Credit vs. Debit: Which is Better?

lottery scannerEvery day, everywhere we go, we see different machines that are used to scan information. There are kiosk scanners at airports to check guests in, voting scanners to cast your ballot at voting locations, license scanners at bars to check your ID, and lottery scanners at gas stations to see if you struck it big. These scanners, like lottery scanners, take your information and use it to perform a specific task. For example, lottery scanners scan a code that signifies each number you’ve chosen as potential winners. If you’ve won, the machine will instantly tell you and you can collect your money.

There are also credit card readers which scan the magnetic stripe on the backside of your card and obtain your personal banking information. These are probably the most common kind of readers since they come in many forms.

When you go to the grocery store to pay for your food, you swipe your card when everything has been rung up. When you swipe your card, you are prompted to choose between credit and debit. But which one do you choose? Many people don’t even know the difference.

So, does it really matter which you choose? Honestly, it really doesn’t. However, by selecting “credit” on the card reader, you may be losing money.

Surprisingly, many card companies will actually charge the customer or the merchant when “credit” is selected. Credit also takes a few days to actually process. By dealing with the delay, you’re also dealing with having to figure out how much money you really have left to spend.

Using “debit” allows for things to be processed instantly, so the money is taken out of your bank account right away. Debit also lets you get money back, which means you don’t have to spend any extra money on ATM fees.

A survey that was conducted in 2014 found that 43% of people liked using debit cards and 35% of people prefer using credit cards as a form of payment. Both options are good but come with extreme differences. However, both will certainly be able to be swiped in any card reader you see anywhere you go.

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