Debit cards can be convenient ways for accessing the money in one's checking and savings accounts. Unfortunately, debit card problems such as stolen cards or PINs, overdrafted accounts, or fraudulent charges are also common. Some of these problems can be prevented by keeping careful track of one's debit card as well as the amount of money that is currently in the account.
Lost or stolen debit cards are some of the most common debit card problems. Of course, keeping track of one's card and wallet is one way to prevent a lost debit card, but that doesn't prevent the number being stolen after the card was used. As a general rule, it is a good idea not to use a debit card online, but use a credit card instead. This is because it is a simpler process to get fraudulent charges removed from a credit card than to replace money that was stolen from a checking account.
In addition, do not let anyone see the PIN associated with the debit card, because this can lead to problems with a debit card as well. Never write the PIN on the back of the card. If someone does learn the PIN, contact the bank to find out if it can be changed. In addition, be sure to carefully review the bank statement every month, and report any fraudulent charges as soon as possible.
Some debit card problems occur if one does not keep the checkbook balanced. It is important to write down not just every check in the check register, but every debit transaction as well. Often, an overdraft with a debit card can lead to bank fees that are similar to a bounced check, and banks are rarely willing to waive the fees even if it was a mistake. This is especially common now that many stores can process debit cards as if they were a credit card.
While not necessarily debit card problems, some banks charge yearly fees for the use of a debit card. Sometimes, these fees are only charged if the card is not used a certain number of times in the year, so be sure to read the fine print when signing up for a debit card. Being careful and diligent with a debit card is the best way to prevent any problems from occurring, and will also help to ensure that there is always enough money in the checking account to cover transactions.