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 where you should never use debit.
Business Insider says debit can be dangerous in some cases. The problem: The money immediately comes directly out of your bank account.
So you shouldn'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 firms may take hundreds of dollars and hold it until you return the car.
- Restaurants, where it's easy for servers to skim your card server takes your card when you cash out. 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 your purchase is defective.
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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