Four tips that will help you preserve your debit card 

If your bank has issued a debit card for you, there are some things you should know before you get into trouble. Following these four simple steps can help you safeguard your card!

Your card and the information that is associated with your checking account are constantly at risk. Every time you use your card at a store or on the Internet, this information could be used by criminals. Learn how this could happen and how further trouble can it be avoided.

The first and most obvious problema is if your card is physically stolen. If this is the case, you must call the bank immediately and inform the situation. You can’t be held liable for anything that is charged to your card after you have reported the theft, so you must do this at once.

Criminals can also acces your information if they hack a website where your debit card information was stored and can then make purchases on line or on the pone. Sometimes the bank will inform you if they register strange purchases, but others it's up to you to notice them.

The last way in which your credit card information can be stolen is through card skimmung. This happens when your card is put through a card reader (at a gas station or restaurant when you give your card to someone) or if a skimmer is attached to an ATM (or any vending machine) where yoiu use your card. It may not be easy to detect these skimmers so it is importat that you pay attention to any thing that doesn’t look familiar. An additional precaution you can take is to cover your hands when you tipe your password to avoid any camera that may be filming the numbers you enter.

The bank will hold you liable for any purchase you don’t inform within 60 days so you can see why checking your account for transactions you haven’t done is something you shoul do regularly.

Take a look at these downsides of debit cards and learn how you can avoid them:

1. Fraud Protection

You would never want your wallet to fall into the wrong hands, especially if you have a debit card. It doesn't have fraud protection as strong as credit cards do. If your debit card is stolen and used, the thief can drain your bank account and you won't get your money back until your bank completes its investigation.  

2. Building Credit

Unlike credit cards, debit cards don't have an impact on your credit story. So, if you are trying to rebuild it, this card won't help you.

However, debit cards can be handy when you forgot to pay your credit card balance and you don't want to keep using it and damaging your credit report.

3. Merchant Mistakes

Have you ever paid lunch with your card and then found out that the cashier typed the wrong amount and overcharged you? When this happens with credit cards it's easier to solve. However, when you pay with a debit card (and this happens) you may end up facing some problems.

If there's a dispute you will probably end up in a weaker position when you use debit cards.

The merchant will probably return the money once you report the problem, buy it will take several days until the money is returned to your account and you may, therefore, face overdraft fees until you receive it.  

4. Fees

You need to always keep track of your account balance when you are using debit cards. Otherwise, you will be facing overdraft fees, which quickly add up until you pay the debt.

See also: "All you need to know about your credit score"

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