Standup Intro: Debit cards are used to purchase more than 1 trillion dollars of goods and services every year: good news for banks, but not necessarily good news for consumers. Bankrate.com explains…

Voice over 1: Using plastic has become so accepted its hard to imagine shopping without it. And now you even have a choice of which plastic to use: a debit card or a credit card.

Voice over 2: More than a trillion dollars is now put on debit cards every year. So they?re certainly popular. But are they better than credit cards?

Voice over 3: If you carry a balance on your credit card, or have trouble with debt, a debit card is obviously your plastic of choice. But if you don?t carry a balance or pay an annual fee, you?re better off with a credit card.

Voice over 4: There are three reasons why. First, debit transactions take the money out of your account immediately. Using a credit card allows you to earn interest on your money until the bill comes.

Voice over 5: Second, people who use debit cards are more likely to overdraw their accounts. According to Consumer?s Union, a person using a debit card more than 20 times a year pays an average of $223 in bounced check fees. The one who doesn?t use a debit card at all pays an average of $40.

Voice over 6: Finally, a credit card gives you greater protection if something goes wrong with your purchase, and exposes you to less potential liability if its lost or stolen.

Suggested Anchor Tag: If you live on a plastic diet, you?re probably better off with a no-fee, no balance credit card than you are with a debit card. But remember, there?s nothing wrong with paying with good old cash either. For Bankrate.com, I?m Kristin Arnold.