Suppose I need cash. Suppose I also need groceries. I go grocery shopping, and when it comes time to check out I also use that neat cash back thing, where I "spend" $20 off my debit card, and get $20 in cash immediately.

This answer lists some pros and cons of doing so, but the only cons mentioned relate to cash itself (i.e. I can lose it, there may not be a record of my purchases, etc.). My question is this; what are the disadvantages of using the cash back option at grocery stores besides those inherent in cash?

  • When I used my credit card at groceries, it sometimes gives me this option as well. I've never used it, but I guess that my CC company might charge me at a higher rate.
    – edocetirwi
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


The main disadvantage is if you buy things on your credit card (and presumably get cash somewhere else), you may get reward points/miles/cash back etc. while debit card benefits may not be as generous. Depends on your card.

Another disadvantage of cash back is budgeting/record keeping; if you download transactions or look at them in Mint, you'll see a single transaction for $58 on groceries instead of $38 on groceries plus $20 in cash. If you get your cash back at an ATM you will know that whole transaction is cash withdrawal.

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