Is your debit card protecting your cash?

Posted at 6:10 AM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 10:28:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Shopping with a debit card is like taking cash right out of your wallet, but it carries some risk.

At Dame and Dapper Barber Shop in Mission Hills, owner Jonathan Ramirez is happy to take all forms of payment.

But when he's out shopping, he prefers to use his debit card.

"It's a lot easier for me; I know what I'm spending, I know what's coming in, what's going out. At the end of the day, it just makes it simple," he said.

It's easier for Ramirez because the cash comes right out of his bank account, so he doesn't owe money at the end of the month.

However, that's also riskier in case there's a fraudulent charge.

Some debit cards, however, protect users better than others.

The website says the best cards help you look up a lost receipt, enforce a daily spending limit and shut down if a charge seems odd, like buying something in North Carolina when you live in San Diego and haven't told them you're traveling.

Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, said his organization recommends against using debit cards.

He said banks have two weeks to investigate fraudulent charges, which means you could lose access to your cash in that time.

Still, Ramirez said he always feels safe using his debit card.

"If something does happen, the bank does turn it over. They don't want to lose my business, so I haven't had negative experiences," he said.

He said he'll continue to swipe it without a second thought.