Why Should I Get A Credit Card Over A Debit Card?

For a lot of people buying items on plastic is an every day occurrence. But, should that be a credit or a debit card? What advantages does a credit card hold in excess of a debit card?

First, a disclaimer – stop reading right now and instead go for a debit card if you cannot handle credit. If the thought of being able to spend thousands of dollars or pounds of someone else’s cash fill you with delight the dangers can outweigh the benefits. You might end up in debt, so keep away from a credit card.

But if you might handle credit then a credit card could hold a lot of advantages for you. If you think you could but can’t trust yourself, speak to your building society and request a low limit. Once you hit that spending limit the card stops working.

So, what are the advantages?

Rewards
If, like me, you pay off your balance on time every month then you do not need to look around for a card offering a low rate. Instead, you can look at the rewards cards. Now they might merely offer you 1% or even 0.5% back on everything you spend, but if you are incurring no charges then getting something back is a bonus.

Easier to travel
Credit cards might make travelling a load simpler. Look round carefully and you will be able to find several that offer commission free currency exchange when you are using your card abroad. Buy something in a foreign currency and it is converted at a favourable exchange rate without fees. It is safer than loads of money and could work out cheaper.

Hotels and car hire
Plenty of hotels and car hire firms want to take a swipe of your card when you arrive. This is so that if you walk away without paying bills then they might charge your card. It does work on a debit card, but at the point that they swipe your card they have merely had a set amount authorised. On a debit card that cash in your account is then locked until they release it.

Safety
Saving the biggest to last, this is the main reason for a credit card over a debit card. It is much safer. Consumer credit protection gives you protection on a credit card that you do not see on the debit cards. If your card is lost or stolen, or the details are misused on a website, then with a credit card you have far more protection. Similarly, if you buy something and the firm fails to deliver, it is a credit, not a a debit, card that gives you the extra protection and the chance to get your cash back.

However, if you cannot handle that amount of credit, then forget it!

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