The Swipe

Debit or Credit? How many times a day are you asked this question? Many of us pay with plastic for both big-ticket items and everyday purchases. Whether it be for convenience or choosing not to carry cash, the swipe is used more often than not.

The best answer: credit. When opting for credit, you’ll save on bank fees. However small, those pennies add up over time. Using your credit card will also incur fees, however, they’re charged to the merchant and not the consumer.

Another benefit is that you’ll build up your FICO score. If trying to repair your credit rating, using your credit card will aid in the process and help raise your score. If trying to establish credit, funding your checking account to pay with credit is a good start as you’re not creating any debt and developing sensible spending habits.

So when given the choice, choose credit. For the consumer, it’s a win win!

The Double Dip

If you enjoy the convenience of ATM withdrawals, using your bank’s ATM is your best bet. If choosing a foreign ATM, your bank will charge you a fee for going outside their network in addition to a second fee charged by the owner of the ATM. This double-dip could cost you an estimate of anywhere from $4 to $15 per transaction. These fees will add up easily and quickly.

Avoid the double-dip and be selective when visiting your ATM.