Credit or Debit?

  1. My bank card does both credit and debit. When a cashier asks which it is which should I say. I know it doesn't matter since they both come out of my checking account. But behind the scenes in one better than the other.

    There is no rhyme or reason to which I choose, sometimes I choose credit, sometimes I choose debit.

    Which do you do?
  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Have the same question. Overheard part of a conversation once on this subject but was unable to ask for info as was in hurry. Also just recently, (like within the past 3 days) saw news feature on subject, but they never answered the question What advantage to the consumer. There is, of course, some advantage to the banks and stores, in the form of fees, etc. But of course, whatever the advantage to the consumer, if any, will be taken away, once it b/c widely known by the public. Sorry I don't have the answer.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    I usually say "Credit" because it's faster and more private than having to tap in your private bank password while someone could be looking over your shoulder to get it.... and I always have my own pen ready to sign the slip.
  5. by   aimeee
    Since I pay my credit balance in full, and I get a percentage back from them, it is to my advantage to use the credit card.
  6. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by aimeee
    Since I pay my credit balance in full, and I get a percentage back from them, it is to my advantage to use the credit card.
    third shift guyis referring to a back check card, that can be used as either...but either way comed from his checking acct.....

    i learned aftera trip out of town that you should use it as debit...only use it the credit option if the debit function is not working on that terminal....because...and this makes no sense to me, but this is how i recall the bank attempting to explain it to me: when you use it as credit, they lock double the amount of the transaction, even though they only deduct the amount of the transaction...this can result in your card being declined, depending on the amounts of your balance and transactions....
    i repeat this maeks no sense to me..but that is my memory's version of how it was explained to me,...
  7. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I disagree with sunnygirl's post. I know she said she wasn't sure about what she had been told.
    We always use it as credit when we go on vacation, they said that way we could use the Visa dispute thingy if we needed to. And we spend it down to the last freakin' dime and they've never locked out double or more than extra. Actually alot of times, the hotel charges and things don't even come through until we've been home a week or so.
    I was told by the bank to use it as Visa because of the Visa dispute thing like if the item is defective and they won't take it back or argue with you, you can call the bank and have the charge removed or held or whatever. Also that the Visa thing sometimes doesn't come through right away, and using as debit comes right off that day. (Comes in handy when you're two hundred miles from home and needing gas money and the 500 charge from the hotel hasn't come through yet. Just praying the paycheck will get deposited before it does!!!) And the disadvantage is for the retailer because they get charged a dollar or two by the bank for using the Visa, for whatever reason they do that.
  8. by   indynurse
    If you use it as a debit, you can be subjected to the ATM charges. We always use it as a credit card. We did have a problem a few years ago with a hotel in St. Louis. We used our debit card when we checked in and a few minutes later, I received a call to go to the front desk. They told me our card was declined for the amount they were trying to put a hold on for. Our total hotel bill should have been about $450.00 for 4 nights. The front desk clerk would not tell me how much they were trying to place a hold on our account for, but I did know that our card had a daily limit of $500.00 per day. The clerk suggested we just come down each morning to "renew" our room or put the room on a regular credit card. I later learned from my sister, who used to work as a front desk clerk during college, that the hotel will often place a hold on your account for double what they estimate the total hotel bill to be. Now we just use a regular credit card for hotel stays so it does not matter if they place a hold on the account. For our everyday purchases, we use the debit card.
    I always use mine as a credit. I do believe there are extra charges if it's used as a debit. I also don't like having to type in a pin number when the freak behind me is standing close enough to be sharing my underwear with me.

    And I don't know about that "locking up" of funds. I've been overdrawn before and it has let me use my bank card. I asked this very question of the bank and they said it is not their responsibility to keep track of my balance. I also work with a woman who had a son away at college that had a bank card he used. She couldn't get ahold of him for days (over a party weekend) to tell him that he was overdrawn (letters still come home), and he kept getting deeper because the bank continues to LET YOU use the card when you're overdrawn. To the tune of around $25 a pop at most banks. He would use it for $5 worth of gas, and attached to it was a $25 fee.

  10. by   deespoohbear
    I have always used mine as a debit problem (except for when I forget to record something in the check register then overdraw my account... ). The bank has never hit me with an ATM fee when I use it as a debit card at a store or something. If I don't have enough in my checking account to cover my purchase, it has been denied by the store (that's embarrassing :imbar. When I enter my PIN number I make sure I shield the terminal. The clerks at the grocery store actually turn their heads when I am entering my PIN....

    I love my debit card...I can fill up my vehicle and never go inside the smoky, stinky, convenience store, buy stuff online without charging it, and so on....
    I can do all that stuff with mine as a credit card too. I don't think it's necessarily the consumer that gets the charges. I think the store (or whatever) charges the bank in some way, it's weird. I saw a segment on some consumer show once, and I don't completely remember the rationale, it was really twisted how the fees are charged. But my bank has pretty much made it impossible to use mine as a debit. Most places, it just won't go through until I use it as a credit. I would keep swiping and swiping the card, and finally the cashier would go "Is that card through _____ bank? You HAVE to use it as a credit then." That's how I got into the habit of just doing it that way.

  12. by   2banurse
    I haven't noticed any differences in charges if I used either debit or credit card, but as long as I don't need any money back, I use it as a credit card. This requires my signature, which makes me feel better.

  13. by   louloubell1
    Ooh, those fees! I can hardly stand to look at my bank statements anymore....$1 fee here, $1 fee there....adds up to be just unreal. I think someone else mentioned this too, but I was told by a friend who works in customer service at walmart that if you use your card as a debit you pay the fee, but if you use it as a credit card the store pays the fee. I usually forget that though, & almost always end up paying by debit.

    Convicted of placenta previa & serving time on couch arrest ~ Day 23
    Oh Lou, you sparked something in my head. I do think that's what it was. As a debit, either you or your bank pays the fee. As a credit, I think the store pays the fee. Hence why some places I shop will only let you use it as a debit (I'll just write a check there), and my bank has made it darn near impossible for me to use it as a debit.