Within the last decade, debit cards have been introduced into society and have been very popular. For some people, they have even replaced credit cards. A debit card is an electronic check – minus the paper, writing out the amount, and signature. When you go to the bank to get the card, you create a pin, and that pin takes the place of your signature. Since the debit card emerged, people have asked the question, “Debit or Credit?”
I am the owner of a debit card, and a very proud owner of a Visa card. I use my Visa more than my debit card. I will tell you that I am old fashioned; my parents taught me how to pay my bills in the style that they have paid theirs. My parents use their credit cards for almost everything that they purchase, and when that statement comes every month my mother cuts them a check. Actually, a lot of people still write checks. I work as a cashier at local grocery store, and I would say that about two out of ten people still write checks. But I have a feeling that in a few more years, checks will cease to exist.
I am noticing that the younger generation is more debit card oriented. I have owned my debit card since 2007. All of my friends have debit cards, but only a few have credit cards. I have asked my friends why they haven’t gotten a credit card yet. The typical response was that it was safer to use debit cards. I have to disagree. It must just as harmful.
Here are a few examples and stories-
1. When at an ATM, the person standing behind you can peek over your shoulder and see the pin numbers that you punch in. At a later time, they can steel your card, and have access to your funds, because the have your pin.
2. This one can shock you, it happened to a friend of mine a few months ago. She gave her boyfriend her debit card one day to go buy something, and of course she gave him the code. Mind you, this was not a joint account; it was her personal account. A few weeks later, they broke up and he stole her debit card, and pulled all of her hard earned money. In this case, the blame should not go to him (don’t get me wrong, he should have been punished), the blame should go to her. Yes, they were in a relationship, but she should not have given him her pin. The safest thing to do was for her to go an ATM, and pull out some cash, and hand the cash to her boyfriend.
3. Let us say someone steals both your debit and credit card. The debit will cause more damage. Your credit card has a limit, and after a certain point the card will be declined. However, with your debit, they can pull out all of your money.
Debit or credit I think is a “to each their own situation.” I prefer to use credit, but I will use debit for an emergency. It is all about what you feel comfortable using. They both have pros and cons. Both can cause damage when stolen, and both have little service fees; like when used at some ATMs. The point is that these cards are not a joke, especially debit. You hold your entire checking account in that little piece of plastic.