A few days ago, my 18-year-old nephew texted me, “Do you know what this is? I didn’t make these purchases.” To ape M*A*S*H’s Radar O’Reilly, he got a debit card in puberty and got hacked in adultery.
Someone got ahold of his debit card number and bought some concert tickets. Because it was a debit card, the money left his bank account lickity-split. There was nothing stopping thieves from getting at his cash.
Thankfully, since he was set up to receive alerts, he caught it and contacted his bank regarding the fraudulent activity. They will investigate and eventually get his money back to him.
To avoid this hassle, I never use a debit card except to occasionally grab some cash.
If you insist on using a debit card, activate alerts in your account’s profile so you will be made aware of activity that may be fraudulent. If doing that is a nuisance, make sure you check your account activity. If those suggestions seem like too much trouble, prepare to get fleeced.
There is an easier way…
Put away that debit card except for emergency cash needs. Use a no-annual-fee, cash-back credit card for your purchases. Pay off your balance with cash that would have come out of your account via your debit card.
Among other benefits, the beauty of a credit card is that it puts a firewall between merchants and thieves and your hard-earned cash. Even if your card number is stolen, your cash remains in your possession.
If someone hacks your account or gets your credit card number, you will see the charge on your credit card statement. Next, alert your credit card to the hack. You are not responsible for that fraudulent activity either – if you alert the bank.
As many of you know, I have about 30 credit cards, but I only use one card on a daily basis. All of the other 29 cards have alerts on them for any activity.
If you want to stop exposing your bank account to thieves, ditch the debit card. Get yourself a credit card that never has an annual fee and gives you cash back.
At the top right side of this website under “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offer$” click “Cash Back Credit Cards”. That will take you to a secure site where you can get more info on these bad boys. Email me if you have any questions. Full disclosure: I may get a commission if you use my links so… Thanks for clicking through my links!
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