Five ways debit cards can be dangerous

Five ways debit cards can be dangerous

You can find a $ 75 hold on your bank account after having used a debit card at the pump.

More people are using debit cards, credit cards this holiday season, prompting the Fed to move on limiting banks can charge their merchants for each flow passage. While banks and referral welcome traders on the rules of the Fed are due this week, budget-savvy experts believe the rise in new good use debit cards because it means that buyers are trying not to spend more than they have in avoiding these hangovers bad credit in January.

The bad news is that using a debit card is not as safe as using a credit card – even after new rules came into force last summer to reduce overdraft charges caused by debit purchases. What makes using a debit card for risky?

Phantom Expenses

Traveling to see relatives this holiday season? Be careful when pulling this debit card. We all know that when you use your credit card at a gas station or hotel, they charge the card when you leave for the purchase amount. It does not work that way with a debit card.

When you check into a hotel with a debit card, many hotels put a “hold” on the money in your account. That “hold” that begins the moment you check-in can be for more than the amount of the part multiplied by all the nights you plan to stay too. How can you spend more? They say you can choose to use things minibar or charge to your room, if they are simply ways to protect your free-spending potential. Meanwhile their hold, while temporary (and often arbitrary), can have devastating consequences for you. A consumer complained that a fee of ghost – a plug for a hotel room that was finally settled in cash – cost him $ 140 in overdraft fees because he was unaware that his bank account was stated in part “unavailable” by the hold is not disclosed. It caused her regular bills, which were to be paid during his absence, to rebound.

The stations also often place holds $ 50 to $ 75 from your bank account when you use a debit card to purchase gas. These holds can last for several days after your visit to the gas station. And it does not matter that you put a $ 10 fuel in the tank to top it off the rental car.

If you use your debit card at a gas station or hotel, find out what their policy is selected and make sure you have plenty of money in your account to cover it.


Last summer, the Federal Reserve Board adopted new rules that stopped banks auto-enrollment of consumers in the plans discovered who would subject them to high fees when they use the debit card for purchases that exceeded balance. Banks are struggling to actively enroll people in these costly schemes found since. If you were gullible enough to sign up, you could be at risk of overdrafts if you use a debit card anywhere. If you were not, any transaction that exceeds your balance should be reduced.

The only catch: Some debit transactions – any transaction flow that does not require an identification number, for example – are not recorded immediately, open the door to overdraft fees. The good news here is that you may be able to challenge such overdraft charges, saying they should never have been collected. The bad news? Haggling with your bank may be as common as visiting cruise Christmas Tree Lane Santa this time of year, but not as much fun.

Merchant Disputes

Say you’re part of your Christmas shopping online and the products appear damaged – or do not show at all. When you ordered using a credit card that you have two things for you: you are generally charged a few weeks after purchase, giving you a chance to receive and inspect your order before paying. You also have the right to dispute a charge – and not pay this portion of your bill – when something is damaged or the seller fails to deliver.

When you use your debit card, the purchase amount is debited from your account immediately – often before you’ve seen the goods. You then have to fight with the dealer to get your money. If this was a reputable dealer, you should not be a problem. But good luck if you’re dealing with a crook.

Safety Account

Like credit cards, federal law limits your liability for unauthorized use of your debit card at $ 50. But only if you report the card stolen within two days of discovery of the theft. If you take an extended vacation and do not check your statements for a couple of months, the scammer can empty your bank account and there is nothing you can do about it. If there is no chance that someone could steal your debit card, you need to monitor regularly and your bank balance and opposition to the unknown purchases quickly.

Pay Now / Pay Later

If someone has fraudulently used your credit card, you (or your company credit card) are likely to find before you get the statement. That means you’re never out of money. You dispute the charge, subtract the disputed amount from your bill and let the credit card issuer not worry. With a debit card, stolen money may have left your account. This means you have to haggle with your bank for a refund. Some banks are quick and helpful in resolving these disputes. Other? Not so much.

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