Debit cards are so convenient: There's no monthly bill to worry about, and no interest charges. But despite that convenience, there are some places you should never use debit.
Business Insider says debit can be dangerous in some cases. The problem: the money immediately comes out of your bank account.
So it suggests you don't use debit cards when dealing with:
- Gas stations... because of skimming scams, and because stations often put a $75 temporary hold on the card.
- Hotels....because the desk may pre-authorize, and hold, $400 on your card at check in.
- Rental cars...where again the rental firm may hold hundreds of dollars until you return the car.
- Restaurants... where the server takes your card to a back room for several minutes to cash out your bill (at fast food places where you swipe or insert the card, you are fine).
- Big screen TV's and furniture....where debit gives you no leverage if it's defective.
Beware unfamiliar websites
And from the "doesn't that stink" file, the worst place to use debit:
- Online shopping at unfamiliar websites.
If the item never arrives, you'll say "doesn't that stink?"
Business Insider says credit cards essentially give you a one month free loan, so you can dispute a questionable charge.
Bottom line: With credit you can simply dispute a fraudulent charge. You don't have to pay.
With debit you have to wait to get those funds back, and it may be a case of don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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