ShopSmart, the excellent magazine from the publishers of Consumer Reports, just came out with a list of ways you shouldn’t use your debit card. Among them:
1. Don’t use your debit card for big purchases or when you shop online. Credit cards can serve as a middleman in disputes, so you’re typically not out any money if there’s a problem.
2. Don’t take your debit card on trips. Credit cards often have travel insurance; debit cards don’t.
3. Don’t use a debit card if you’re worried about getting ripped off. You have more protections under federal law with a credit card. You’re only responsible for up to $50 in unauthorized purchases, and credit cards typically waive that small amount. “With a debit card, you can be out $500 if you don’t report the theft or loss of your card or PIN within two business days of discovering the problem,” the magazine noted.
4. Don’t rely on a debit card if you want to raise your credit score. Debit cards don’t build credit history. Credit cards do.
5. Don’t use your debit card if you want to earn money on purchases. Banks have eliminated or reduced most debit card reward programs, while many credit card issuers have enhanced theirs.