Should I Used A Debit Card or A Credit Card?

Using a credit card to make an online purchase

Should I use a Debit Card or a Credit Card?

Most of us carry at least two pieces of plastic to pay for things – a debit card and a credit card. But what’s the difference between the two?

To begin with, think of it this way: With a credit card, you’re borrowing someone else’s money to make a purchase, but you’ll have to pay it back. With a debit card you’re pulling money directly from your own bank account. It’s the difference between taking out a short-term loan or spending only what you have.

So which one is better?

Let’s just say, ‘it depends.’

Debit Cards

Using a debit card is like writing a check. You’re spending money from your account for goods or services. If you don’t have enough money in your account, the debit will be turned down. If you do, money is deducted from your account almost in real time. Debit cards can also be used at ATMs or to get cash back at places like grocery stores. These cards can be great to help keep you from spending more money than you actually have and they can be great for in-store purchases.

Learn more about your Cornerstone Bank debit card and it’s features by visiting the Debit Card Page.

Debit Card Tip: Carrying a debit card is safer than carrying cash. If you need cash you can always use your debit card at an ATM to make a withdrawal.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can be perfect for large purchases because you’re borrowing someone else’s money for a short period of time. They also come with some liability protections and benefits that most debit cards don’t have. These benefits might range from cash back, to points for airline miles or lodging. Benefits can also include extended warranties or rental car insurance. Because of these protections, using a credit card for rentals or online purchases can be safer than using a debit card.

While both card types offer ways to dispute a purchase, your credit card issuer is trying to get its money back from a merchant. With a debit card dispute the money that came from your account is gone and unavailable for use until the dispute is resolved.

That doesn’t mean credit cards don’t come with drawbacks. If you have trouble controlling your spending or paying your account bill on time, it can be costly. That’s because interest is charged on bills that aren’t paid in full by the end of each billing period. You could also face a late fee. The longer you take to pay off the bill, the more you’ll pay in interest charges.

It’s also quite possible that credit cards that offer rewards will charge you an annual fee, whereas debit cards often come free with an account at your financial institution.

Learn more about our Cornerstone Bank Credit Cards and find the right fit for you by visiting our Credit Cards Page. Or to apply click here. 

Credit Card Tip: When used responsibly, credit cards are a great tool to help you build your credit score.

So which one should you use?

While credit cards generally come with more protections, you’ll want to make sure you pay them off as fast a possible to avoid paying interest charges. Responsible use of a credit card can also help build your credit score.

Debit cards, on the other hand, can be great for in-store purchases and are good for people who want to limit spending to only what is in their account.

Either way, experts recommend that you always monitor your accounts online and to report any discrepancies immediately. You should report a lost or stolen card immediately.

No matter what card you use, be sure to take the time to read about your protections and rights as a cardholder.

To find the right product and learn more about the different types of cards visit with a banker today! 

Bollingberg Joins Board

Bollingberg joins board

Bollingberg joins Cornerstone Bank Board

Karl Bollingberg has joined the Cornerstone Bank Corporate Board of Directors bringing extensive knowledge from 36 years in banking.

“I am pleased to welcome Karl Bollingberg to our Corporate Board of Directors,” says Chairman Gary Petersen. “Karl is a great addition to our organization with his broad experience and immense value.”

Bollingberg’s Background

Recently retired from Alerus Financial, Bollingberg has worked in a variety of roles including Loan Participation Advisor, Director of Lending, Director of Banking Services, Market Manager, and Director of New Business Development. He is an elected member and Vice Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines representing stockholders in the state on North Dakota. Bollingberg also serves as Chairman for the Bank of North Dakota Advisory Board and is the past Chairman for the Grand Forks Regional Economic Development Corporation. He has been active in numerous other civic organizations and has taken part in church mission trips to Honduras.

“I am very excited to join the Cornerstone Bank Corporate Board,” says Bollingberg. “Cornerstone has a long history of being a strong community bank and has so much potential going forward.”

A native of North Dakota, Bollingberg graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural economics and subsequently completed the graduate school of banking. Bollingberg currently lives in Grand Forks with his wife, Twila. They have three grown children.

Learn more about us!

Grave Named CFO of Cornerstone Bank

Brian Grave

Brian Grave named Chief Financial Officer of Cornerstone Bank

Brian Grave has joined Cornerstone Bank as the Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer in Fargo. He brings over 25 years of accounting experience and 23 of those years are in the financial services industry.

Originally, from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, Grave graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a degree in Accounting. He currently resides in West Fargo with his wife, two kids and their three pets. In his spare time, Grave enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, and riding his motorcycle.

Grave gives back his time to many community organizations including the Fargo Lions Club and Lions Club International, The Village Family Service Center, United Way and Prairie Public Radio.

“I am pleased to welcome Brian to the Cornerstone Bank Team,” says President/CEO Jeff Thomas. “His broad experience in various aspects of financial services is a great fit with our growing organization.”

See the full list of Cornerstone Bank’s leadership by visiting the Leadership Page.

Wentz to Lead Cornerstone Bank Minot Location

Minot Team

Cornerstone Bank has opened a loan and deposit production office in Minot with an experienced team of community bankers.

