How To Use Your Credit Card Like A Debit Card

Advertiser Disclosure

Last updated on September 19th, 2023

Using a debit card for your purchases has its benefits. Similarly, using a credit card for purchases also has helpful features. To get the best of both worlds, it would be a wise move to consider using your credit card like a debit card. Here’s how.

Use Your Credit Card Like A Debit Card

A credit card can be a useful financial tool if used responsibly. For example, a credit card can help you build credit. It can also help you finance large purchases and earn rewards for making those purchases. A credit card may help your finances when used correctly.

In contrast, careless use of a credit card can greatly damage your financial status. Regularly missing credit card payments or habitually carrying over a balance would be just as bad as piling on more credit card debt. In these ways, a credit card can become your worst financial enemy if you’re not careful. If you’re looking to take advantage of credit card benefits, then it would be wise to treat it like a debit card.

Why Use a Debit Card?

Using a debit card has its own set of benefits. When you use a debit card to make a transaction you don’t have to worry about paying interest. There is no interest to pay because a debit card uses funds directly from your checking account. There is also no payoff because all your transactions are paid off in real time.

The amount of money in your checking account is also the funds available to spend. With many debit cards, you can set spending limits through your bank’s online account or app. It’s always a smart move to set spending limits on your debit card usage as this will help you avoid any overdraft fees. As a result, using a debit card forces you to stick to your budget.

Why Use a Credit Card as a Debit Card?

  • It can help you build credit
  • You can earn rewards
  • An additional layer of security
  • Less likely to overspend

How to Use A Credit Card like a Debit Card?

Using a credit card like a debit card is simple. When you use your credit card to make a purchase, the card issuer pays for the transaction. You then pay the issuer back later. To treat your credit card like a debit card you must pay your balance in full to avoid paying any interest. Most importantly, you must be disciplined and not spend over your budget. Only spend based on what you have in your checking account.

In addition to avoiding interest charges, fees, and overspending, you can get started on maximizing your rewards. Using the right rewards credit card for your shopping habits is essential to earning the most miles, points, or cash back on your purchases. Do your research and really consider what kind of rewards credit card fits your lifestyle. Credit cards have many reward categories such as gas, groceries, travel, streaming services, and more. Consider the rewards category you do most of your spending on and choose a credit card that will reward your spending habits.

An advantage you will have when using your credit card as your debit card is building credit and fraud protection. Credit cards have built-in added security features that will guarantee your money back if you fall victim to credit card fraud. Additionally, paying off your balance in full and on time will help build you a stronger credit score. Make sure to keep your credit utilization in mind when building credit too.

Tips in Summary

  • Don’t spend more than you can afford.
  • Don’t make a purchase if you don’t have sufficient funds in your bank account to pay for it.
  • Always pay your bill on time.
  • Always pay your full statement balance.
  • Understand your credit card APR and card-associated fees.
  • Use a credit card for online purchases to take advantage of stronger fraud protection.

Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards for Groceries & Delivery Services

Featured image by Bulatovic/Getty Images

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Jeannyn Gomez
Jeannyn Gomez

Jeannyn is the Content Management Assistant for In addition to serving on all aspects of social media and spreading the word on expert credit and personal finance advice, Jeannyn finds herself on quests for humor, supernatural phenomena, and conspiracy theories for fun.

Advertiser Disclosure

BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.