Paper or plastic? It’s a question I’m sure you’ve heard before, but this time we’re not describing your grocery bagging options. Instead, we’re referring to the debate between using credit cards vs. cash for your everyday purchases. We’ve heard arguments from both sides, but as a financial institution, we feel we have the expertise to settle it once and for all. Because we are always thinking about what’s best for our customers, our verdict was easy to reach: it is better to use credit and debit cards than cash. Here is why.
1. Credit Cards are Safer and More Secure
Cash leaves you vulnerable. If you lose cash, it is virtually untraceable. You can say goodbye to your hard-earned money.
On the flip side, cards provide you with layers of protection. As soon as a card goes missing, you can and should call your credit union to cancel it, immediately rendering it useless. Even if someone was able to get their hands on your card, most credit unions and credit card companies will notify you as soon as they notice unusual purchases.
If illegitimate purchases have been made on your card, it is likely that you will be protected by your financial institution. CHROME Confidence guarantees that you will not be liable for any unauthorized transaction as long as you report them on time.
2. Credit Cards are More Useful
In the age of technology, cash limits you. It’s as simple as that. If you want to participate in online shopping, travel booking, ride sharing, or app purchasing, just to name a few, you will need a credit or debit card. As technology continues to advance, there is no doubt that you will be missing out on much more than just amazing Cyber Monday deals if you find yourself without one.
3. Credit Cards Make Budgeting Easy
We may be a little biased, but seriously, online and mobile banking is the best. There’s no better way to keep track of every transaction you make than by simply logging into your account and taking a look.
Keeping an eye on your purchases can help you to notice trends in your spending, and readjust if necessary (i.e… you’ve been spending too much on dining out, and should limit it for the rest of the month.)
Try doing that with cash. You would need to manually record every purchase you make … an inconvenience, to say the least. Your card in conjunction with your bank’s online system does this all for you automatically, so you’ll never have to wonder where your money has gone.
4. Credit Cards are More Convenient
Paper currency can get bulky, especially when you’re given pennies, dimes, and nickels for change after purchases. It can become a pain to sort, organize, and keep track of all of these little objects.
Loose change can fall out of a hand or pocket at anytime, without its owner’s awareness. According to an estimate by recycling and waste management company Covanta Holding Corp., Americans end up throwing away $62 million in coins each year. Talk about a waste of money!
Furthermore, counting change in the middle of a transaction is time-consuming for both parties involved as well as the people in line behind you. You can avoid all of the hassle and waste that cash transactions bring by simply carrying around one slim piece of plastic - or by utilizing mobile banking. By using your card, every cent you don’t spend stays with you.
5. Credit Cards Have Perks
Sure, you hear about credit card rewards all the time, but are they really that great? Well, it depends on which card you have, but for the most part the answer is yes, they most definitely are.
For example, here at CHROME, our credit card holders receive unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase they make. If you use your card for $3,000 of purchases each month, which is about the American average in monthly spending according to a recent Gallup poll, you would get $360 back from us per year. That’s 360 additional dollars you make just for using your card! We’re chalking up another point for cards in the “win” column.
We could keep going on and on about the benefits of credit and debit cards, but the bottom line is that they make finances simpler, easier, and safer. Cash certainly has it’s time and place, but not very often anymore. As technology advances, so do the capabilities of the card. So the next time you’re at the store, let them know you’ll be using plastic.
Wait, we are not done. Ready to graduate to the wizard level of using credit instead of cash? Up your game by making even more secure payment while still enjoying the same perks your CHROME credit card offers by using Mobile Payments with your smartphone.