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Checks vs. debit cards: Which is the better choice?

When you have a Kasasa checking account, you can earn rewards every month. One of the ways Kasasa account holders earn those rewards is by using their debit card regularly – around a dozen swipes a month.

 

Most Kasasa account holders find this requirement is no problem at all, but every once in a while we hear from people who prefer to stick with using their credit card or checks when making purchases.

 

We already did an analysis of how the rewards for using a credit card and debit card compare. This post is for those of you hesitant to switch out your checkbook for your debit card a few times a month. Here are a few issues to consider.

 

Checks vs debit cards: a comparison

Both forms of payment come with certain pros and cons, but a big part of determining which is best falls to personal preference.

 

Security

Checks have certain security features built in, but they also have some fairly sensitive information on them that can be seen by everyone who handles the check. Your name, address, and bank account number are all right there. A debit card is comparably safer, as long as you take a few basic precautions and if fraud does occur, as long as you catch it quickly you can count on being reimbursed.

 

Tracking 

For some people, the appeal of using checks is that they've developed a system for tracking expenses using the check register that comes with checkbooks. This is understandable, but every use of your debit card is automatically tracked and shows up on your account fairly quickly. It takes less than five minutes to log on to your checking account online and check your recent history of deposits and expenses. That means you can continue using your usual method for tracking expenses on the check register and add in the debit card purchases with little extra effort. Plus, with personal finance apps like Mint® or EveryDollar®, you can track your expenses across various accounts.

 

Ease of use

Have you ever been in line at the grocery store behind someone paying with a check? Filling out a check doesn't take a huge amount of time, but it’s certainly slower and more work than swiping your debit card and entering a pin. You can save some time and effort in the checkout line by switching to debit.

 

Acceptance

 This all depends on whom you're paying. Debit cards are widely accepted at most businesses today, but for some smaller businesses, landlords, and friends and family, payments will still need to be by check. In this category, it's helpful to have access to both and choose whichever method of payment works best in the moment.

 

Rewards 

If you have a Kasasa checking account, using your debit card can earn you some valuable rewards each month. Depending on the type of checking account you have, you can earn:

Payments with checks won't help towards any of those rewards. As long as you use your debit card at least a dozen times though, you can use checks too and still enjoy all the benefits.

Tags: Rewards banking, Spending

About Kasasa

We believe your money should do more... for you and your community. Founded in 2003, Kasasa is a financial and technology services company working to help empower consumers to take control of their finances and be proud of their money by banking locally with community banks and credit unions in your neighborhood, that you know and trust.

These local institutions have roots in their communities, care about people over profits, and are actively invested in local businesses to help keep the economy strong (unlike some of the megabanks we could name).

We believe you shouldn't have to choose between the best banking products, the best customer experience, or keeping your money local, where it can do more good. We've created ethical banking products and partnered exclusively with community banks and credit unions. So you can have it all.

Kasasa accounts are available at community financial institutions around the country. Find one near you at Kasasa.com to get free checking that pays cash rewards, the only loan with Take-Backs, and more. All while keeping your money in the community, so you can always be proud of your money.