Debit Card vs. Credit Card, What Are The Differences ?
Ah, the "good old days". If you are a baby boomer, like me, then you probably remember how important it was to rush to the bank on payday. You had to get there before the teller lanes closed so that you could have your "cash allowance" for the week. Otherwise, if you needed cash you had to write a check, then go to the bank, and "cash" the check for real cash.
Fortunately the days of the mad rush to get cash from the bank are long gone. We now enjoy the convenience of using a nearby automatic teller machine (ATM) or you can even get "cash back" at your local grocery, hardware or convenience store.
The card you use at the ATM is known as a debit card. When debit cards first appeared it was easy to tell them apart from credit cards. Debit cards didn't have a credit card company logo on them; instead, they usually just had your bank name, your account number and your name.
Today debit cards look exactly like credit cards even carrying the same logos. Both types of cards can be swiped at the checkout counter , used to make purchases on the internet, or to pay for the fill-up at the gas pump.
When you use your debit card to make a purchase, it's just like using cash. The account that is attached to your debit card, in most cases your checking account, is automatically debited when you use your debit card. The cost of your purchase is deducted from the funds you have in that account.
On the other hand, when you use your credit card to make a purchase you are using someone's else's money, specifically the issuer of the credit card, usually a banking institution.
In effect, you agree to pay them back the money you borrowed to make your purchase. In addition you will also pay interest on the money "loaned" to you at the rate which you agreed to when you applied for their credit card. This is known as the annual percentage rate (APR).
While the two cards might act and look alike, the levels of consumer protection that each type of card provides can be different.
Under federal law, if someone steals your credit card you're only responsible to pay the first $50 of unauthorized charges. However, if you notify the credit card issuer before a thief is able to make any charges you may be free from all liability. If the credit card is not physically present when an unauthorized or fraudulent purchase is made, such as over the internet, you're also free from liability for those charges.
MasterCard and Visa offer zero-liability protection where you won't pay any charges if someone uses your credit card to make an unauthorized purchase.
The protection offered to debit card fraud is similar but with a few exceptions. For example, your liability under federal law is limited to $50, the same as for a credit card, but only if you notify the issuer within two business days of discovering the card's loss or theft. Your liability for debit card fraud can jump up to $500 if you don't report the loss or theft within two business days.
And if you are the type of person that gives a passing glance to your monthly bank statement, you could be totally liable for any fraudulent debit card charges if you wait 60 days or more from the time your statement is mailed.
Visa and MasterCard zero-liability protection applies to your debit card but only for transactions that do not involve the use of your PIN (personal identification number).
Additional protection against fraudulent use of your credit or debit cards may be available through your homeowner's or renter's insurance. Check your policy or with your agent for more information about your coverage.
Also be aware that you should contact your card issuer by certified letter, return receipt requested, after you've contacted them by phone to protect your consumer rights.
As for which card to use for what type of purchase, most experts agree that you should use your debit card for the same type of purchases you'd make as if you were using cash. Therefore, it makes more sense to use your debit card than your credit card at the grocery store or gas station (provided you have sufficient funds to cover these purchases of course).
Avoid using your debit card for any online purchase or for something which is expensive. Why ? You'll find it much easier to dispute a charge when you use your credit card. If your gold-plated, limited edition, hip-swinging Elvis wall clock arrives broken, your credit card company will remove the charge until the problem is resolved.
With your debit card you are stuck dealing with the merchant directly to resolve any problems with a purchase, even if your banking institution could really use a gold-plated, limited edition, hip-swinging Elvis wall clock of their very own.
© 2004, www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
How To Read Your Credit Report
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, signed into law on Dec. 4, 2003, gives every American the right to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
ChexSystems: Alternative Options for People Whove Been Checking Accounts
Individual banks elect to become members of ChexSystems, and to use their services.Those individual banks are the ones who decides what is sufficient cause to close your account and report you to ChexSystems.
Start Building Credit Fast!
There are a couple of reasons for this. You can pay your bills on time for years and never gain more than a few points on your credit score.
