Breaking News
More () »

Cleveland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Cleveland, Oh | WKYC.com

Is it time to ditch your debit card?

Experts say credit cards offer better protection from thieves...and more!

CLEVELAND — "I've never even had a credit card," beams Jeff Miller.

Wait, what?

Oh, you heard him right.

What about college? What about once he had his first job?

"No," Miller maintains. "My dad was a pay cash for everything and everything we ever had my entire life. Cars, houses, everything."

So, what's in his wallet? Just a debit card. That's because he likes to spend, and a debit card keeps him from spending more than he has. The problem for him came when thieves spent his money—on themselves!  

$1500 on stereo equipment, $700 on colon cleansers.

"I looked at my statement and was like, 'No, that wasn't me," he told us.

Despite potential problems like these, consumers prefer debit cards to credit cards. So does money.com.

"Credit cards enjoy better protections under the law," Dollar Scholar writer Julia Glum said. "So your liability with your stolen credit card is actually a lot more than your liability would be if your credit card were to be stolen."

By law, if your credit card number is stolen, you're not responsible for unauthorized charges. With a debit card, you're on the hook for up to $500 if you don't report fraudulent charges within two days.

"But if it's after that 60-day point," Glum explained, "there is no limit to how much you can lose."

But fraud protection isn't the only reason to ditch your debit card: You're leaving money on the table. Credit cards offer everything from cash back on purchases, extended warranties and purchase protection. 

"One of my readers wrote in to tell me that one of the reasons he likes to put big more important purchases on his credit card is that if there's a problem with the item, then he can go through and dispute it with the card company as opposed to having the money already taken out of his account," Glum said.

And then there's this: Using a credit card helps you build a credit history used to determine interest rates for loans. Some employers even check your credit history!

"If you're maybe using your debit card more often than your credit card, you're not establishing a payment history, you're not showing the credit bureaus you're reliable," Glum said.

RELATED: Advantages of discussing finances over food with a certified financial planner

RELATED: Where's my tax refund? How to check on the status of your money

RELATED: 3 ways to save this year with a certified financial planner