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CU System
CUNA contributes to IBankrateI debit card advice
MADISON, Wis. (5/19/11)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) contributed to a Bankrate.com story on advice about debit cards, which was subsequently picked up by Fox Business.com and Yahoo! Finance. In an article titled “8 secrets about your debit card,” Michelle Dosher, CUNA managing editor for consumer publications, contributed comments to two of the eight items (items four and six below). Bankrate listed eight things about a debit card that consumers may not know:
* It may have fraud and theft protection. However, some debit card issuers offer no liability protection against fraud and theft. To protect themselves, consumers need to ask specific questions such as: How do you have to use the card? What’s the timetable for reporting a loss due to an unauthorized transaction? * The card can help find lost receipts. Some issuers will offer a service to find receipts and e-mail them to users. * It may impose a daily spending limit. No matter how much is in a user’s account, the financial institution will cap debit spending once the limit is reached. * A card likes routine. If a user deviates from normal use patterns, the debit card may not work because institutions often will deactivate a card if they notice atypical use. However, with some issuers, users can let their credit union or bank know if they intend to use the card when they are out of town, and the issuer will put a “travel alert” on the account, CUNA’s Dosher told Bankrate. * Transactions may not be deducted in the order they are purchased. Some institutions deduct large purchases first, which can produce maximum fees if a customer overdraws an account. * The balance may be smaller than it appears. With signature-based purchases, money can take a few days before it exits an account, Dosher told Bankrate. To keep track of purchases, customers and members should look into online banking services offered by their credit union or bank, she added. * The card could tap a savings account. At many credit unions and banks, one option for low-cost overdraft protection is to link checking and savings accounts. However, if the two accounts are linked, anyone with the access to the debit card can empty both accounts. * Users might have another option. Many credit unions and banks offer ATM cards designed just to withdraw cash from ATMs. However, ATM cards can still be used to purchase gas or merchandise at some locations--any place that accepts a personal identification number.
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