Whose money is it anyway?

The recent rise in popularity of debit cards may have some people thinking their credit card is yesterday’s plastic. Driven by the surge in internet transactions, debit cards are a league ahead of their ATM/EFTPOS predecessors, offering the benefits of greater acceptance without the risk of greater spending.

While debit cards are not new (most banks and credit unions have been offering them for years), MasterCard and Visa have recently increased their presence here to compete with EFTPOS. Since it was introduced, EFTPOS has had little competition in Australia, but the boffins at EFTPOS haven’t kept up with the times, and more specifically, the internet, opening the door for the debit card.

It seems the newly refurbished Visa and MasterCard debit cards will soon usurp the throne of EFTPOS to become the new norm. However, debit still faces the competition of the credit card. So who will reign supreme?

Credit Cards:

Pros:

  • You have access to money that isn’t yours for impulse purchases before your pay day
  • Rewards programs
  • Travel insurance (on some cards)
  • Accepted almost everywhere as a form of payment

Cons:

  • You have access to money that isn’t yours for impulse purchases before your pay day
  • Annual, late payment, rewards program and dishonour fees
  • Interest payments on outstanding balances
  • Cash withdrawals (or ‘cash advances’) incur hefty fees and interest rates

Debit Cards

Pros:

  • You’re using your own money so you never have to worry about interest payments
  • Accepted almost everywhere as a form of payment (including overseas ATMs)
  • You can use it to withdraw money from an ATM or get cash out with purchases

Cons:

  • There are fees associated with some debit cards.
  • There are no rewards programs
  • You could be tempted to spend more money over the internet simply because you now have the access

The verdict:
Credit cards are great if you want rewards more than you mind annual fees, and will pay off your balance before the interest rate kicks in. If this isn’t you, then debit cards are the way to go. Happy spending people!

Compare credit cards at mozo.com.au

Compare debit cards at mozo.com.au

Whose money is it anyway? was last modified: June 18, 2012 by Rhys Thomas

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  1. great article. seems like all the banks are doing is pushing the debit cards. i still reckon i’m going to go with a credit card because unlike the majority of other people, i will actually be ABLE to pay it off every month and avoid the interest charges. happy spending indeed.

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