May 24, 2021
We all probably have a few of those cards—the ones that end up languishing in the back of our wallets. Maybe that’s a credit card for a store we used to like, a health insurance card that we rarely need or the I.D. for a gym membership we’ve neglected. But what about your debit card? Is it the card you reach for when you need to make a purchase? Here are five reasons you should use your debit card–and to keep it at the top of your mind and at the top of your wallet.
1. It’s convenient.
Less cumbersome than a bundle of cash, your debit card could be the only form of payment you need when going anywhere. It fits in your pocket, in between your phone case and phone, or in the smallest of wallets.
A debit card works just like cash, but you can skip the ATM. Just insert your card at the checkout and you’re done. But if you really, really like to have a little bit of cash on-hand too? Your debit card doubles as an ATM card—whether that’s at the register or at a machine.
Bonus: The Summit is part of a nationwide network of 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs. That’s a whole lot of convenience!
2. It’s safe.
Security is one of the main reasons to use your debit card. Cash can get stolen and be gone forever. But debit cards like those from The Summit are equipped with extra layers of protection. Using The Summit’s Card Controls, you can track debit card purchases easily, right from your mobile device. And if you lose the card? You can cancel it immediately and get it replaced. At The Summit, we can even make you a new card in minutes while you wait.
Another way to identify fraudulent purchases is with The Summit’s Purchase Alerts powered by Visa®. This free service will alert you to debit card purchases of a certain amount, those made online or at the gas pump, and more; you choose the criteria.
3. It makes budgeting easy.
Want to keep your spending under a certain threshold? Because your debit card draws money directly from your checking account, you can limit the available amount. And it’s easy to track spending and stay on top of your account balances by using The Summit’s mobile or online banking services.
4. There can be sweet rewards and perks.
Paying with cash usually gets you a thank-you and a smile, but paying with a debit card can get you even more. Each time you make purchases with a debit card like The Summit’s MyRewards™ Gold or Platinum Debit Cards, you can earn points toward extras like cash back, gift cards or travel deals. Plus, these cards come with other valuable benefits like cell phone protection, extended warranties, prescription savings and other discounts. In essence, you’re getting rewarded just for shopping.
Bonus: Keep an eye out for promotions throughout the year. These can give cardholders (usually new ones) extra rewards.
5. You’ll avoid a big bill, late payment fees and interest.
For anyone who tends to overspend from time-to-time (or more than that), switching to a debit card can be a life-changer. Because you’ll only spend what you have, there’s no massive bill shock to worry about. Plus, you’ll do your credit score a favor by avoiding late payments and interest on credit card balances carried over from month to month. That’s a big one. With a debit card like those at The Summit, you’ll not pay a cent of interest. In fact, many checking accounts with debit cards will pay you interest on your account balance each month.
This blog originally appeared here in February, 2021.
Cynthia Kolko, The Summit Federal Credit Union