Alternatives To Credit Cards: Our Favourite Picks

by Finance 17 April 2024

Alternatives To Credit Cards

Remember when you were just starting out? There was a certain thrill in receiving your first credit card. That plastic rectangle in your wallet conferred “adult” status, providing your promise to pay. Whatever it might be, you need an alternatives to credit cards now. And Steve Streit, who helped popularize the prepaid debit card industry, can attest, there are other methods of personal finance. Let’s explore them.

But then life happened. Emergency situations cannot be avoided in life. You might fall ill or a family member, this can rank up a bill which can lead to a huge credit card debt.

You might lose your job and be unable to pay the credit card loan leading to not only a bad credit score for life but also a debt. Credit cards can be extremely risky for people with bad financial management skills.

Top Alternatives To Credit Cards For You

Top Alternatives To Credit Cards For You

These are several alternatives to credit cards from cash to P2P, keep read to learn all the alternatives to credit cards.

1. Cash

Not a fan of credit cards? Looking for alternatives to credit cards then keeping cash in hand is the best alternative. The most traditional and safe alternative to credit cards is cash.

Most age groups are comfortable with the exchange of services using cash. Although we live in a time where QR scanning is the norm, cash is much easier to manage. Using cash helps you track your money and avoid over spending. 

When you use credit cards or QR scans you tend to lose sight of the money you are spending. As one cannot carry loads of cash everywhere, unnecessary spending or wishfull spending is also limited. 

You only spend your cash for things you need and that helps you stay on budget. In the USA, 23 million people have some kind of loan. So, avoid excess buying at the cost of taking out a loan to survive the rest of the month by using cash.

2. Online Payment Systems

Not a fan of carrying cash or credit cards? Then we have another alternative for you that you might find useful. We are talking about online payment systems which makes payment so much easier.

PayPal and Venmo are just a few of the digital payment methods that allow you to pay bills. You can use an online digital payment method to send and receive money to anyone within seconds.  With some systems, such as PayPal, you can even spread payments out over time, just as you would with a credit card.

A modern payment option for people who don’t wish to carry cash or cards. With a few clicks or a scan your payment is done. This method of payment is extremely helpful during emergencies and when paying bills. 

You don’t have to travel anywhere to pay your bills. Payment can be done from anywhere be it office or home or while on road. You can shop online without using your card instead of making online payments.

3. E-wallets

Electronic wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet enable you to pay digitally. Similar to systems like PayPal, an electronic wallet holds and transfers funds, just like a physical wallet, and can be used both in person and with your smartphone.

4. Debit Cards

Don’t like credit cards due to constant worrying about payments? Do credit cards give you stress as you constantly worry about missing the deadline for payments? Yet you love the efficiency of carrying a credit card?

Then why don’t you use debit cards. In contrast to credit cards, you don’t need to worry about payment deadlines. As debit cards make payments directly from your bank account. So if you don’t have money no payments can go across so, No “buy now, pay later” option.

Again you can use a debit card to withdraw money from any ATM anywhere directly from your bank account.

5. Extra: the Debit Card that Builds Credit

Because debit cards do not allow you to finance a purchase and pay over time, they can’t be used to help you build your credit score. However, the Extra Debit Card is different: it allows you to build credit and earn rewards, just like a credit card. Bonus: because it’s a debit card, there’s no credit check to apply.

6. Personal Loan

Do you need a loan? Don’t want to ruin your credit score by taking a loan through your credit card? Then choose this alternative to credit cards. Take a personal loan from a bank or a family member who is willing to loan you the money.

You can also ask your trusted friend for a loan. Personal loan usually needs some kind of collateral such as your home or even a bank account will help you get a decent interest rate.

While it can be risky taking a personal loan especially in case of a default loan as your collateral gets seized yet it’s the best option if you want to avoid a bad credit score. Or if you have a bad credit score but still need a loan.

7. Gift cards

Gifts cards are another way you can make payments or while gifting your family and friends on special occasions. 

While a gift card does not necessarily fall to another promising alternative to credit cards, it does the job of specific payments.

You can use gift cards to get car repairs or washes or buy clothes in stores with store specific gift cards. 

8. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Loans

One of the easy alternatives to credit cards is peer-to-peer loans also known as P2P loans. Don’t feel comfortable asking for money from your friends and family? Then try the P2P loans. 

This kind of loan comes from consumers directly into your bank. Credible, AmONE, Happy Money, Rocket, and LendingTree, are some of the P2P loan platforms you can borrow money from. 

This platform lets you borrow money based on your credit rating and the amount of money you need. But why would consumers lend their money to you through P2P loans? It is because of the interest they will earn over time on the loaned amount.

The interest has no fixed interest and the interest is negotiated between you and the lender. So the interest can be high or low depending on the lender. Again, P2P loans can go up to 12% or as low as 2% but all depends on the lender and your loan amount.


The ways to pay for goods and services are proliferating faster than you can say, “ease of payment.” It’s only a matter of time before all transactions take place through a retinal scan or voiceprint!

Now that you know some of the alternatives to credit cards, let us know which alternative to credit cards is more to your liking.

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Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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