Purchasing Without Problems: When To Use Cash, Credit Cards of Debit Cards

Updated: Feb. 17, 2020 at 9:04 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - We bring you tips for Money Saving Monday every week. Today we shared all the deals and items on sale for President’s Day. However, protecting your money is even more important than saving money. So how do you do that? Here’s when experts say you should use credit cards, debit cards or cash.

We’ve always been told that cash is king, but many places now don’t accept cash or your making the majority of your purchases online. So experts tell us when it comes to choosing between using cash, a debit card or credit card - you should use cash for quick and small transactions like buying gum or in situations like putting gas where you’re worried about your information getting stolen.

"It doesn't really matter what happens in terms of their internal systems or how they're protecting your information. You won't be affected if they get hit with a breach or a cyber-attack," Dylan Borden, from Four Winds Networks Services, tells us.

Debit cards are usually used for larger transactions, but can be dangerous for online purchases. Experts say these cards should primarily be used for paying recurring bills like your rent or your electricity where you know your information will most likely not be compromised.

“But your credit card is always going to be your safest method because the nice thing about a credit card is that your cash is not being pulled out of your account right away,” Borden explained, “That transaction will just sit there until you approve it, and then you’re paying off that money at the end of the month. Whereas if you pay with a debit card or cash, the second you make that transaction the money is gone.”

However, nowadays there’s more than just cash, credit or debit. We also use things like PayPal, Venmo, or checks - which can be risky since so much of your information is available.

"You're basically giving them everything. A routing number, your bank account number and with a check - your signature is even on the back, so it's much easier for fraud. So with checks or gift cards or anything like that, you really want to know where your sending your money to,” Borden continued, “If you don't really know them that well or trust, you're going to have a really hard time getting your money back, or they'll take that information and hurt you in another way."

Plus, when paying for things online, there are even more things to be on the lookout for.

"If you see a gift card or a wire transfer as the only methods for payment, that is a big red flag. Typically that means there's going to be fraud involved, so you do not want to get involved with that transaction unless you know them very well or you've done a previous transaction with them,” said Borden.

The bottom line is: be aware of all of your finances. There are also many banks that offer even more protection to make sure your personal information and bank accounts are as secure as possible.

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