10 Currency and coins are the “old school” way to pay—but still a good pay- ment option, especially for making small in-person purchases. The advantage to using cash is a psychological one—people tend to spend less with currency than with plastic (which for many, doesn’t seem like “real money”). The disadvantage of cash is that there’s nothing you can do when it’s lost or stolen, and there’s no online record of your purchases or payments (which is why you want to save receipts for all cash payments). Cash Although less popular these days, checks are still widely used—and are sometimes the required form of payment. When you rent an apartment, you often need to write a check for the security deposit and for each month's rent. Some smaller retailers prefer cash or checks to avoid credit card charges, and many people simply like paying bills by check. Personal Checks Debit Credit ATM Get cash out of ATMs Can use for purchases X Charges interest X X Affects credit rating X X Connected to bank account X Comparing Card Features With all of the "plastic" options today, it can be very confusing. Here is a quick comparison of debit cards, credit cards, and ATM cards.