Debit not always cheaper than credit
During uncertain economic times it's normal for consumers to shy away from credit card use.
In the United States there's been an eight per cent decrease in credit card use over the last year with a matching increase in the use of debit cards and cash.
Cash is probably the easiest to manage. When your wallet is empty you stop spending. Debit cards are a little trickier. It's hard to budget with a debit card unless you're really good at it.
Often your debit account has "overdraft protection" which can actually cost you more than a credit card.
The interest rates on money borrowed in an overdraft and on a credit card are about the same. But what can really cost you is the service fees attached to some overdraft accounts. They vary widely -some charge a flat monthly fee: others a fee per transaction.
Suppose you make four $25 purchases that put you into your overdraft. If your bank charges a fee -per transaction - and some charge as high as $5 per transaction --then you could be charged $20 on your $100 overdraft. If you used your credit card and paid the $100 off before one month you would pay zero fees and no interest.
That's just an example. Some banks charge a flat fee and a fee for transaction only if you're over your overdraft limit.
Moneytools.ca is a fantastic resource to help you find a bank account with the features you want with the lowest fees.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Chris Olsen