Rewards Cards: Are They Worth It?
Virtually all consumers will have a credit card at some point in their lives. Is this an understatement? Probably, as most consumers carry multiple credit cards.
Finding Reputable Credit Card Companies
You're interested in getting the best credit cards for your family's needs, but you don't want to be cheated. Or you're interested in small business credit cards, but you've heard that some of them aren't terribly secure.
Credit Establishment 101
There will come a day when you need credit. You may want to buy a home or a car and your credit rating will become very important to help make these dreams come true.
Collection Agency Secrets for Collecting on Bad Debt
Getting worried that one of your clients, customers or patients will never pay? Have you given up on a customer who's essentially said he won't pay? Congratulations--being stiffed by a customer or patient is a milestone in the growth of a business or medical practice. But even the most hopeless of bad debts can sometimes be collected-collection agencies have been doing it for years.
Good Credit is King, When Qualifying for Mortgage Programs
If you want to purchase a new home or refinance your current mortgage, be sure to check out the wide array of loan programs available. If you have less than excellent or even poor credit, you can still qualify for a loan.
Identity Theft - Who Would Want Mine?
With all my bills who would possibly want my credit? Let them steal my identity and pay my bills! Unfortunately, that's not the way it works. Many of us mistakenly believe that identity thieves hit only the wealthy.
Commercial Collections: Business Finance Booster Shot
Commercial collections: fixture of the new B2B cultureIf you're in the business-to-business field, or even if you're a consumer products business that works through third-party distribution channels, you probably know what it's like to check your mail anxiously each day, sifting through all the bills for that payment that was supposed to have been in months ago.It wasn't supposed to be like this.
Dealing With and Repairing Bad Credit
Bad credit can be a burden for otherwise good credit. It may not seem fair at times that financial mistakes in the past can haunt you in the present, but with a little bit of work and some time bad credit can be turned around and repaired.
Credit Cards - Why Prepay?
With prepaid credit cards, you get the practicality of plastic while choosing exactly how much debt to charge. By taking charge of your personal financing, you determine your own limits, to the penny, and change them any time you need to.
What Is A Credit Report?
Even if you have heard of a credit report, you may not know exactly what it is. If so, this credit report article is for you.
Save Money and Lower your Payments by Improving or Repairing Your Credit
Having a better credit score not only represents easier access to money from lending institutions, but more importantly represents instant money in your pocket.This probably sounds like something obvious for most of people, but it isn't until you start thinking in terms of real examples and real dollars that most of us start to understand the magnitude of the benefits associated with a good credit score.
Various Types of Credit Cards - Part 2
Several different types of credit cards offer several different options, depending on what your needs are. Some are geared toward individual consumers while others are set up in ways that work best for small business needs.
How to Repair a Bad Credit Rating
If you have a bad credit rating, then you might find that your ability to get financing, loans, and even some jobs is greatly diminished.Once you have a bad credit rating, it might seem like there's nothing that you can do about it? but you don't have to believe that.
Fair Credit Reporting Act: What You Should Know About It?
The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designated to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of every "consumer reporting agency" (CRA) or Credit Bureau. Learn what the law says and repair your credit today!Most CRA are credit bureaus that gather and sell information about you, such as if you pay your bills on time or have filed bankruptcy.
Choosing The Best Credit Card To Apply For
Always shop around to get the best deal when choosing which credit card to apply for. If you don't do your due diligence you could end up with a card that has too high of an interest rate, that has an unnecessarily high annual membership fee, etc.
Borrowing on a Credit Card
One of the easiest ways to borrow money of a financial institute is to use a Credit Card, available from all banks, building societies, and other financial organisations. The choices available are enormous, with a wide variety of interest charges, annual charges, loyalty schemes, and bonus points available.
Will Inquiries Lower Your Credit Score?
What are inquiries?When you apply for credit the creditor or lender checks your credit report to verify that you qualify for the credit or loan you are applying for. The "inquiry" is then reported to the credit bureaus and shows up on your credit report.
|home | site map|