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Using Debit Cards

Keeping close track of your purchases and automatic payments will keep you out of trouble with your financial institution. This is a page about using debit cards.
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Recently, I was stuck for over an hour in a clinic, waiting for my neighbor to be done with her appointment. I had my phone, magazines, and chats with those who came and went.

But it is summer, and I needed something to drink. After a while, I relented to the vending machine, where over priced drinks abound.

I rarely carry coins, so out came the debit card. One swish, a couple buttons and the familiar "clunk" and I was I was in juice heaven. The cost, while silly in the first place, shocked me later that day.

The beverage was supposed to be $2.00. Imagine my surprise when I found my debit card had been charged $10.00!! Nope, not a typo folks. For the next 3 days, the charge didn't change.

I later found out it's like that $1.00 ping we often get to assure that our checking account is valid, then cancelled when it is found to be.
But $8.00!

So here is my warning. We are all thrifty on here, so it's my fear that when folks are low on funds just before payday, that might bounce us without consequence. I have literally been bounced because something cost me $1.99 instead of $1.79, so I "know of where I speak".

It pays sometimes to carry "parking change" or enough for parking meters, vending machines, or that insufferable "bathrooms are for paying customers only" lollipop. Been there, done that.

I hope this helps. No photos of course, and I can't even copy and paste my debit card statement, so it's just on faith today folks. But I was lucky. Some of you might not be.

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When using your debit card, you have to be careful and ensure you have sufficient funds in your account because some places/retailers may add a pre-authorization charge that will take a couple days to fall off. If you don't have sufficient funds you could be charged with an overdraft.

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For example - I pumped gas with my debit card for $50 something dollars and when I got home, I saw a pending pre-authorization charge of $100. I was so shocked, I contacted my debit card and was told, it will come off in a few days from the gas station to prevent a pre-authoriziation charge, next time to press CREDIT at the pump, instead of debit.

Also, today I went online shopping with my debit card and the retailer placed a pre-authorization charge of $20 in addition to my transaction amount. the pre-authorization charge will fall off in 3-5 business days. When possible, I'd recommend using a credit card.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

January 14, 2018

You can easily use a check register to keep track of your credit or debit card purchases. This is a page about keeping track of debit and credit card purchases.

Woman Making Credit Card Purchase

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Consumer Advice Tips for ConsumersFebruary 25, 2018
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