As if deciding what you buy and where to buy it wasn’t hard enough, you also have to decide how you want to buy something. Debit versus credit, check or good old-fashioned cash. Decisions decisions. Turns out managing your money and your payment methods can be stressful! And don’t even get us started on fraud. Let’s assume you don’t want to deal with going to the ATM and you forgot your checkbook (true and true). Let’s focus on debit versus credit, since that’s how most of us shop anyway. How do you know what to do when it’s time to swipe?

There are many benefits to both forms of payment, you just have to know what those perks are and when they apply to you. Ready to be a smarter shopper? Here are some things to consider so you get the most bang for your buck and the most protection when you pay.

1. Paying with a credit card can help your credit score.
When it comes to charge cards, one of the fastest ways to improve your credit score is to use your credit card and then pay off your balance on time each month. It seems obvious—if you pay your bills you will be rewarded with good credit. Duh. But some of us think if we don’t use our credit card we will be better off. Not so. The more you use your credit card (within reason), the better your credit will be. Just make sure that you’re spending within your means.

Read Related: The Art of Having ‘Cred: 15 Credit Card Tactics Everyone Should Employ