Debit cards are a simple, convenient way to make purchases.
They offer some wonderful benefits to cardholders including the ability to withdraw cash at ATMs all over the world, and pay for things or services, anywhere your cards are accepted. This eliminates (or at least) lowers the need to go around carrying a wad of bills which is a quite risky move if we must add.
However, as convenient as cards are, one ‘simple’ mistake can cost you all the money you have ever worked for. Each time you choose to swipe that little piece of plastic, here are six mistakes you should be wary of.
We get it, ATMs are easy and all that, but tread with caution. While running to the nearest ATM might be the quickest and easiest course of action, ATM fees from banks besides your own can quickly add up to significant amounts.
Withdrawing Cash From Random ATMs
Never withdraw from strange or stand-alone ATMs. Look for ATMs that are enclosed (sometimes in a little glass room) and located inside a bank.
Those are the good ones because they are extra secure and less susceptible to skimming, a situation where criminals attach fake card readers or keypads to find out your account details.
Failing To Keep Track Of Your Balance
It is highly embarrassing to have your card declined due to insufficient funds. To avoid this, keep a check register and record every transaction on a daily basis. This way, you’ll always know how much money is in your account.
Online banking, text alerts, and mobile applications are great ways to keep an eye on your balance. Also, if you have a joint bank account, you should monitor the spending of your partner.
Not Guarding Your Pin Properly
This is a no-brainer! This isn’t just about the person in line behind you. Next-level skimmers will go as far as setting up cameras to record your PIN as you punch it in.
What do you do? Always shield the keypad while making your transactions at the ATM. When it comes to your cash, better safe than sorry.
Trashing Your Receipts Immediately
Computers make mistakes sometimes and the best way to dispute a wrong or failed transaction is your ATM receipt. You don’t have to hold on to it forever, but keep it till your withdrawal (or deposit) clears.
It is also important that you shred your receipt before you toss it. You’d be amazed what an identity thief can do with just your name and partial account number.
Keeping Your Pin In Your Wallet
This seems painfully obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. Your PIN is designed to keep your account secure by restricting transactions to only those who know.
While it may be tempting to write your PIN on a slip of paper in your wallet or purse, doing so is like handing over a blank, signed check to anyone who steals or happens to find your card and number.
Next time you get ready to swipe your card, avoid these common mistakes so you can get the most out of your debit card.