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unsolicited Debit Card advice

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by solocanoe, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

    Dec 14, 2009
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    I just hit a thread on cash that Gimm made a comment about "what cash- i only use my debit card" ...kiddingly, of course, but rather than jack that thead, I thought I'd start this.

    In the past 10 years, I've had the opportunity to work closely (from the inside, working for) several banks in a capacity that allowed me to be "in on stuff" from the lobby to the boardroom. I don't work for banks anymore, only private clients...so this MAY have changed. but I do have a bit of a ....


    It amazed me to learn that there is little to no recourse for the individual that loses or has someone figure out how to get into an account thru a debit card.
    Automatic payments can't be stopped expept from the person/business you gave permission to.
    Auto drafts for amounts that vary (electric, gas bills, etc...) no recourse for the account owner.
    Gas stations that "run your card" when you swipe it...for preauthorization sometimes run it for $100 or more..it can take days to actually show the $15 you may have pumped, in the mean time...your account cash is locked up for the $100 level.
    Theft - none, it's gone, no way to get it back....unlike a credit card, you can't (or couldn't in the past) stop payments, get money back, etc...

    I DO NOT THINK DEBIT CARDS ARE BAD! They just come (or did come) with certain "oddities" that bother me. Just make sure you talk to your bank(ers) about what their debit card program is like.

    The part about the "boardroom" is relevant to this because I heard first hand over and over it explained that the bank
    a. sometimes gets paid on the transaction ( make money)
    b. has no liability in the transaction (save money)
    c. More "ties"...banks try to get as many "ties" to one customers "pocketbook" as they call it as possible. The account itself is a tie...then debit card tied to it is a tie...and then there are studies and stats that show the account owner is more likely to "stick and stay" to that bank if they have a debit card tied to billpay than anything else except the senior citizen on SSI - those folks almost never move to another bank...but the debit card is 2nd for "stickiness".

    I personally will not use one for anything expect cash at an ATM, not at a store, online, bill pay, etc...

    Also, I use the debit card only for a small checking account. it's not my primary, it's not linked to a primary, it's just a small account I will move some cash to for ATM access several times each month.

    OK - I hope I've been careful to say this is the way it WAS - it may be different at your bank - now or in years back. My experience was with 4 regional banks and one community bank over years of working with them. My entire family uses debit cards - but they do it the way I've mentioned...because of the horror stories I've stated.

    Hope this helps - and if anyone has better knowledge, more up to date knowledge, contrary knowledge...etc...feel free to jump in! ;D
  2. grimm_kaosboy

    grimm_kaosboy Empty Pockets

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Can't speak for all banks, but me and the misses are with Chase. Just two weeks ago somebody jacked her numbers and made an internatioal charge on it. Within miniutes of the charge she got a call from Chase. Confirmed it wasn't us (after she grilled me with looks that could wither - "I swear to god baby, I didn't charge nothing!" so they killed the card right then and there and had her hop on the website to file a claim. Yes it went thru, and put us in the negative, plus an overdraft fee. Within 2 days both the charge and overdraft were returned to us. No problems. Luckily we have a second account with a credit union, which ironiclly has the bulk of our pitiful assets.
    I think that times have a-changed a little. A lot, and I mean a LOT of people I know don't carry cash and instead rely on CC or debit cards, the banks have seen the switch to plastic currency from paper and have started to aford us the same protections as an actual credit card...
  3. sewer_rat

    sewer_rat Loaded Pockets

    May 24, 2006
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    Good thread!

    Some tips/insight:

    - I change my PIN code frequently and usually use the max number of digits that is allowed.
    - Always ask for a receipt if the card leaves your hands for any reason.
    - Get WRITTEN confirmation that the backer of your card does not distribute/sell/utilize your purchasing history! You wouldn't believe how valuable this information is to businesses. This is one of the main avenues of income for alot of online retailers especially Google.
  4. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

    Apr 21, 2009
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    yah, I keep my debit card for emergency cash, but always use my credit card for day-to-day purchases
    and for those that do the same, pay it off monthly (or even weekly!)
    I also have a different card for big/uber-emergency purchases (my rule is anything over $200 goes on that, and I don't get anything else big until it's payed off)

    oh, and the "convenience" of over draft fees bites.
    these are the things I learned the hard way in college- hopefully I can save someone else the headache!
  5. artaxerxes

    artaxerxes Loaded Pockets

    Sep 28, 2009
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    My card got stolen once, but I quickly blocked that one and the bank made a new one for me at no charge and my account still works! Great job!Also, I was lucky I didn't have any money on it at the time.
  6. Boy SureFire

    Boy SureFire May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way

    Dec 3, 2009
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    :crazy2: Now I'm feeling kinda paranoid about my new debit card... CC are a real pain in the :rant: to get when you've only dealt in cash, and some of the cards I've seen have $$$$ rates.
  7. Mister Scribble

    Mister Scribble Loaded Pockets

    Jun 3, 2008
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    I hate debit cards. You lose the "float"--the use of your money between the time you use the card and when you actually have to pay the bill. With a regular credit card, your money stays in the bank, gaining interest, till you pay the bill. With debit cards, the vendor gets your money immediately.

    Your insights give more reasons to be very cautious about them.

    Personally, I think they're a ripoff. I think it's amazing banks were able to convince people to use them.
  8. NeonLights

    NeonLights Loaded Pockets

    Feb 24, 2008
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    Any bank debit card with the Visa or MasterCard symbol on it has the same protection as a regular credit card, when used like a creidt card. If used as a debit/bank card where you have to enter a PIN, whether at a store or ATM, you usually don't have the same level of protection. The amount of protectrion and recourse you have may vary from bank to bank, but I have debit cards with two different banks and this is how it is with both banks, and many other banks I've read about.

    My debit card number was somehow stolen (I hadn't used it for months) and had some overseas charges on it. The money was back in my account within 2-3 days, and I had a new card within a week.
  9. gern_blanston

    gern_blanston Loaded Pockets

    Feb 25, 2009
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  10. Dozer

    Dozer Loaded Pockets

    Apr 2, 2008
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    Our debit card is protected just like a visa. In fact our credit union is great. If we make several purchases in a day they will usually call to make sure we made them. I think that is pretty cool. Gives me a bit better feeling of my account being protected.