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Helpful Hints & Tips about Debit Card Use
Did you know that there are some transactions where it is a best practice to use something other than your debit card to complete the transaction? In many cases, an alternate form of payment can serve as an effective deterrent to cyber-crimes such as identity theft. For your benefit, here is a quick list some places where it is suggested to consider using an alternate form of payment.
1. Online shopping or any e-commerce transaction: Online shopping poses an extreme risk to checking account balances versus the risk associated with the use of a credit card.
2. Big-ticket purchases: A credit card generally offers greater dispute rights with incorrect or damaged merchandise.
3. Restaurants: Paying your bill at a restaurant often requires your card to leave your sight. While this is never a good practice, it is typically less risky to use a credit card than your debit card due to the heightened ability to handle disputes.
4. Hotels: Hotels may place holds on available funds in your checking account to cover potential charges that you may not have settled upon checking out, thereby tying up your checking account until the hold is removed.
5. Recurring payments: Automatic, recurring payments require routine record keeping in order to accurately reflect check register balances. If you choose to allow for automatic payments, it is a better option to actually link your checking account than your debit card. Typically payments will appear on your account history quicker using this method, allowing for easier monitoring of your account.
6. Gas stations: Gas stations often place holds on debit card purchases. These holds are placed at a set limit ($75 - $100) and may take two to three days to clear, thus tying up checking account balances while the hold is in effect.
7. Checkout or ATM that look suspicious: Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their methods and have become better at planting card skimmers that take your card information. It is always best practice to inspect ATM machines or card readers to confirm that the devices have not been tampered with. If anything looks suspicious, it is best to avoid the use of that device altogether.