer service.

Don’t misplace your card

If you are going out and won’t be using your credit card, you’d better leave it at home for safety’s sake. And when you’re taking it with you, always keep it in a wallet close to your body to keep it from getting stolen. And even if your card doesn’t get stolen, some scammers might take photos of your card with a camera phone and use your credit card number for purchases, so don’t leave it exposed for a long time.

Verify the amount on your credit card receipt

Always check the amount on the receipt after paying with your credit card—it must be the same with the actual price tag. If you get a blank receipt, don’t sign it.

If your card is lost or stolen, or if you suspect any fraudulent activities using your card, report it immediately to your credit card issuer for appropriate action. Remember, better be safe than sorry.

5 Smart Steps to Building Your Emergency Fund

It’s always better to be prepared for anything that’s unexpected—and when it comes to your finances, nothing better prepares you for the unexpected than having an emergency fund. As its name implies, it’s money that you use for an emergency. It could be a serious disease, job loss, urgent home repair, or anything that needs spare cash. This is where an emergency fund comes useful.

Here are the simple steps to create your emergency fund:

  1. Have a savings goal. How much will you save monthly? Set your goal for the amount to be saved and stick to it. Experts recommend that you save or set aside at least three months’ worth of living expenses. You can start small and aim higher as time goes by. Consider creating an auto-debit arrangement so that a fixed amount goes to your account automatically at certain intervals.
  2. Keep it in a separate savings account. This is a perfect balance between accessibility and resisting the temptation to make more withdrawals than needed. If you want a higher interest rate so that your fund will grow over time, you may opt to put it in a money market account.
  3. Reduce your expenses – When you can’t hit your savings target, adjust your expenses accordingly. You can just prepare home-cooked meals instead of dining in restaurants, or go carpooling to save on gas costs. Any little amount will go a long way.
  4. Create more sources of income – Relying on your salary alone might not be enough to cover all your expenses, including your emergency fund. You can earn more by having passive income (through mutual funds or stocks), taking an extra part-time job, or selling unused items at home.
  5. Spend it only for emergencies – One common mistake people make is that they use it for non-emergencies. Expenses such as annual taxes or car insurance and maintenance costs are something that you expect and can foresee—budget your money in such a way that you allocate for these.

Building an emergency isn’t as easy as it sounds. But it’s definitely doable, as long as you have the willpower and discipline when it comes to managing your money.