A debit card works like a check because it uses money from your checking/share draft account. Having a debit card is not like having unlimited money. You need money in your checking account in order to pay for something with a debit card.
For example, say you want to use your debit card to buy an iPad for $499. You must have at least $499 in your checking account to cover the purchase. When you swipe your card, the $499 automatically leaves your account.
There are many good reasons for getting a debit card.
- Are accepted almost everywhere
- Are fast
- Allow you to carry less cash
- Work as a cash card at an ATM (automated teller machine)
- Draw cash out of your checking account
Sometimes people lose track of the money they have in their account and they try to spend more than they have. When this happens, two things can occur:
- Your card can be declined
- The transaction goes through, and you get charged an overdraft fee.
Having a card declined is embarrassing enough, but the real problem is when you are charged for an overdraft. Overdraft fees can stack up really fast, and you might not even realize it until it's too late. That's why it's important to know how much is in your account at all times. It's smart to always leave a cash cushion in the account so this doesn't happen to you.
Luckily, we have online banking to help you keep track of your balances. Ask about getting a debit card today.