If you go back 10 or 20 years, I would venture that most people would say that paying in cash was the most convenient way to pay for purchases. Fast-forward to today, and I think that cash payers would be in the minority. Just having to go to a bank or ATM machine is a hassle, especially when you don’t really need to do it anymore. Here are my thoughts on the most convenient ways to pay today.
I think a credit card is the best way you can pay, and for sure the most convenient. Almost everywhere I shop takes credit cards, and a quick swipe is all that is needed for payment. I like to get the rewards for my purchases as well, so I always use my rewards credit card to maximize this. Paying with cash gets me no rewards (and most places charge the same whether cash or card). To find the best credit cards, you can compare credit cards online at Totally Money, and so you can use the best card for the rewards as well.
The next easiest way to pay, if you don’t have a credit card, is to use a debit card. Just like a credit card, it swipes at the register, but unlike a credit card, the money comes out of your checking account. This is a great solution if credit isn’t your thing. Some debit cards (albeit very few) do offer cash back rewards or other incentives for using their debit cards.
Online payments are now starting to make their way into the brick and mortar payment business. In fact, I was in Home Depot the other day, and you can use PayPal to checkout. You just login to your account at the self-checkout machine, and you’re done. Quick and easy.
I think as more and more people use smart phones, this will become the more mainstream way to pay. For example, you can use Google Wallet some places to checkout using your phone already, which is very convenient.