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Posted under: Opinion

Cash v. Credit Card Debate: Which One Is Better?

The decision between using a credit card or cash can be a hard thing to do. There’s pros and cons with each, but it ultimately boils down to which one will benefit you the most financially.

Many people advocate that credit cards are better because they are more convenient and are easily accessible. While others believe cash is better because they can be used in case of emergencies and for small purchases.

Below are the pros and cons of using both cash and credit cards:

Cash

Pros:

1. Use Cash to Reduce Overall Spending

When you have cash, you can only spend what you have unlike credit cards. You are more liable to go over your spending limit with credit cards. Using cash helps you manage your money better and leads you to make more smart decisions on what and what not to buy to help you stay within your budget.

2. Universally Accepted

When shopping, a customer will rarely be denied from making a purchase with cash. Cash is more acceptable at stores than credit cards which makes it more convenient and easier to make purchases. There are also stores that are still old-fashioned and only accept cash or there’s a certain amount you have to spend to pay with a card. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Cons:

1. Theft Protection

One negative aspect about having cash on you is the higher risk of losing it and not being able to track how much you lost or if someone stole it from you. The only thing that you can rely on is hoping that someone is able to return it to you if you lose your wallet and your cash is inside.

2. Credit Cards are Required for Some Purchases

Cash is not accepted for online purchases. Now that people are heavily relying on online shopping, a credit card is needed. For big online shoppers, customers rarely have cash readily available since they really don’t need it.

Credit Cards

Pros:

1. Track Expenses

Having an online account for your credit card can be beneficial to keep track of spending. It can be used as a visible and reliable source to make note of what you spent your money on, where you spent your money, and how much. With cash unfortunately, you are not able to do that.

2. Safety

Nothing is 100% safe, but some may argue that keeping a credit card is safer than cash.  If your credit card is stolen or there has been fraudulent activity, your bank will be able to keep track of the activity of your card. Also, if your card is stolen you can easily cancel or freeze the card so no one be able to use it.

Cons:

1. Overspending can happen

One major negative with credit cards is that you can easily overswipe.  Along with overswiping comes more money being used to make purchases. Credit cards make it harder to keep track of what your spending at the moment. It is very easy to get carried away and you’ll probably suffer from those consequences later. You have to be more vigilant and aware of what you’re spending because you can easily go over your spending budget.

2. Fees and Interest Rates

There’s a lot more hassle that comes with using credit cards than cash.  With cash you don’t have to worry about added interest rates or fees, but with credit cards you do. With credit cards you have to be aware of when your next payment is due and you also have to cautious on when to use it because of high interest rates. Those annual and late fees can build up leading you to pay more than what you intended. Be careful.

Ultimately, the choice of what form of payment to use boils down to the spender. There’s always pros and cons with every situation, but you have to be smart about how you go about it. Just continue to do whatever has been working for you. You can also take the time to determine what form of payment is better for you based off of your purchases. It’s your money and your decision.

Brianna Rhodes is the branded content writer for Blavity. Feel free to contact her at brianna@blavity.com