World Book Logo Building Blocks

Debit vs. Credit Cards

During this activity, students will sort facts about debit and credit cards. After sorting, students will apply what they know to provide advice for scenarios related to debit and credit cards.

National Standards of Personal Financial Education


Students will be able to explain the differences between debit and credit cards.

Students will be able to apply knowledge of debit and credit cards as well as other financial literacy concepts to specific situations in order to offer good advice.


• Building Blocks of Finance books

• Copies of the Debit Card vs. Credit Card Sort Cards

• Scissors

• Debit and Credit Card Scenario Cards

• Optional: Debit and Credit Card Scenario Worksheet

• Optional: paper and glue to create a final product for display


  1. Download and print the sort cards, sort answer key, scenario cards, and scenario worksheet from the materials section.
  2. Part A: Sort: Explain and/or model how to complete a sort. Explain that students will sort facts about debit cards and credit cards. They should use what they know along with any information from the Building Blocks of Finance books to determine whether the facts are about debit or credit cards. Provide time for students to complete the sort, either independently or in pairs.

    a. Use scissors to cut out the Debit Card vs. Credit Card Sort Cards

    b. Place the Debit Card and Credit Card headings at the top of your workspace.

    c. Read through the cards and place them under the correct headings. You can skip some and come back later if you need to!

    d. Check your work using the Answer Key.

    e. Optional: Use glue to create a final product to display your sort and your thinking!

  3. Part B: Scenarios: Explain to students that some familiar faces are trying to decide if they should get a debit card or a credit card. Students will need to read each scenario, consider the facts, and give some advice!

    a. Option 1: Use the Scenario Cards to read each scenario to the entire class. Have students think, pair, and share what advice they would provide in each scenario. Choose a few students to share their group’s thinking with the class.

    b. Option 2: Use the Scenario Cards as part of a movement activity. Print them out and tape them around the room. Have individuals or pairs of students approach each scenario, read and discuss, and leave advice on a sticky note.

    c. Option 3: Use the Scenario Worksheet for a more traditional application activity. Provide students time to read each scenario and determine the best advice to give. After providing students with work time, discuss at least one solution for each scenario as a class.