★ Rockstar Review: Debitize (Use Credit Cards Like Debit Cards!)
This is part of our Rockstar Reviews series.
Be sure to check out all previous products we’ve reviewed!
A Clever Way to Turn Your Credit Cards Into Debit Cards
I like to think of Debitize as the antithesis of temptation. The inverse of entrapment. The counter to bait. Okay, what exactly am I getting at here?
Debitize helps keep you out of credit card debt by creating a link between your credit cards and your bank account. It also pays your credit card bills for you. Simply use your cards as normal and let the Debitize system take care of the rest.
It’s a clever system that essentially turns your credit cards into debit cards, but without losing your credit card points. The temptation to run up mountains of credit debt instantly becomes tough.
Let’s take a look at how it works in detail below.
How Debitize Works
Debitize is easy to setup:
- First, sign up for an account with your email, name and a password.
- Connect your regular bank account, as well as each credit card that you use, to your Debitize profile online.
- Lastly, proceed to use your credit cards as you normally would.
That’s it. You’re done. Once your financial accounts are connected to your profile, proceed to do business like you normally would. Remember that Debitize does NOT issue you a credit card. You keep using your own cards on your own purchases. I like that it’s unobtrusive.
Every time you make a purchase with your credit card, Debitize will automatically transfer that amount of money from your bank account to your Debitize account.
Then, Debitize will proceed to pay your credit card bills for you by using the money that was transferred in throughout the month. Of course, you can adjust how much of your credit card bill will be paid off as well as the amount that Debitize transfers in. Though we all know paying off 100% of it is best!
But, stuff happens. Plans change. Money becomes tight.
What happens if you need access to money that has been transferred into your Debitize account? You can always transfer it straight back. Use this sparingly! Remember, the point is to keep out of credit card debt by retraining your mind to think differently about each purchase.
Retrain Your Mind
Rather than using your credit card to spend more money than you probably should, Debitize helps you to instantly (and automatically) “pay for” every expense charged to your credit card. Your bank account will shrink as you continue to spend, providing constant visibility into your financial situation.
This critical feedback helps you make better decisions about your money. It keeps you honest and makes the question “Do I have enough money to make this purchase?” much more obvious, and the peace of mind in knowing your finances is simply amazing.
Once we truly begin to understand our financial standing, money choices become easier to make!
It works. Check out this message our friend Jenny sent us when we went looking for people who have used Debitize before:
I’ve been on the path of budgeting and paying down my CC balances for about a year now, and started using Debitize at the start of the summer. IT IS LIFE CHANGING. I struggle with budgeting a little bit, bc I am the type that looks at my checking account and thinks that’s how much money I have to spend (I know its not the best mindset, it’s just how I am wired)! Enter cash/debit only diet, which was great, but I am neurotic about protecting my identity and missed out on that from a credit card. Then came debitize! Now I am much better about staying in my lanes, I check daily to make sure my debitize account is fully funded, and I NEVER worry about paying my balance, they take care of it for me! I’m happy to report I will be CC debt free on New Year’s Eve, and I give debitize a lot of credit for that :)
Congrats, Jenny! Though don’t forget it was YOU who ultimately took control ;)
Interview with Founder, Liran Amrany
I had the opportunity to ask one of the founders of Debitize some pointed, “hard hitting” questions about this service. Check it out!
1. I LOVE the idea. What spurred this on? Did something happen, or did a [mental] lightbulb go off that started this project?
The idea first came to me when I had two friends in the span of a week tell me they were switching from credit to debit. That made no sense to me at the time, because I’ve always used credit cards myself and I come from finance where all my colleagues would wait until the last date to pay their credit card bills.
After talking with these two friends of mine, I better understood how debit cards help people stay on top of their spending, and then did some more research to realize how large of a trend the move from credit to debit has been, especially among millennials.
I’m sure you’ve seen the numbers by now. According to some sources, close to 2/3 of millennials avoid credit cards. And it’s likely to cost them long-term if they don’t have a good credit score – not to mention the hundreds of dollars a year in cash back or points you’re missing out on. The solution seemed somewhat obvious: why not pay off your credit card purchases every day?
2. Do you personally use this service? How about your family? Friends?
Of course I do. Several of my family and friends do as well. Of the first 30 users, 25 of them were people that were pretty close to me or my co-founder. The others were people I had met through the startup community that were excited about what we were building and wanted to use it themselves, even at that early stage.
3. What do you say to people who may have trouble forking over their bank account information (privacy/security)?
Well I don’t blame them – it’s clearly sensitive information – but we are very careful with your info. We pass it directly to our data partner, Plaid. This is their business, and they are extremely dedicated to security. It’s also the same company that Betterment, Acorns, Venmo, and others use – so if you use any of those apps, Plaid already has your details. We don’t store any of that ourselves on our server, and we also don’t allow any functionality for anyone to move money from any of your accounts to someone else’s.
That being said, we don’t want anyone to do anything that makes them uncomfortable. I’d likely never convince my mother to do this for that exact reason, which is totally fine.
4. For those of us who already have a strong handle on staying out of credit card debt, can your service still help?
Absolutely – I’ve personally never had an issue with credit card debt, but still missed a couple payments in the past – which means it either costs me $35 or I have to waste 20 minutes calling and asking to waive the fee for me. No more late fees with Debitize! Plus even if you’re not worried about credit card debt, many of our users just find it easier to keep track of their spending when the funds come out daily instead of at the end of the month. It makes you more aware of how much you are spending and gives you peace of mind.
Also, our new Credit Optimizer feature helps you build credit even faster by making an extra payment (in addition to paying off your bill) to pay your balance down to 1% of your credit limit right before your issuer reports your utilization (30% of your FICO score) to the credit bureaus. Go ahead and check the impact for you on Credit Karma’s Score Simulator – for many people, it’s easily a 30+ point boost in their credit score.
5. How many customers (a range is okay) use this service?
We’re in the multiple thousands (and growing!).
6. Can this service help me to pay off my mortgage faster? Pretty please?!?
Not yet, but that’s certainly where we’re eventually taking this! Mortgage, student loans, personal loans – we’ll help you pay them down quickly and optimally. And we’re also going to help you cover other expenses like rent, tuition, utilities, insurance payments, and more.
Interested in checking out Debitize?
Sign up here (it’s free)!
(Rockstar readers get a $10 credit towards their next credit card bill!)
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