Debit cards allow people to pay over the phone, online, and at gas pumps without having to go in places. It allows you the freedom of a credit card without the interest and spending only what you have which can help prevent debt. Debit cards are a good alternative to have.
It is a good idea to have a debit card. They are a lot easier and more convenient to use then checks and the money comes directly out of your checking account. They are a lot better then using a credit card that will have to be paid back to the borrower.
I love my debit card. The idea for me is to have a convenient way to access my money without having all my money on me. I do not like checks, they are bulky and if someone snags one, its easy to miss. With debit cards, all transactions are recorded and help you account for every dollar spent. If your card gets stolen and used, banks are very helpful in returning stolen funds and shutting down the card so no more damage is done. If its cash that was stolen, banks do not reimburse stolen cash, and there is no way to trace the money or stop the thief from spending it all once he has it. Debit cards are certainly a better way to handle money.
Yes, I think in this day and age, it is almost essential to have a debit card. With the advent of Internet shopping, and POS electronic till systems, it is going to become increasingly difficult to opt to pay with cash. People without a debit card are in danger of becoming second class citizens.
The bad news is that using a debit card is just not as safe as using a credit card — even after new rules went into effect to restrict overdraft charges caused by debit purchases. What makes using a debit card so dicey? Some hotels put a "hold" on money in your account.