Expert Insights



Ross Loehr

Certified Financial Planner® at Raisonné & HammerPrice Corporation

Is it better to have debit or credit? Why?

I believe that if you have to choose one, a credit card is the best choice. There are so many options to get paid back or rewarded for spending that you will be doing anyways. Competition is fierce between the card issuing banks and that means consumers can get cash back, points or miles that can be worth thousands of dollars per year, particularly if you take advantage of valuable credit card sign-up bonuses. The key to success — and I can’t stress this enough — is to make sure you always pay the card on time and do not carry a balance. Otherwise, the benefits that you earn will disappear.

How can consumers strike a balance between using a debit and credit card?

These days almost everyone accepts credit cards. Given the rewards that credit cards provide, it makes sense to use them for spending whenever possible. For those people that have problems with their spending habits, it makes sense to pay the credit card off more frequently. I generally pay all mine off once per week to make sure I stay current. I have a good friend who goes as far as paying his credit card off daily to ensure that it pulls from his bank account like a debit card while he still benefits from the cashback of the credit card. For those who don’t trust themselves with a credit card, this is a great way to strike a balance.