Credit vs Debit Shopping Tips for the Holidays

To ensure safe spending habits during the holidays, check out these pros and cons of using credit and debit cards.

Credit Card Pros and Cons

There are a few pros as to why credit cards may be a great option for holiday shopping. When using credit cards, you will want to check whether or not it is a rewards card so you can get cash back or points on your purchases. Fraud increases around the holiday season, and credit cards are a safe option to use if encountered with fraud as they are easier to close and obtain refunds and returns. Keep in mind, the amount spent on a credit card will have to be paid in a certain timeframe to avoid interest and possible late fee charges. It’s simple to swipe a credit card for multiple amounts without needing to check your balance for a while and you can lose track of how much you're spending.

Debit Card Pros and Cons

While shopping it may be a good idea to do a refresher on your budget and the amount you allocated for holiday spending. There are pros to using a debit card, especially if you're on a strict budget. You may want to consider using a debit card so that you stay within your set limit. Another pro to using a debit card is no high cash advance interest rate when using an ATM. Cash is a very common gift, so being able to obtain cash without any high rates associated with your card may become very helpful in the long run. Also, if you have a CCCU debit card, you can receive rewards points on all debit purchases, and they can be combined with your CCCU credit card rewards as well.

There are a few cons to using a debit card. A big one to keep in mind is that you won’t build any credit, no matter how much you spend. And as discussed earlier, fraud ramps up around the holiday season. Fraudsters may use scams as well as skimmers to obtain card information such as your PIN. This can make it hard to dispute any fraudulent charges on your account.

This holiday season, whether you're using your debit or credit card, you should also monitor your bank accounts after your holiday shopping. When choosing to use either your credit or debit card, an option that could assist you greatly would be to start with a budget. With these tips in mind, you are ready to take on the upcoming holidays.