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No. of Recommendations: 0
A debit card will ease the handling of my finances
A debit card will complicate my finances
A debit card is a valuable accompaniment to a credit card
A debit card primarily serves the merchants, not me

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No. of Recommendations: 1
None of the above.

A Mastercard or Visa debit card primarily serves the bank that issues it, and hurts the merchant.

Whether it eases or complicates your finances depends on how you currently do your recordkeeping and how you adapt to using a debit card.
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I love having my debit card, and use for pay at the pump, and at the grocery store and post office. Anywhere that I swipe it. I also use it at the ATM.

I use my credit card for any other purchase where it leaves my hand, and have another card solely for online use.
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I'm with jrr7 on this one -- none of the above.

An ATM CheckCard is a convenience for the bank; not the me or the merchant. It's a convenience for the bank because they would earn a fee if I used it. It's not for me because the card would put my money at risk -- not the bank's -- and would involve greater potential risk than a credit card. It's not for the merchant because he runs similar risks and pays the same fees as if the card were a credit card.

I use a PIN-based ATM card. I don't have a CheckCard. My Credit Union pushes the CheckCards; but offers customers both types if they ask.

- Joel
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I use both credit & debit/check card. The important thing to remember is that the check card offers significantly more risks to me (the user) and signficantly more profits to the bank. Some places, probably in response to the (valid?) charges that banks are making way too much on debit transactions (as opposed to credit cards), will accept debit (e.g. enter PIN) but will not accept credit cards. The only example I can cite is Costco.
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No. of Recommendations: 7
I don't understand why anyone who can get a credit card would use debit cards:

1. Credit cards give you the free float.
2. Credit cards have better fringe benefits (air miles, cashback rebates).
3. Credit cards give you better fraud protection.
4. Credit cards let you consolidate your expenses into one easy monthly payment. No balancing each little payment you make into your checkbook.

I believe that the shift to debit cards is an attempt to eliminate the credit risk involved with credit cards while retaining the bulk of the fees charged to merchants. It is a Trojan horse being offered to consumers, and eventually the free float and other perks of credit cards will be eliminated.

dan
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I don't understand why anyone who can get a credit card would use debit cards

I can think of a few reasons:
- the only credit cards available have an application fee, annual fee, or other odious terms
- the person believes debt of any sort should be avoided -- Muslims, for instance
- someone who needs to control spending (with a debit card you can only spend what's in the checking account; with a credit card you can spend up to your credit limit)

Still, it's a high price to pay to have credit-card-like convenience in one of those situations.

I believe that the shift to debit cards is an attempt to eliminate the credit risk involved with credit cards while retaining the bulk of the fees charged to merchants. It is a Trojan horse being offered to consumers, and eventually the free float and other perks of credit cards will be eliminated.
I have seen an increase in no-grace-period and short-grace-period credit cards, but I still get CC solicitations, some even from banks I have ATM cards with. I don't think there's any sort of grand conspiracy to do away with grace periods. There's too much competition between CC issuers; if one of them tries to put one over on the customers, many customers will switch. For instance I haven't used my Discover card since they cut their cashback program.
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For instance I haven't used my Discover card since they cut their cashback program.

Yeah? I use my Discover card for everything. Well, wherever they take Discover, at least, which isn't everywhere. I originally got it because it's the only CC Costco accepted, but they've since dumped Discover for AMEX over a fees issue.

jason
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I use Amex for the float, convienience and the points. I got the no yearly fee Blue card with no the yearly fee Rewards Program and pay the balance off monthly.

I have a check card which I have stopped using for the reasons cited here. If there is a problem (say, a fraudulent charge against your account) you are not only out the money until you can get it back, but you are probably going to be on your own getting it back.

The bank that issued my check didn't give a rat's a$$ whether I got my money back for a fraudulent charge. What a pain. It's Amex all the way for me (unless the merchant doesn't accept Amex).

Kim
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No. of Recommendations: 6
An ATM CheckCard is a convenience for the bank; not the me or the merchant. It's a convenience for the bank because they would earn a fee if I used it. It's not for me because the card would put my money at risk -- not the bank's -- and would involve greater potential risk than a credit card. It's not for the merchant because he runs similar risks and pays the same fees as if the card were a credit card.

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.

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.

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.

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.

C.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
cyberisme,

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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No. of Recommendations: 1
cyberisme -

Have you considered USAA FSB at all for a bank account? You could have the convenience of a check card with a cash-back benefit (0.5%), for free.

You could continue to transfer funds from your current account via USAA's website (can transfer to/from any bank in the US). To get the card, you would have to have a USAA savings account to use as overdraft protection for the checking account, but it also carries a no minimum balance policy. I think they have a zero liability policy now as well. Because of their repuation for quality service and integrity, I'm also pretty confident that should fraud ever happen, they would work with me to credit the money back to my account quickly.

-z
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We should all remember that VISA and Mastercard have a zero liability policy that applied to debit cards as well, as long as the transaction is run through their network.
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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.


1. Why in the world would you allow the credit card company hold your money paying no interest to you (negative balance).

2. Transfering the money isn't a big deal when you only make 1-2 purchases a month on a debit/credit card.

3. I know for a fact that my bank won't overdraft the debit card - it's in writing.

I do NOT like other people (credit card companies) knowing my spending habits - this is exactly why I don't use credit cards for all purchases (even for airline miles). Not worth it.

C.
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Have you considered USAA FSB at all for a bank account? You could have the convenience of a check card with a cash-back benefit (0.5%), for free.

Thanks.. I receive 1.5% cash back on purchases - but I only use it for major purchases, I prefer billpay and cash for all other purchases.

C.
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Do you get DOUBLE the manufacturers warranty like the gold visa & mastercards ?

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I receive 1.5% cash back on purchases.

Cyber, what bank issues your debit card? Is there a 1.5% cashback program for everybody, or just certain types of customers?

thanks,
dan
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Cyber, what bank issues your debit card? Is there a 1.5% cashback program for everybody, or just certain types of customers?

Sounds like PayPal to me. The cashback bonus is tempting but I've heard way too many horror stories about PayPal and frozen funds/fraud/etc to use my PayPal account in conjunction with a debit card.

I'll stick with USAA.

-z
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