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If given a choice by your credit union (avoid for-profit-banks, go with credit unions), choose a fee free credit card over a debit card. Debit cards draw directly from your money, and if pilfered can wipe you out; whereas, credit cards you are usually limited to a $50 loss if reported right away.
Credit cards also cover you in case you have a dispute...We were able to avoid a several thousand dollar loss on a trip when the cruise line went bankrupt right after 9/11. Had we paid by debit card, it would have been our loss. Thanks, American Express !
I use cash instead of debit cards or credit cards. When I go shopping for a specific item I decide what my budget is and use cash. I know in the end the cc or debit card $$ are coming from the same place, but handing over the cash makes me think about every purchase.
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