A debit card may look like a credit card but the differences may just make you switch your plastic preference. Here’s the 411:
1. Everyday shopping and payments are extremely convenient with a debit card. When you make a purchase, the funds are immediately withdrawn from your bank account and transferred into the account of the store or business where you completed the transaction.
2. With a debit card you can only spend the amount you have in the bank account it draws funds from; think of it as your set budget. So make it a practice to cross check your transactions with your balance statements to make sure the right amounts were debited and to also ascertain that you’re spending within your means. Remember, if you overdraw from that account, you’ll be subject to bank charges and penalties.
3. Just like a credit card, it can be used at the point of sale to pay for purchases at various merchant locations like retail boutiques, department stores, restaurants, hotels, and more. So you can buy big ticket items, or small ones for that matter, without having to carry cash or a checkbook with you.
4. Most debit cards provide the same type of “zero liability” protection that credit cards do. This means you won’t be responsible for fraudulent charges made with your card or account information. Just be sure to review your statements carefully and report any suspicious charges immediately! Tip: keep your sales receipts as for reference and always follow up with a confirmation letter for the bank; this will eliminate suspicions of identity theft.
5. There is no annual percentage rate (APR) or interest rate charged since a debit card works on a “buy now and pay now” scheme as opposed to a credit card’s “ buy now and pay later” process.
6. Also like credit cards, some debit cards offer rewards programs giving you extra incentive to use it when you shop.
7. Debit cards can be used in ATMs to withdraw cash just like an ATM card.
8. A Visa Debit card is handy for travel as it’s accepted worldwide in more than 200 countries and territories.
9. You can also use a Visa Debit card to access to foreign currency from ATMs around the world, so long as you see the Visa logo on the machine.
10. And yes, you can use a Visa debit card when you shop online!
Click on the photo gallery to learn more about the benefits of having a Visa Debit card!
To hone up on your financial skills, check out Visa’s literacy materials at www.practicalmoneyskills.com.