Credit and debit cards have been a growing form of payment in the United States for decades. Many Americans get one or both types of cards when they are teenagers. According to a study on federalreserve.gov
, the amount of total credit card payments reached 33.8 billion in 2015, making credit cards one of the most common forms of payment.
Although credit cards are popular, debit cards are also widely used. The same study from federalreserve.gov found that the number of debit card payments reached 69.5 billion in 2015, which led it to have the largest payment number increase out of all payment types in the study.
With this increase of usage for both debit and credit cards, you may be wondering which one is safer to use. Many people, like millennials, are afraid of credit cards and their potential to accumulate debt. However, credit cards are generally safer to use on a regular basis than debit cards.
Unlike debit cards, credit cards offer protection against fraud, theft, and loss. According to millionmilesecrets.com
, established law keeps credit card owners safe from unauthorized charges when their credit card is stolen, hacked, or lost. Because credit cards are used, and unfortunately lost, so frequently, credit card companies are prepared to deal with the crisis in a timely manner.
Debit cards, on the other hand, can cost an individual more if they are stolen or lost. When someone uses a stolen debit card, the card owner’s money is stolen upfront, making it very difficult to get any money back. For this reason alone, credit cards are better at protecting your identity and your money.
Although there are many ways to secure your cards and your identity, one of the best ways is to use an identity theft protection company. If you are unsure which company fits your needs, a helpful list of ranked and reviewed identity theft companies can be found at bestcompany.com
. Even though credit cards are safer due to their fraud protection, it can never hurt to be prepared for the worst.
Some credit cards offer the ability to dispute charges. According to moneyunder30.com
, making large purchases with a credit card is smart because if something were to go wrong with the item, the charges can be disputed with the credit card company to ensure that the card user doesn’t have to pay until the problem is resolved. With a debit card, there is an almost immediate money withdrawal from the person’s bank account, which gives the cardholder a difficult time getting money back if something goes wrong.
No Fear of Holds
Hotels, gas stations, and other institutions may put a hold on your account if you choose to pay with a debit card to ensure that you have enough money in your account to pay. These holds, according to clark.com
, can be large and can be in place for days. Credit card users, however, don't need to worry about holds or their money not going through right away.
In a few instances, you simply cannot use a debit card to reserve things, including rental transportation. Most rental car companies will not allow you to reserve a car without a credit card on file. This ensures that the car will be paid for and that renters will not lose money before they even get the car.
Overall, credit cards are the safer form of payment when it comes to American currency. Debit card and cash are fairly similar in the sense that debit card and cash owners can permanently lose their hard-earned money if the card or cash is stolen. Although many people are still wary of using them, credit cards can save time, energy, money, and worry in the long run.