The following is a guest post by CreditShout, a personal finance blog dedicated to teaching people how to beat the card companies at their own game and save money with credit cards.
Cash back debit cards are becoming increasingly popular. With everything being accessible from the internet, the once “good credit only” exclusivity of cash back credit cards has opened up avenues of both access and appeal to cash back debit cards. With places like Paypal offering 1% cash back on every debit card purchase, it may seem as if the sky is the limit with the cash back debit card. However, upon closer examination of the reward programs offered by debit cards you will find that this isn’t always the case.
Debit Cards Versus Credit Cards
Several years ago, there was a battle of the credit cards regarding which company offered the most frequent flyer miles and which company offered the most cash back incentives for their users. It was not long before banks and debit card companies took note of this and considered jumping on the incentive bandwagon.
It has been a slow evolution for the debit card and its various incentives, yet the progression remains stable. Another cash back debit card provider is Perk Street Financial. Perk Street Financial also offers 1% cash back on all non-pin purchases. While 1% cash back on a debit card can add up in the long run, in the interim it does not seem to be worth it as compared to cash back credit cards.
Are Cash Back Debit Cards Worthwhile?
A cash back debit card may only be worthwhile as long as there are no annual fees associated with it. If by chance, there are annual fees, then you will probably end up spending more than you earn. Additionally, debit cards that are offered through a specialty retailer may have certain restrictions on how you can qualify for cash back. There may be a limit on which gas stations, air carries, supermarkets or department stores.
Credit card companies like Citibank and Discover offer their users a plethora of incentives, from frequent flyer miles (check out the Capital One Venture Rewards Card), to discounts at popular stores, freebies at coffee shops and of course, there is the idea of getting cash back. Most of the major credit card companies also have a higher cash back percentage.
Where debit cards may yield on average a 1 % cash back reward on purchases, cash back credit cards sometimes offer up to 5% cash back rewards incentives. In addition to the cash back incentives, credit card companies consistently have ongoing and varied rewards campaigns that are tailored to the average shopping habits of their customers.
Furthermore the credit card companies offer a more varied and completely customizable shopping experience. Partnered with major brands (whether those brands are retailers, computers or celebrities) the major credit card companies have a rewards system that is guaranteed to encourage their consumers to shop as much as possible.
Debit cards, on the other hand seem to only offer variance in the company that sponsors the debit card. For example, many prepaid debit cards may be sponsored by a recognizable company which might kick in a 1% cash back incentive should the consumer shop at that particular retailer.
Wal-Mart offers a prepaid debit card but it may not yield a 1% cash back reward. The brand Baby Phat which falls under the arm of a company owned by mogul Russell Simmons has a prepaid debit card called the Rush Card. While the Rush Card may not have offered cash back, it did offer discounts of up to 10% at participating stores that may be partnered with the Rush Card.
At the end of the day, the incentives offered by a credit card regarding cash back and discounts at stores are more worthwhile than those offered by the debit card companies. For more information on debit cards versus credit cards, you can contact your local bank or you can check online to see if your debit card offers rewards.