Grant Wentz is leading the team as SVP Market President. A graduate of North Dakota State University, he brings over 30 years of banking experience.

Wentz has extensive knowledge in providing financial services to business, personal, and agriculture banking clients. A great fit with Cornerstone Bank’s mission of giving straight answers and the best possible financial options. Wentz enjoys working with clients to understand their financial situation and recommending options to meet those needs.

Joining Wentz

Joining Wentz at Cornerstone’s Minot office are VP Ag/Business Banker Mike Vendsel, VP Business Banker Jason Bentley, and AVP Business Banking Associate Tracy Brown.

Vendsel has over 30 years of banking experience. He brings a wealth of knowledge from working alongside business owners and agriculture producers through the ups and downs of their operations.

Bentley brings over 20 years of banking experience specializing in business and agriculture. He values his role as a neighbor and contributor to his community as an active member with the Boy Scouts, Lions Club, Y’s Men, Downtown Business and Professional Association, and Renaissance Zone Board.

With over 20 years of experience, Brown knows the ins and outs of business and agriculture loans. She will provide support to both clients and the banking team to help meet the needs of our customers.

“It’s very exciting to join the Cornerstone team and even more so to have Cornerstone Bank entering the Minot market,” Said Wentz. “The team and I feel a strong connection with Cornerstone’s company values and history. Collectively, we bring over 100 years of experience and are thrilled to put that to work helping Cornerstone Bank customers.”

With roots back to 1936, Cornerstone Bank continues to grow.

Now with locations in 10 communities across North and South Dakota, this growth is consistent with Cornerstone Bank’s vision of helping people make important decisions about their money.

Cornerstone Bank Chairman Gary Petersen said, “Minot fits perfectly into our footprint. It’s adjacent to some of our existing markets with long histories. This expansion into Minot allows us to welcome more clients to the Cornerstone Family and to welcome more experts to the Cornerstone Team.”

Celebrating 15 Years and a New Building in Bismarck

N 12th St Bismarck

Cornerstone Bank celebrates 15 years and a new building in Bismarck.

Cornerstone Bank has a new bank building in Bismarck, but that doesn’t mean we are new to town. We have been proudly serving the Bismarck/Mandan community for 15 years.

“Our new bank is a demonstration of our continued commitment to the Bismarck and Mandan communities, our customers, and our team members,” said Gary Petersen, Cornerstone Bank Chairman.

In the fall of 2020, we broke ground on a new home in Bismarck. We are excited to be settled in and serving customers in our new bank located at 1806 North 12th Street. “We’re proud to reinvest in this great community,” said Kristin Melby, Bismarck Market President.  “Our new bank allows us to better serve our customers and team members well into the future.”

Let’s Celebrate!

Join us all week May 23rd – 27th as we celebrate our 15 year anniversary and new home.

An official ribbon cutting will take place on Monday, May 23rd at 4:00pm in the lobby of the new bank to kick off the week of celebration. And each day we will have have a special celebration.

Monday: Kaity Kakes Cupcakes will be served in the Lobby

Tuesday: Grilled Hot dog/Brat Grab-n-Go Lunch Served by your favorite Cornerstone Team Members

Wednesday: It’s wild how much we’ve grown! Start your garden, by stopping by to pick up a variety of flower and herb seeds

Thursday: Popcorn Bar

Friday: A sweet ending to a great week, with an Assorted Candy Buffet and Grilled Hot dog/Brat Grab-n-Go Lunch!

To stay up to date with the week’s happening keep an eye on our Facebook Page. 

Click here to see our Bismarck Team! 


Paying Debts and Learning to Save

Couple opening Savings Account

Paying Debits and Learning to Save Money Can Reduce Your Financial Worries.

‘Don’t worry, be happy’ is great advice, but it isn’t easy to follow when it comes to experiencing financial issues. Many of us worry about money – how much we owe, why we can’t save enough – and that doesn’t make us happy. High on the list of financial concerns for many people are bills that need to be paid – especially credit card debt, loans and health-care costs. By paying debts and learning how to save many people can find relief from financial stress.

“If you have a lot of debt, it makes it harder to save money for emergencies, long-terms goals, and vacations,” says Morgan Anderson, Personal Banker.

Paying Debts

The more money you owe the deeper the hole feels, and interest costs can add up quickly if you are only making minimum payments. To make it worse, missing payments can hurt your credit rating, making it more difficult to get a loan in the future.

Morgan says the key is to pay off those bills as soon as you can. She also suggests making more than the minimum payments whenever possible and paying off loans or credit card balances with the highest interest rates first.

“By only making the minimum payment each month, you will end up paying more in interest charges over time,” explains Morgan. “And the higher the interest rate is, the more it will inevitably cost you.”

Learning to Save Money

The wise move here is to work on paying off your debts first, then start saving. Building an emergency fund is important because that money can be used instead of having to borrow money for unexpected expenses such as replacing a broken refrigerator or medical expenses. When it comes to your health, Morgan also recommends having health insurance to help offset the high costs of care.

