1. Know if it is a credit card or a debit card.
Also, decide whether you want a PIN-only
debit card or one that can be used with either
a PIN or a signature. Ask the card issuer about
2. Know if there are fees applied to using the
card. Some financial institutions charge a
monthly fee or a per-transaction fee, others
do not. These fees are set by the card issuer
and must be disclosed to consumers.
3. Know about your liability for the
unauthorized use, theft, or loss of your debit
card. Ask if the issuer has any special liability
policies and how they work.
4. Know how problems with nondelivery,
defective merchandise or misrepresentation
will be handled. This is especially important
when you use a debit card to purchase goods
or services for future delivery, rather than on
a “cash and carry” basis. Ask the issuer about
its policies for these types of disputes.
Do You Have a Debit Card?
Two Ways Debit Cards Work
What Is the Difference
Between a Debit Card and a
Debit cards are also known as check
cards. Debit cards look like credit cards
or ATM (automated teller machine)
cards, but operate like cash or a personal check.
Debit cards are different from credit cards. While
a credit card is a way to “pay later,” a debit card
is a way to “pay now.” When you use a debit
card, your money is quickly deducted from your
checking or savings account.
Debit cards are accepted at many locations,
including grocery stores, retails stores, gasoline
stations, and restaurants. You can use your card
anywhere merchants display your card’s brand
name or logo, even on the Internet. They offer
an alternative to carrying a checkbook or cash.
You may not realize that you have a debit card.
Many banks are replacing their standard ATM
cards with upgraded ATM
cards that have a debit
feature. You may also
receive in the mail
what looks like a
credit card when
in fact it is a debit
• Obtaining a debit card is often easier than
obtaining a credit card.
• Using a debit card instead of writing checks