Dos and Don'ts of debit cards - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Dos and Don'ts of debit cards

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Debit card transactions have grown rapidly over the past few years, and the recession has accelerated the trend.  In fact, last year, debit card use surpassed credit card use for the first time in history.

However, the quest to save could cost you!  There's likely going to be a lot of swiping this holiday season.

If you plan on using debit instead of credit though, experts say there are some dos and don'ts to follow.

  • First up, don't use debit cards for big purchases. 

They don't offer the same protection as credit cards.  A credit card allows you to dispute charges and some will even extend the length of warranties.

  • Next, watch what you spend.

If you're trying to save by avoiding interest on credit cards, remember, you can get hit with overdraft fees on debit cards.

  • Also, don't use a debit card online.

Experts say credit cards are safer.  In fact, a consumer's liability for unauthorized charges is capped at $50.

  • When making a purchase, click on credit instead of giving a pin number.
  • Don't link your debit card to an account with lots of money, because thieves can empty that pretty quickly!
  • Don't use prepaid cards.

Experts say they're often pitched like debit cards but have even less protection.

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