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Another Reason To Avoid Debit Cards

Posted By Jim On 02/20/2008 @ 2:32 pm In Credit | 20 Comments

There are plenty of reasons you should use a credit card instead of a debit card (if both are available) but here’s one that is especially compelling. A debit card is directly linked to your checking account, whereas a credit card is linked to an ephemeral credit limit. When Burger King accidentally bills you $2,243 instead of $22.43 [3] or when they bill you $8,648 instead of $86.48 [4], you aren’t suddenly emptied of all your funds.

Debit cards used to suffer from weaker fraud protection, that’s no longer the case. Debit cards used to be less widely accepted because they used a network that differed from credit cards, that’s less and less the case. However, debit cards will always be linked to your bank account (that’s by definition) so when someone accidentally enters in $2000 instead of $20, you’ll be out that money until someone is around to resolve it.

In the meanwhile, any checks you’ve written or any future debit transactions will result in NSF (not sufficient funds) and overdraft fees – which will likely put a smile on your bank’s face and a huge frown on yours.

So, if you want yet another reason not to use debit cards, this is a big one. Don’t underestimate the power of carelessness and stupidity.


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/another-reason-to-avoid-debit-cards.html

[3] Burger King accidentally bills you $2,243 instead of $22.43: http://consumerist.com/357928/2243-burger-king-bill-leaves-customer-overdrawn-pissed-off

[4] bill you $8,648 instead of $86.48: http://consumerist.com/consumer/debit-cards/the-8648-burger-king-bill-259403.php

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