Credit card myth: Showing ID at the register

Showing your credit cards (or debit cards) at the cash register can be pretty disturbing, and yes, I mean that in a bad way.  I mean, take Costco, for example:  A majority of Costco members usually whip out their American Express cards, since those are usually the only cards that Costco can take.  But what about other places such as retailers, supermarkets, automotive repair shops, restaurants, and the like?  Places like those usually take the normal VISA and Master Cards, but when it comes to Discover and AE’s, I always feel kind of skeptical about things like this; however, this is a whole other issue. 

Depending on both your bank (yes, banks do have a role in this too), and your credit card company different types of cards, whether debit or credit, can work in different ways.  A variety of them are typically reward-type credit cards in which a single transaction can earn you points for you to redeem whatever merchandise that tickle your fancy such as gift cards or even new electronic equipment.  I rarely use cash now unless the following circumstances arise:  1) That place does not accept credit/debit cards whatsoever, then I do not really have a choice but to use cash; 2) I do not have sufficient funds in my checking account, then I will switch back to the good old Washington’s, Lincoln’s, Hamilton’s and Jacksons (dollar bills). 

When someone uses his or her debit card for a point-of-sale transaction, the cashier or clerk will normally ask the customer whether he or she wants to get the card swiped as debit or credit.  If the customer replies “credit,” then sometimes the cashier would ask him or her for ID.  Now, here is the thing:  When the customer shows the cashier something other than his or her own card, and the cashier asks for ID, the name on the card would not match on the ID; therefore, customers would get charged for fraud, and will get taken to jail.  If the customer presents his or her debit card, the cashier may not know whether this is a debit card or credit card; these people [the cashiers] can sometimes be a bit dumb, since the debit card says “debit” right on the front of the card.  However, with the debit card, the customer would enter his or her checking account’s PIN number on the keypad provided, and the transaction would [hopefully] go through.

Some banks would tell their customers that even though if he or she pays with his or her debit card, if the card is swiped as “credit” instead of “debit,” he or she would earn more rewards/points/cash back for every dollar spent, or whatever the case may be.  If this was the case, then the consumer would have to show the cashier his or her ID for safety purposes (i.e. “fraud”). 

Here is how I would put it:  I believe that showing ID while using a credit card or debit card at the cash register would have to depend on what items you purchase at a retailer.  If they were things like alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, cigarettes, or adult movies, then yes, you would have to show your ID, but if they were just ordinary food that you would purchase at a supermarket, I do not see the reason why you would show your ID with your credit card at the register.