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Tips on Using Debit Cards

Depending on the financial provider you choose, the debit card you will be issued with will either be Visa or MasterCard. This means that your debit card will be accepted anywhere Visa or MasterCard are accepted. By linking the debit card to your bank account, you can use the convenience of plastic while only using your own money.

You can use the card to take money out at the ATM, to pay bills, or to pay for goods and services over the phone, in-store or online. No credit, no interest, only your own money.

Are Debit Cards Safe?

With the introduction of chip and PIN (Personal Identification Number) technology, debit cards are incredibly safe to use. Payments on debit cards are usually easy to track, especially with online banking. You can review everything that has gone out of your account online or on paper statements, so you can be sure there have been no unauthorized purchases.

If you find an unauthorized purchase, or if your debit card has been lost or stolen, contact your financial provider immediately. The card will then be cancelled, and many providers will take care of any unauthorized payments. Some debit cards also come with added fraud protection to give you extra peace of mind. Visa and MasterCard also offer guarantees against fraudulent use of their cards.

Where can I use a Debit Card?

You can essentially use your debit card anywhere that credit cards are accepted. The only difference is that you are using your own money, not a credit provider's. You can use the debit card for purchases online, in-store and over the phone, for large or very small amounts.

Will I get charged any fees with a Debit Card?

Different debit cards will charge different fees. Usually you will be charged a monthly fee for the use of the account, however, some financial providers will waive this fee if you deposit a certain amount into the account each month. Typically, this can be easily achieved by having your salary deposited into the account.

You may be charged fees to use your debit card to withdraw money from other financial providers' ATMs. Also, be aware of overdraft fees. If you use your debit card for a $10 purchase and you only have $5 in your account, you may become overdrawn and charged by your financial provider. You should always try to keep track of payments from your account and be aware of how much money you have available.

Are all Debit Cards the same?

As with credit cards, you will find that there are many different options when it comes to debit cards. It's a good idea to think about how you plan to use the debit card and then compare options to find the best card to suit you. Compare fees, account access, fraud protection, and any rewards like entertainment benefits or complimentary insurances.

Can I get rewards from using a Debit Card?

Although you can get debit cards with reward programs, they tend to be less generous than rewards programs attached to credit cards. One of the reasons for this is because credit card companies make more money from their customers, so they are able to offer larger rewards. However, if rewards are important to you, you can find debit cards that provide entertainment offers on sporting events, cinema, and music gigs. Some debit cards also offer complimentary insurances, such as purchase protection and travel insurance.

Do I need a good credit history to apply?

Because you are not applying for credit with a debit card, you do not need a good credit history to apply. You will only be using your own money, which means you will not need to worry about interest accruing on debts, and paying back what you can't afford.

Should I keep my credit card after I get a Debit Card?

Many people choose to keep both credit cards and debit cards, so it is up to you if you want to use both. However, if you have trouble managing credit, then it might be a good idea to close your credit card accounts and only use a debit card. If you have existing credit card debt, you might want to transfer it onto a balance transfer credit card, and pay it off while using your debit card for everyday purchases.

Is there anything I should be wary of when using a Debit Card?

The main thing to be aware of when using a debit card is how much you are spending. It is important to keep track of payments coming into and going out of your account, so you know exactly how much money is available. Some providers will charge overdraft fees, so if you spend more than what you have in your account, you may be charged a fee.

Another thing to think about is that there are many different debit card options on the market. Spend some time comparing what's on offer, and choose the most suitable card for your needs.