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  • Writer's pictureDearRobin

Online shopping: Debit Card or Credit Card?

Dear Robin-

I have read that it is better to use a Credit Card when I do my online shipping. Is this true?

Anabel- Conn.

Dear Anabel-

I use my debit card when I withdraw money from my local bank ATM machine but debit cards should not be used to pay for online transactions; a credit is always safer for online shopping. You're not as protected against fraud when you use a debit card, and disputes with those cards can be difficult to resolve. Plus, if someone steals your debit card number, your entire bank account is vulnerable.

Credit card users are protected by the Truth in Lending Act, which says you're not liable for any debts if you report that your card has been lost or stolen before unauthorized transactions are made. Additionally, there's a $50 limit on liability, even after your missing card has been used.

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act, which regulates debit card use, is a bit more convoluted. You could be liable for only $50 -- if you notify your financial institution within two days of realizing that your card has been lost or stolen. If you wait until later than that but within 60 days of the date your statement was mailed you could be on the hook for up to $500. Wait even longer, and you could be responsible for every transaction -- and quite possibly lose every cent in your bank account. much as you might feel uncomfortable using a credit card instead of your debit card..It will help to keep you safe when shopping online.

If you would like to learn more check out the my resources on

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