4 Ways Using Your Debit Card Can Put Your Cash at Risk

If you’re not one to apply for credit cards for fear of them being a financial burden, you’re not alone. About 35% of people 30 or older don’t have a credit card, according to Bankrate. For some, it’s simply a way to ensure that they don’t spend beyond their means. It’s smart on the surface until you realize how much you might risk your cash flow by using a debit card. Here are four places and ways that using your debit card risks you losing some cash.

Pre-Authorizations at Hotels

Paying with debit card
Source: FreeGreatPicture.com

There’s a reason why most experts say to use a credit card for a hotel instead of a debit card: It’s safer. When you give the clerk your card, the hotel puts pre-authorized charges on your card for more than the cost of your stay. This covers a deposit just in case you run up any extra charges or damages during your visit. The pre-authorized funds won’t come off your account until after your full visit is paid for. When you pay with a credit card, you can ensure that your credit limit can hold all the extra charges. With a debit card, though, it can throw your whole bank account out of whack and you won’t have access to some of your money until after your trip.

Sneaky Self-Checkout Lanes

Self-checkout lanes at your local grocery store are a prime spot for thieves to place card skimmers. These sneaky devices read the electronic strip of your card and gain access to your private info in just a swipe. Since self-checkout lanes usually aren’t manned with staff, they’re an easy target for criminals to place skimmers. Yes, you could have your card information stolen from a credit card, too. But, it can be costlier to have funds stolen from the bank account hooked to your debit card. You’ll have to wait for your bank to fix the situation, which could take a couple of months. If your credit card is out of operation, you’ll at least still have access to your main cash flow. Or, stick to cash if you’re going to use a self-checkout – problem solved!