Debit and Credit Card FAQ

cards, debit card, credit card, which card to use

Debit or credit? We hear that question almost every time we pull out a card from our wallet to make a purchase. Even though credit and debit cards look similar, they actually function quite differently.

What’s the difference between a credit card and a debit card?

A credit card actually borrows money against your available credit line. You pay that money back via your monthly payment to the credit card company, which typically includes an added interest rate.

When you make a purchase with your debit card, the money comes directly out of your checking account. The funds must be available in your checking account at the time of purchase.

What does it mean when I use my debit card and the clerk asks “Debit or credit?”

There are two different types of debit card transactions – debit (you must enter your personal identification number) and credit (requires your signature). When you pay for a purchase, the clerk may ask “debit or credit”? If you choose “debit,” you must enter your PIN after the card has been swiped through a point of sale terminal. With PIN transactions, funds are withdrawn from your checking account when the transaction occurs.

If you choose “credit,” it becomes a signature transaction. Instead of providing your PIN, you sign the receipt to verify the transaction. With a signature transaction, funds are held in your checking account at the time of purchase until the transaction posts to your account in one to three days.

Is there a fee to use my debit card for purchases?

When using your Robins Financial Visa® Debit Card, there are no transaction fees to make a purchase. It’s a fast and simple way to pay directly from your checking account. Just ensure you have the funds available to avoid any potential overdraft fees.

What is the ideal number of credit cards to carry?

This is typically determined on an individual basis. It is common to carry two major credit cards. If carrying two credit cards, one should be a low-rate card for times when you must carry a balance. The other should be a card with a grace period. No annual fee is ideal, unless you plan to use the card heavily to earn some type of reward. If that’s the case, weigh the cost of the annual fee against the freebies you will earn.

How do I prevent debit card fraud?

We are committed to helping our members protect their accounts, but there are several steps you can take on your own to prevent card fraud. Protect your card, as well as the account number, expiration date, security code on the back of the card, and the PIN. Memorize your PIN – don’t write it on the back of your card or keep it written down and stored anywhere near your card. Never provide your account information over the phone or online unless you know and trust the person you are speaking with. Don’t share your debit card PIN, security code, or other account information with others. Take precautions at the checkout counter, ATM, or gas pump by always covering the keypad when you enter your pin. Finally, check your bank statements regularly to ensure there haven’t been any unauthorized purchases.

How can I avoid fees and interest charges?

As long as you are responsible and organized with your purchases, you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding fees and interest charges on your credit card. Simply find a card that lacks an annual fee, pay your balance in full and on time each month, avoid cash advances and foreign purchases, and don’t consent to over-limit fees. Your individual card may have additional fees as well, which is why it is important that you look over the terms and conditions of your agreement.

How much money can I spend with a credit card?

You will need to check your credit line, which is the amount of credit extended to you by the credit card provider. However, experts recommend that you do not use the entirety of your credit line each month, even if you can pay it off, as this could hurt your credit score. If your limit is restrictively low, request a credit line increase.

Are you ready to apply for a credit card? A Robins Financial Credit Union Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card is one of the best credit cards you can carry. We’ve partnered with Visa® to offer you premium purchasing power for everyday needs, shopping, travel, and more. Accepted worldwide, our Visa® Credit and Debit cards are an excellent way to save time and money! You can enjoy a low variable rate, and we offer many convenient payment options to make your life even easier! Enjoy top-of-the-line security and earn points on your purchases through the Scorecard® Rewards Program.

You can view rate information and our credit card agreement online now. Apply online, stop by one of our branches, or give us a call to find out more.

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