Let's Talk: 5 Advantages of Debit Cards

November 18, 2021

How do you pay for your items: cash, credit, or debit? Amidst the pandemic, the need for cashless and contactless transactions has risen. Our payment behavior is changing, and many people are now choosing to use credit or debit cards over cash for their transactions. 

While credit and debit cards both offer the convenience of cashless and secure purchases, a debit card could be a better fit for you. With that said, let's talk about 5 advantages of debit cards.

Multi-layered Security
Debit cards offer multi-layered security features to help safeguard your account against fraud. 

You may notice a little chip in your debit card, this is an EMV chip. The EMV chip contains all your information, safeguards your transactions against fraud, and is hard to reproduce. And, unlike a credit card or cash, when you choose to pay as debit you are also required to enter a PIN or Personal Identification Number for additional verification. On the other hand, you also receive an added layer of security when you choose to use your debit card as credit at the point-of-sale. This is because most debit cards are issued by payment processors, such as Visa and Mastercard, who offer an added level of fraud protection and security features.

At Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company, we offer a Debit Card MasterCard® to personal checking customers. Our debit card features an EMV chip along with the ability to monitor recent transactions through Digital Banking, fraud protection through Card Control, and added levels of security through MasterCard.

It is hard to always have cash on hand, and credit cards can get costly with high interest payments. With a debit card, you can conveniently make cashless purchases in store or online with cash from your account. In addition, debit cards offer you the ability to ask for cash back during purchases at certain merchants and take cash out from your bank's ATM at no extra charge.

At Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company, we offer our personal checking customers a free debit card when opening a personal checking account with free access to Gulf Coast Bank ATMs and ATMs in the Community Cash Network. Moreover, we also offer digital banking customers an added convenience through CardSwap where you can securely add and update your debit card to your favorite digital services such as Netflix and Amazon in one place.

In today's world of physical distancing, radio-frequency technology has made debit cards even more appealing with contactless payments. This type of payment is also referred to as “tap to pay.” Contactless payments are fast, easy, and secure. To make a contactless payment, you simply hold it 1 to 2 inches above a contactless-enabled terminal. Depending on the issuer, you may be required to also enter a PIN or signature for further verification. Make sure to ask your banker if this feature is available on your debit card. 

As of July 2021, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company began to offer contactless debit cards. If you would like to request a contactless card from us and learn more, please contact your branch location today.

Use Your Own Money 
An advantage of debit cards commonly overlooked is the fact that you are using your own money. You are not borrowing and paying interest as you would for a credit card. Instead, cash is coming directly from your account. Additionally, by using your own money, you avoid spending money you do not have. This can be problematic if you spend more than you make. However, this can be extremely beneficial to those who would like to control their spending and want to avoid debt.

Your bank may also offer digital banking tools to help manage your account. Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company offers My Money to help track your debit card transactions, set spending limits, and set personal financial goals.

Rewards & Perks
In some cases, a debit card may be able to earn you rewards and perks just as a credit card does. It is important to speak with a banker to explore your different options and understand how the account works. 

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company offers personal checking accounts, such as Interest Checking and Rewards Checking, to encourage debit card usage in order to enjoy added benefits.

All and all, we hope these 5 advantages of debit cards can help you choose how to pay. And as always, please know that Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company is committed to being the bank that cares about you. If you have any topics you would like us to discuss, we invite you to email them to marketing@gulbank.com with the subject line Let’s Talk.