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Fri, January 24, 2014

Places to Never Use Your Debit Card

In some situations, using a debit card can expose you to fraud or identity theft.  There are some places and times that using a debit card is actually a lousy proposition. 

1.  Rental or Security Deposits
If  you have to put money down to rent a car or home improvement equipment, try not to use a debit card.  A business will take the money out of yoru account in the form of a security deposit.   You'll ge the cash back when you return the car or equipment.  With a credit card, the money is just "frozen" but ot actually charge and you won't ever notice it's gone.
2.  Restaurants and Bars
Too many prying eyes around to trust using your debit card.  Restaurants are one of those rare places where someone actually walks away with your card and you don't see them for a few minutes.  Better to use cash when dining out.
3.  Regular Payments
Whether it's a gym or your insurance company, better off using a credit card.  If there's a dispute, the business won't take the cash right out of your checking account if they don't have your debit card number.
4.  Wi-Fi Hot Spots
Never use your debit card for an online purchase while at a coffee shop or other business that offers free Wi-Fi access.  Most businesses have unsecured wireless connections so it's much easier for hackers and scammers to log on and steal  your information.
5.  Any Retail Outlet Where you choose the "credit" Option
Debit cards allow  you to choose between a debit (having cash taken straight out of your account) and a credit transaction (where the money will be taken out but it could be a few days later). You may forget about the purchase and not account for the money that canlead to an overdraft situation.

Debit cards are great financial tools and easier to carry than cash.  But debit cards should't be used all the time.

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