Cash Back Credit Cards
If you are worried about all security of your debit card at retail locations, you might want to consider using a cash back credit card instead. Why? You have greater protection and far less hassle than if your debit card that is connected to your checking account is compromised.
Legally, a credit card holder is responsible for no more than $50 in unauthorized purchases, and you’ll have no liability if you report a lost or stolen card before a thief can use it. Plus, if you have a billing problem with a merchant, a credit card issuer must investigate and resolve your complaint, and you can withhold payment until then.
Debit cards tied to checking accounts are subject to a different set of rules. Report a missing debit card before unauthorized charges take place and you won’t lose any money. If you report loss or theft within two business days, you’re liable for up to $50. You could lose up to $500 if you report the problem after two days but before 60 days have passed, and you may have unlimited liability thereafter. Some banks are liberal about waiving fees, but you’ll go through a series of phone calls to get there.
If you decide to switch to a cash back credit card, just remember that the key is to pay off the balance every month so you don’t incur finance charges. If that doesn’t work for you, stay with a debit card.
Here is a site that provides comparisons of cash back credit cards. Also check AARP and AAA if you are a member.