To swipe or not to swipe: That is the question

You're probably as accustomed to hearing "cash or credit" as you are "paper or plastic."

When it comes to making payments - whether for a hot breakfast at a diner, monthly bills or an online purchase - you have options. In the past, the only way to access the funds in your checking account for a transaction would have been to withdraw cash before heading to the store or write a check when you get there. Now, you can also use credit and debit cards as well as our mobile Bill Pay app to make payments.

With these options, it can be difficult to decide when to use each type. Of course, some instances are obvious - you can't use cash for an online purchase, for example.

Here is an overview of when each option is beneficial:

Cash
If you're trying to save more money and control your spending, pay with cash. By capping how much cash you can withdraw and spend each month, you can tangibly see when your money is decreasing.

"I think the best time to pay with cash is when the merchant doesn't accept debit card, or [when you're] buying something from an individual," said David Shipper, one of our product managers and vice presidents.

Debit
Your debit card can be used for any transaction where electronic payments are accepted. It is convenient for large purchases, as you don't have to carry around a lot of cash.

"Debit cards are like cash," Shipper said. "They're used for money you already have. It's just electronic instead of having to carry cash around and always having cash to make purchases."

Plus, we offer 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero-liability protection to help guard your account against unauthorized activity.*

"With debit cards, you are protected against fraud," Shipper explained. "If someone takes your card and you call us, we can deactivate the card."

Debit payments - as well as credit payments - are beneficial for tracking your purchases, as each transaction appears on your monthly statement. As a result, you don't have to keep all your receipts to know where you spent money.

"When you make a payment with your debit card, you can look at your statement at the end of the month and see where you made purchases," Shipper said. "With cash, you can't do that."

Bill Pay
If you have monthly recurring bills, such as your Internet, utilities or home loan payments, sign up for Bill Pay. You can schedule payments up to one year in advance and get your money to billers on time without even thinking about it.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

*Does not apply to ATM transactions or PIN transactions not processed by VISA. Cardholder must notify Landmark Bank promptly of unauthorized use. Consult Landmark Bank for additional details or visit visa.com/security.

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