Plastic can still pay you back, but this plastic comes with a bit of extra weight: interest rates.
McBride says credit card rewards programs can often be more than twice as rewarding as debit card rewards programs. While some debit programs pay as little as a quarter of a percent, McBride says that a 1 percent reward ratio for credit cards is easily attainable.
Bankrate's 2011 Credit Card Rewards Survey shows some programs extend well above that 1 percent cash-back ratio. Some programs offer as much as 5 percent cash back in certain spending categories.
However, McBride warns that carrying any balance on a credit card will quickly negate any rewards points.
"The key with credit card rewards is that you must pay the balance in full every month," McBride says.