money saving expert
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
February 8, 2024 ·  3 min read

Money saving expert warns against using debit cards saying they are now ‘danger cards’

One of the most famous financial experts of the current decade, Martin Lewis, recently warned the general populace about the dangers one can associate with debit cards. Speaking at the latest edition of the Money Show, Martin stated that more and more individuals were incapable of making ends meet- which was coupled with them falling into debt due to their reckless use of debit cards. He also urged people to be very careful whilst using overdrafts, which would allow people the opportunity to have the money they don’t have once their balance goes down to zero.[1] 

Martin Lewis explained that the interest rates found on most overdrafts would now be at 40%. This was almost double that of the average high street credit card. For those who are unaware, the interest rate for those stands at 19% APR. Lewis stated, “Most consumer overdrafts are now 40%, double a high street credit card, which means debit cards are now anger cars if you’re overdrawn.” He also explained that one would actually have to question the bank of their choice of a zero percent overdraft- and if it was readily available. And if that wasn’t the case, could they receive a zero-percent credit card instead? [2]

Overdrafts Are Leading To Huge Debts For Individuals

Lewis clarified about debit cards, “Now the first thing if you’re overdrawn is to check your eligibility for a zero percent overdraft and to what amount. People also ask me, can I shift my overdraft onto a 0 percent card? The answer is yes, but only a few specialist cards. It’s called a money transfer. With a money transfer card, you apply for a new card and it pays the money into the bank account for you so you can get rid of your overdraft, you now owe the card.” [3]

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There are many reasons why one should stop using debit cards. One of them involves the absence of good credit. It is quite accurate to assume that using overdrafts would hinder one from having a good credit score. One way, for those interested, in improving a good credit score would be by paying credit card bills on time.

Another reason one should shift from debit cards to credit cards would be the fraud protection one gets from credit cards. Most of the best credit cards have a $0 liability policy in case of fraud. This implies that one wouldn’t have to worry about paying for unauthorized charges that are being made with your card. 

Move From A Debit Card And Get a Good Credit Card

One should also move from a debit card to a credit card for the dispute process can be quite long. And in the meantime, you will be without the funds that were taken from you. On the other hand, most credit card issues have several fraud teams that investigate the transactions. And in most cases, they would first remove the charge that is associated with your account until they can successfully investigate the situation.

Also, using credit cards leads to several reward points. One could ideally redeem these points for things like statement credits, gift cards, and even travel vouchers. Debit cards rarely issue such reward points, and even if they do- they are of inferior quality. [4] Another reason one should use a credit card over a debit card is that a credit card offers several purchase protections and perks- something a debit card doesn’t. 

In hindsight, having a credit card would be overtly beneficial than having a debit card. But you must see that you are only using your credit card for things you can afford- and not things well beyond your income.

Keep Reading: Inflationary year was a great one for grocery chains, report finds

Sources

  1. Martin Lewis warns against using debit cards saying they are now ‘danger cards’.” Lad Bible. Dominic Smithers. January 23, 2023.
  2. Martin Lewis says debit cards are now ‘danger cards’ in new warning.” Liver Pool Echo. Alex Evans and Lottie Gibbons. January 20, 2023.
  3. Martin Lewis warning for anyone with a debit card in the UK.” The Telegraph and Argus. Joshua Searle. January 25, 2023.
  4. 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Debit Card.” Fool. Natasha Gabrielle. January 1, 2022.