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7 Times You Shouldn’t Use a Debit Card for Payment

Reader's Digest Canada Logo By Jen McCaffery, RD.com of Reader's Digest Canada | Slide 1 of 8: Swiping a debit card is an easy way to make a purchase when you don’t have cash. But there are plenty of reasons you should be wary of using them, consumer experts say. "They’re good for routine transactions and certainly if you’re looking to keep your spending within limits, they do provide you a little bit better way to manage that," says Leslie Tayne, a financial attorney and author of Life and Debt: A Fresh Approach Toward Achieving Financial Wellness. "But for major purchases, credit cards are usually a better way to go because they will offer you more protection." The convenience of using debit cards may be outweighed by the risk of fraud. "I think it’s always a bad idea to use your debit card to make a purchase," says Kimberly Palmer, the personal finance expert at NerdWallet. "The only reason you should use your debit card is to withdraw money from an ATM or a bank." On top of that, by using a debit card, you’re missing out on the rewards you can earn from buying items with credit cards. So here’s when you definitely don’t want to use a debit card.

The don'ts of debit cards

Swiping a debit card is an easy way to make a purchase when you don’t have cash. But there are plenty of reasons you should be wary of using them, consumer experts say. "They’re good for routine transactions and certainly if you’re looking to keep your spending within limits, they do provide you a little bit better way to manage that," says Leslie Tayne, a financial attorney and author of Life and Debt: A Fresh Approach Toward Achieving Financial Wellness. "But for major purchases, credit cards are usually a better way to go because they will offer you more protection."

The convenience of using debit cards may be outweighed by the risk of fraud. "I think it’s always a bad idea to use your debit card to make a purchase," says Kimberly Palmer, the personal finance expert at NerdWallet. "The only reason you should use your debit card is to withdraw money from an ATM or a bank."

On top of that, by using a debit card, you’re missing out on the rewards you can earn from buying items with credit cards. So here’s when you definitely don’t want to use a debit card.

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