Let’s Count the Many Ways to Pay
As Well As The Pros & Cons of Each
Whether you’re buying groceries or gas, shopping online or at a local business, paying the babysitter or the utility bills, there are many options for paying your bills. Heritage Bank offers customers a wide range of payment options. From cash to payment through a person-to-person app, from automatic withdrawals from your deposit accounts to rewards credit cards, Heritage Bank makes it possible to pay in the way that fits your finances and lifestyle.
Let’s count the ways to pay, then review the pros and cons of each.
Advantages: It’s legal tender in all 50 states. It’s portable. Plus, you only spend what you have on hand, placing some controls on your spending if you are someone prone to impulsive purchases.
Disadvantages: If cash is lost or stolen, it’s difficult to recover. There is no paper trail, so if you need proof of purchase, you’ll need to keep track of receipts. Plus, you can’t shop online.
How to access: To access cash when you need it, Heritage Bank offers more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide and closer to home. You can also withdraw money from our branches during operating hours. If you need to withdraw several thousand dollars, it’s wise to call ahead a day or so in advance to ensure the branch has your cash on hand. Learn more.
2. Person-to-Person Payments
Zelle® is how money moves. Heritage Bank customers can use Zelle® through digital banking to send money directly to people our customers trust. The account can be tied to a deposit account.
Advantages: It’s an easy way to reimburse friends and family for your share of a purchase. It’s an easy way to pay the dog walker and other very small businesses.
Disadvantages: Your deposits must be sufficient to cover any payments you make. You must be confident that the person to whom you are sending money is trustworthy. Only use Zelle® with people you know. Learn more.
3. Contactless Pay
Advantages: Paying with your smart phone is convenient and safe. It is also contactless, making it unnecessary to carry your card with you when you have your smart phone and allowing you to avoid touching unfamiliar surfaces.
Whether you use an Android or an Apple smart phone, just follow the instructions on your device to link your Heritage Bank Mastercard® Debit Card or Heritage Bank Mastercard® Credit Card to Heritage Mobile Pay. When you use mobile pay, your card number is encrypted, providing an extra layer of security to your purchases.
Disadvantages: Although more and more retailers are offering contactless pay, there are still brick and mortar establishments that will not accept contactless pay or mobile pay. Look for the symbol below if you are unsure.
Also, if you struggle with overspending on credit cards, mobile pay can be fuel to the fire. Once it’s as easy to pay by pulling out your smartphone while shopping at your favorite store or buying online with a few taps, you might find it even harder to check your spending. Learn more.
4. Rewards Credit Card
Advantages: Rewards cards enable you to earn points toward travel and shopping for everyday purchases. In addition, credit cards are widely accepted at brick-and-mortar businesses as well as online.
Because credit card transactions are tracked electronically, it is possible to look into suspicious charges, track your spending and contact a vendor if you have a question about your purchase. Credit cards also provide time to pay later, giving you a little cashflow in tight weeks. Also, many people set up reoccurring bills to be paid by credit cards to ensure bills are paid on time and they earn points for these payments.
Disadvantages: Interest rates for rewards card are generally on the high side, so to avoid racking up interest, you need to pay off the rewards card each month. Also, you need to take advantage of the security measures your bank and credit card vendor offer to protect yourself against fraud.
Some people find credit cards hard to manage. The very attributes that make the card so convenient can also tempt you to spend more than you can afford. Also, although many, many businesses accept credit cards, there are some mom-and-pop businesses that do not. Most babysitters and vendors at festivals prefer cash or direct person to person payment like Zelle®. Learn more.
5. Lower Interest Credit Cards
Advantages: Lower interest credit cards carry many of the same advantages of rewards card. They are widely accepted at most retailers and purchases are documented for record keeping, spending analysis or dispute. Lower interest credit cards also let you carry a small balance without heavy interest at times when your cashflow is restricted.
Disadvantages: Without self-discipline, credit card debit can overwhelm your financial security and damage your credit score. Also, banks and credit card companies offer security tools to protect users against fraud, but the customer must put these tools to work to benefit. Finally, not all transactions can be completed with a credit card. Learn more.
6. Debit Cards
Advantages: Debit cards are tied directly to your deposit accounts with a bank, giving you the advantages of credit cards – security, convenience, purchase tracking – along with the spending restraints inherent in restricting purchases to the money available on account. Debit cards are also portable, making it easier to pay while traveling or just running errands locally.
Disadvantages: You cannot charge purchases that will result in overdrawing your account, so if you want to pay for something before your next paycheck, you might not be able to use the debit card. Also, some people find it confusing to track checks and debit card charges, resulting in unintentional overdrawn deposit accounts.
As with credit cards, debit cards do not accommodate some small person to person or mom and pop transactions. Also, customers need to monitor their card transactions and take advantage of the anti-fraud and security tools banks make available to customers. Learn more.
7. Online Payments
Advantages: Your bank should offer easy, secure options for transferring funds online. Whether BillPay, Automated Clearing House (ACH) or wire transfers (a great option for large transfers such as the down payment for a home). These online options allow you to schedule payments so you do not forget to make payments on time and do so knowing the transfers are safe and traceable.
Disadvantages: Since these payments are generally tied to a deposit account, it is critical to ensure your account have sufficient funds to cover these transfers. Learn More.
Advantages: Although alternative payments have reduced the number of checks used by consumers, checks remain a viable way to pay bills. Utilities and retailers generally accept checks, and checks are an acceptable way to repay friends and family members. Even people who don’t go to a bank branch very often can deposit checks on their mobile devices. Also, your bank provides documentation of checks you’ve written for reference.
Disadvantages: Banks and other retailers generally require photo ID to accept a check as payment, and many retailers do not accept checks. Check books can be stolen, representing a risk for theft. Checks sent by mail require postage. If you run out of checks, you’ll need to ask the bank for counter checks or use alternative payment methods until new checks can be printed and delivered. Also, checks are not ideal for traveling. Finally, some people find it easier to overdraw their deposit accounts when writing checks if they do not carefully document what they are spending.
Contact any branch to order checks.