Credit card alternatives are for those who do not wish to carry around a
traditional card. Maybe you are afraid of running up a high
balance, or the high interest rates of traditional cards. Perhaps you
have never used these types of transactions, but do not want to carry a lot of cash. Maybe
you feel you don’t need a card, but would like some form of alternative
for things like renting a car. If so, here are a couple of ideas for you to
The first option is a debit card through your bank. If you have a savings or checking account at your bank, check to see if you can get a debit card. With a debit card, you can only spend or withdraw money that you have in your account, so you do not need to worry about high interest rates or hurting your credit. However, for store purchases, you can use it like a card.
Be sure to check the fees if you are withdrawing money with debit at an ATM that is not at your bank. ATM fees can become a big money waster. Another tip, always use your debit card as a “credit” card at the store (do not use your PIN number) for transactions. This costs you less money.
Another alternative is gift cards, including Visa or Mastercard gift cards. If you need a credit card for a vacation, you can usually purchase a gift card that is a Visa or Mastercard through your bank. There are some fees associated with these cards, but it is often a better alternative than carrying cash around.
There are several good credit card alternatives for those who choose not to own a regular card, or are unable to qualify for one. Part of living debt free is making the best choices for you, and knowing that you have options.
More information on credit
card alternatives is coming soon.