When and Why to Avoid Using Your Debit Card
When it comes to debit cards, many of us find them incredibly convenient and less of a burden than credit cards. After all, not only do retailers appreciate the lack of added-on credit fees, but it prevents you from racking up loads of debt by limiting you to only what you currently have in the bank.
In spite of these advantages, however, there are some times where you should refrain from using your debit card. The following is a guide to help you determine when you should and shouldn’t opt for debit charges.
It may be convenient to pay for food and other non-durable expenses with a debit card; however, a restaurant is not the place to use it. People can get your card number and easily steal your information when you’re not looking, so when it comes to paying for the bill at a restaurant, it’s better to let a waiter or waitress momentarily walk away with a credit card, or simply pay in cash.
“Free” Credit Reports
When people are struggling with debt problems and looking to obtain a free credit report online, often this service is far from free. In order to get your results, these sites ask for your credit or debit card information after you’ve already filled out a majority of the survey, in order to convince you that this is the last necessary step to check your credit history and rating.
Unfortunately, many people are charged monthly fees for this service if they don’t cancel immediately upon finishing the credit check, and this can continue unnoticed for several months. Many people checking their credit rating have already cut up their credit cards, and use a debit card to pay for this service. Because the charges can not be contested or reversed once the funds have been taken from your account, avoid using your debit card for any of these sites.
Anywhere on the Internet, Really
Beyond credit report websites, you really ought to avoid ever entering your debit card information online unless it’s from a highly secure site with SSL encrypted technology as indicated by a padlock icon next to the site address. Otherwise, it could be quite simple for an experienced hacker to steal your debit card number and use it for their own shopping sprees while your bank account slowly diminishes.
When filling up the car, you must proceed with caution, as there are a few people out there with high-tech gadgets that allow them to essentially watch you as you pay for petrol, and abuse the information for their own financial gain. Not all stations are secure, making it a risky venture for anyone looking to purchase petrol with a debit card.
So, when it comes to using your debit card, be very careful about where and when you use it. While it may be easier on retailers to use debit because, unlike credit cards, there are no fees associated with them, it’s still quite dangerous considering the immediate depletion of funds from your bank account upon the swipe of a debit card. As long as you protect your debit card and use it wisely, however, you should be safe from identity theft and financial losses.
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