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No. of Recommendations: 6

You wrote, We've used a Visa/MC debit card for several years now. Exclusively. We use it for regular purchases, airfare, hotel, car rental, etc. Our "terms of use" explicitly state that in the event of fraud we are responsible for the first $50, just like a CC. I am also VERY VERY aware and careful of our cards and checks.

The fact that you've used it with no problems is great for you. But one sample is also statistically meaningless.

The fact that the bank has a contractual obligation to limit your liability to $50 is fine. I hope they don't change the terms on you. The $50 liability limit on my credit card is set in a Federal statue with remedies in my favor spelled out if the bank fails to comply.

Also - our debit card is attached to an account where I transfer money into - right before a transaction... so we normally only keep a $1.00 balance but when we need a car, hotel, or whatever, I find out the actual charge, transfer that amount it and charge it. This has greatly eliminated any possible over charges and/or fraud.

I keep a negative balance on my credit card and pay the statement balance when the bill comes due at the end of the month. Seems easier than transfering money into the account for every single purchase just to avoid fraud. Besides, most banks will let you overdraft a checkcard; and if it was done fraudulently, you're still as stuck as if your money had been in the account -- if they do and you don't cover the debt, the bank will likely try to ruin your credit.

It's a very simple process and without minimum balance charges, usage charges, annual fees, transfer charges - it makes it very convenient for us. Just because it's convenient for the bank doesn't mean it's not convenient for us.

I don't pay any fees to use a credit card. I use the card; I pay the statement balance. No additional fees, nada. In fact, they give me a little cash back at the end of the year just for giving them my business.

And, why shouldn't the bank make money on it? It's a service they provide. Merchants don't have to take cc's.. but if they want an enormous increase in sales, they take them, even with the transaction fees, because their profit margin is higher.

The bank should make money on a service. But they're wanting to earn the same amount by putting my money at risk instead of their's. That's what I object to. A checkcard is vastly more risky to me than a credit card. That's certainly no incentive to use their product.

- Joel
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