NEW YORK (MainStreet) – No doubt about it, debit card usage is a big part of the new normal on Main Street these days as consumers try to manage credit card debt.
According to the TSYS & Mercator Advisory Group Debit Survey 2011, debit is now the preferred payment type in most point-of-sale locations, beating cash, credit cards and checks.
But that doesn’t mean you should use debit cards all the time. In fact, there are some places and times that using a debit card is actually a lousy proposition.
For example, using a debit card online can work against you. If you have a problem with the purchase or your debit card number is stolen, it’s a huge hassle to get the money restored to your account and making your card number safe and secure again. In the online world, credit cards are usually a better bet.
Here are some other instances where debit card usage is a bad idea:
Rental or security deposits. If you have to put money down to rent a car or heavy duty home improvement equipment, try not to use a debit card. Why? Because the business will actually take the money out of your account in the form of a security deposit. You’ll get the cash back when you return the car or equipment. But with a credit card, the money is just “frozen” but not actually charged and you won’t ever notice it’s gone.