Debit cards are one of the major products offered by credit unions and banks. Just like credit cards, they also offer several benefits. If you have a debit card, there’s no need to carry around cash for your purchases when you shop. And, if you need cash, it’s always easy to complete a withdrawal transaction at any nearby ATM. Debit cards also have significantly less fees than most credit cards, so you can save on annual fees and interest rates when you opt to have one. While using a debit card can benefit you in more ways than one, you have to remember that it can also put your bank at risk if you’re not careful. Be sure to use it wisely and to avoid trouble by following these debit card tips!

Identify bad habits

Keeping a debit card may not be ideal for everyone, especially for those who have failed to correct bad financial habits such as getting hit with overdraft charges and losing receipts. If you’re someone like this, maybe you should consider using cash instead of a debit card when you feel like buying that cute dress or even for your everyday purchases. The important thing is that you make sure that you don’t get into any trouble by utilizing your debit card.

Keep track of your transactions

 

Keeping a record of your debit card transactions is one of the best steps that you can take to avoid stress altogether. Make it a habit to take note of every purchase that is completed with your debit card. This will help you to avoid bounced checks and overdraft fees.

Make it a habit to check your account

Whether you check your account status via online banking or by visiting your local branch, it’s highly recommended to check your account on a regular basis. Doing this will help you to spot any trouble such as fraudulent charges or unauthorized transactions. 

Check your account for holds

Before using your debit card for things like buying gas, booking hotel reservations, or purchasing airfare tickets, be sure that no holds have or will be placed on your account. This is important because some financial institutions hold funds for a certain amount of time. If you aren’t sure about this, consider using a credit card instead.

Be smart with your pin number

Choose a pin that’s easy for you to remember, but one that’s difficult for anybody else to guess. Use a combination of letters and numbers in order to make it stronger. More importantly, be sure not to share this confidential information with anyone. Never send your pin number through text, chat, or email. If you must save it, have it saved in a place that only you can access.

Report a lost card immediately

If you ever lose your debit card, don’t wait to report it. Proceed to the nearest branch of your bank or financial institution right away and let them know about the situation. This will help you to avoid having fraudulent transactions posted to your account.

Choose ATM terminals wisely

Having your debit card information stolen after the use of ATM terminals isn’t uncommon. Some thieves attach skimming devices and fake card readers to the terminals in order to steal information. Be sure to use only ATM terminals that you can trust, such as the ones inside the bank and credit card locations and terminals  in public places. 

Opt to use credit cards for online shopping and big purchases

One of the advantages of using a credit card over a debit card is that the former offers more protection than the latter. This means that when you need to make large purchases such as for gadgets and home appliances, it would be better to use a credit card as opposed to a debit card. The same thing applies to online shopping. Credit cards are more efficiently used for online purchases due to their consumer protection for disputes and fraud.

Set up automatic alerts

If your financial institution has this feature, it is best to set up alerts so that you can be easily notified if there are any transactions that you have not authorized. 

Using a debit card offers several different benefits. However, safety precautions should always be taken in order to avoid unnecessary headaches and trouble down the road. 

Ready to have your own debit card? Please feel free to contact Calcite Credit Union for more information on how to get started.