Owning a debit card is essential to most people. Most debit cards are usually linked to a bank account. Using this plastic card enables you to access the money on your account when you make a purchase through different merchants.
Debit cards are connected with the biggest credit card companies and usually have the logo of these companies such as Visa and MasterCard.
With the increasing popularity of debit cards, a lot of people are using it for their personal or business transactions. But it is unclear to many people the advantages and disadvantages of owning and using a debit card.
Let us discuss how debit cards function:
- It can be used as an ATM card for immediate cash withdrawals. You can do an ATM machine, insert your debit card, type in the amount and get your cash.
- It works like a check. When purchasing an item. You can use your debit card in paying and the amount of your purchase will be deducted from your account in a day or two.
You may have your reasons why you use a debit card, there are always pros and cons attached to it. Let us shed some light on the pros and cons of a debit card so you can make a guided decision before you start acquiring one.
- The main good thing about debit cards is it won’t let you drown in debt. When using a credit card, you are not paying the money on the spot but you are borrowing it with interest. This is somewhat significant and relevant to payday loans from licensed moneylenders and sometimes, you reach a point that you are unable to manage the use of your credit card. But with debit cards, you won’t be having this kind of problem.
- Another advantage of debit cards is that you can make payments in establishments where it only allows credit cards.
- You can get a debit card from any banking institution because it is easy to obtain.
- You don’t have to carry loads of cash or a checkbook with you. You can just use your debit card in making big business transactions.
- It is convenient to have a debit card because you can just swipe the card to pay for your purchase instead of filling out a check.
- No annual fees to be paid in using a debit card. Unlike in credit cards, you will find yourself paying for the annual fees plus other hidden charges. When you use a debit card, you won’t have this problem.
While there are compelling reasons on why you should use a debit card, there are also some negative aspects that you need to make yourself aware of such as the following:
- You do not have the opportunity to build your credit when you use a debit card instead of a debit card.
- While some merchants accept both debit and credit cards, there are still establishments that only accept credit cards.
- You need to have funds on your debit card for you to use it. Otherwise, it will be useless. You can’t borrow money from banks. Avoid putting yourself in a position that your debit card will be declined. Always make sure to have money in your account if you are using your debit card in restaurants, hotels or for shopping.
- A debit card is prone to fraudulent use. In an unfortunate instance that your debit card is stolen, there’s a big possibility for fraudulent transactions and it will be difficult to dispute these unauthorized transactions to the bank.
- Debit card fees also exist. When you make transactions in the ATM you may be paying for ATM fees. The fee varies from different banks. There might also be monthly fees tied up to your debit card. That’s why it is important to read the terms and conditions, and also other rules in using your debit card.
Be mindful of unauthorized transactions happening on your debit card. These transactions often happen when you hand over your debit card to another person to swipe it which allows them to have a moment with your debit card and can make transactions when you are not looking. There are also skimmers out there doing nasty things with ATMs and they really blend well with the crown which makes it difficult to identify.
It is important to always monitor all your transactions and keep an eye for unauthorized transactions made with your debit card. You can install mobile applications or log in to your bank’s website to check the transaction history. By doing this, you are preventing yourself from having bigger problems with your finances.