Thursday, October 24, 2002
More Bang for Your Buck: Credit vs. Debit
Remember when the big question at the supermarket was paper or plastic? Now, we're stumped over when to press credit or debit.
(WSVN) Debit or credit? The question so many of us are asked everyday when we go to use our bank cards for purchases.
"I say debit."
"I say I have debit so I press in my code."
But does it really matter which option you choose?
"Bank or credit?"
Although both options come with most bank-cards, one may be costing you....
David Dove, Dove Consulting, says "A lot of consumers get surprised by this."
David Dove, President Of Dove Consulting, says that 26% of banks charge at least a portion of their customers a fee for selecting debit rather than credit.
"I found out the hard way...I checked out my statement and there was all these 35 cent charges."
Charges that occurred by pressing the debit button.
"Its a pretty small fee but it adds up when you use your card everyday."
Which is why consumer advocate group masspirg is advising consumers to shop around when looking for a bank.
Brad Dakake, Masspirg, says "Theres really no reasons that consumers need to pay that
amount and i would advise consumers to find a better deal."
A better deal may just be a button away
David Dove says, "the credit option would feel more like a credit card where i'd sign piece of paper...but its not a credit card."
So it basically comes down to who pays the fee.
If you select debit, you could be paying as much as a dollar fee along with the cost of the purchase.
If you select "credit," you pay the cost of the purchase while the retailer picks up the fee.
Brad Dakake, Masspirg, says "banks and credit card companies want you to press credit
because it means more profit for them, merchants want you to press debit because then it means they dont have to pay an outrageous fee."
The debit option may also be the way to go if your looking to get "cash back". Although you may still be charged a fee, it saves you from additional atm charges that many banks add on.
Remember each bank is different so it is important to ask questions about extra fees when you sign up for a new account.