Take the time to figure out how to balance your income and your expenses. As well as prioritizing your needs and wants. Many people find it’s easier to automate monthly fixed expenses and savings deposits. That’s because you can set up automatic payments at your financial institution to pay those expenses. After that if you have leftover money, you can automatically direct it into savings accounts. Be sure to also take advantage of employer matches for retirement funds; it’s essentially free money and can make a big difference over time.

Then, once you find the balance between paying debts and saving for the future, you’ll worry less and smile more.

Visit with one of our expert bankers today!

Pilch Retires from Cornerstone Bank, Hickel and Rush Promoted

Pilch Retires, Hickel and Rush Promoted

Jerry Pilch retires from Cornerstone Bank.

After a distinguished career of nearly 40 years in banking, Jerry Pilch will retire on March 31, 2022. Throughout his career, Pilch worked in various roles including Bank President, Senior Commercial Lender, and Certified Trust Financial Advisor. He joined Cornerstone Bank in 2017 as SVP Market President in Parshall.

“I have truly enjoyed the last five years with Cornerstone Bank, especially working with our great clients,” Pilch stated.

Gary Petersen, Chairman of Cornerstone Bank said, “Jerry has been the expert many have turned to when making important decisions about their money. His agricultural and commercial lending experience has made a positive impact on Cornerstone Bank and the Parshall community. I congratulate Jerry on his retirement.”

Hickel and Rush Promoted

Todd Hickel, SVP Ag/Business Banker, will continue serving Ag and business customers in addition to now serving as Market Manager in Parshall. Hickel joined Cornerstone Bank in September 2021 with over 17 years of Ag banking experience in addition to experience as a Landman and a Trust Officer.

Kathy Rush will continue to help customers with their financial needs as the VP Retail Manager. Rush joined Cornerstone Bank as a Customer Service Representative in September 2009. She was later promoted to Banking Associate and then Customer Service Supervisor.

Jeff Reiter, SVP Market President in New Town, will now also serve as Market President for Parshall, Plaza and Makoti.

To see the full Parshall team visit our Meet the team page.

Roth Joins Cornerstone Bank

Roth joins Cornerstone Bank

Logan Roth joins Cornerstone Bank as an AVP Business Banker in Sioux Falls.

Logan Roth joins Cornerstone Bank as an AVP Business Banker in Sioux Falls. Originally from Salem, South Dakota, Roth graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Accounting. After graduation he earned his postgraduate credits at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Roth brings with him over 8 years of banking experience. He also give back to his community by serving on the Board of Directors for Unite Church and the McCook Country Club. Roth currently lives in Salem, South Dakota with his wife, Amanda and three kids. He likes to spend time outdoors hunting and fishing as well as on the golf course.

Set up an appointment with Logan today! 

Bohn Joins Cornerstone Insurance Services

Erica Bohn joins Cornerstone Insurance Services

Bohn Joins Cornerstone Insurance Services

Erica Bohn joins Cornerstone Insurance Services as an agent in Watford City. She holds her licensing in property and casualty insurance.

“I became an insurance agent to help people navigate their insurance needs and provide them with peace of mind. It is my goal to help clients understand their insurance policies and provide them with the coverage they need,” Bohn says. “McKenzie County is so special and close to my heart, I look forward to serving this community!”

Originally, from Linton, North Dakota, Bohn currently lives in Watford City with her husband, Colt. Together they have four daughters Annabelle, Sudora, Zamira, and Lenora. In her free time, you will find her volunteering as a coach for youth basketball, volunteering at her community church, reading, or traveling with her family.

To see our full list of insurance offerings visit our Insurance Page.

Melby Named Top 25 Women in Business

Krsitine Melby talking with customer

Kristine Melby named a Top 25 Women in Business

Kristine Melby has been named one of Prairie Business Magazine’s Top 25 Women in business for 2022. Melby’s 25 year career in banking started back in college where she worked as a teller while attending Minnesota State Moorhead.

Shortly after graduating with her Finance and Marketing degree, Melby moved into consumer lending. After about a year, she began in business banking. She has spent a majority of her years in banking working in business development.

“I truly enjoy listening to business owners tell ‘their’ story and share their goals for future success,” said Melby. “I now measure my success on how successful our team members are in contributing to our customers’ financial success.”

During her time as market president she focuses the importance of understanding what the customer’s needs are. And helping her team understand how to meet the needs of their customers.

Melby is a strong believer in family first. Outside of the bank she is an active member of her community volunteering whenever she can in the classroom, on the volleyball court, and at her church. She also serves on the YMCA, Bismarck State College Foundation, and the Young Professionals Advisory Board.

Top 25 Women in Business by Prairie Business Magazine.

Every year Prairie Business Magazine comes out with their list of the Top 25 Women in Business. And is meant to draw attention to the many successful businesswomen in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Western Minnesota. This lists gives an opportunity to highlight the impact women have on their communities and within their businesses. This year includes women from across many different backgrounds including banking, health care, and manufacturing.

“Prairie Business is excited to announce the recipients for the 2022 Top 25 Women in Business,” says Andrew Weeks, editor of Prairie Business. “We thank each of them for their contributions in the region and congratulate them for being among this year’s Top 25. “

Click here to see the full list and read more about Kristine and the other honorees.