, June 4, 2010 4:17 am
Now that it’s officially summer and many of you will be traveling, I thought it might be a good idea to hold out the yellow flag when it comes to using your debit card. I use mine fairly frequently but it’s usually here in the hood at places that I frequent. But if I’m on vacation or on a business trip, I keep Mr. Debit in my pocket, as I’ve found that cash and credit cards still work just fine. Here are some concerns about using a debit card all the time:
* Unlike with a credit card, when you pay for something using a debit card, the cash comes out of your account inreal time. So, if someone uses your card fraudulently, that dough will be gone and you probably won’t get it back. By the time you realize what’s happened, your bank may not be obligated to investigate or replace the funds. Actually, federal law says you’ve got to notify your financial institution within two days of discovering the theft. Otherwise, you’re left holding the bag
* If you order something online and it comes damaged, you may very well have trouble getting your money back if you return the item. Once the vendor has your money, he may argue that you damaged the item. So, going back and forth with the retailer will become a new career
* Overdraft charges are a problem. Don’t assume your bank won’t approve a purchase if you don’t have sufficient funds in your account. They will. And they’ll be ever to sorry to charge you a hefty overdraft fee. Starting in August, however, banks will have to give you the opportunity to “opt out” of automatic overdraft protection, so pay attention to your bank mailings…always
* When you use any type of plastic, double check to see if your entire card # is printed on the receipt. That might make fraud easy for someone. I’ve actually crossed out some of the numbers so it’s not entirely visible although most credit card terminals only reveal the last four numbers
So, while you’re (hopefully) planning your vacation, think about what plastic you’ll use where. Keep your eyes peeled for anything that’s unusual. Oh….and have fun! Until next time, here’s to good planning!