One of the leading products provided by credit unions and banks are debit cards. They also offer several advantages, just as credit cards do. 

When you shop and have a debit card, there’s no need to bring cash with you for your transactions. And, if you need cash, making a withdrawal transaction at any nearby ATM is always convenient.


Debit cards are valuable financial tools because, without the possibility of accumulating debt, they provide the convenience of plastic. Much like credit cards, though, if not used carefully, debit cards can lead to disaster. Here are some best debit card tips for spending carefully and smartly.

Debit Card Tips to Remember

Know Your Spending Habits

It might not be suitable for everyone to carry a debit card. Do you have bad habits with money, including not balancing your checkbook, missing receipts, and getting crushed with overdraft fees? 

If so, any time you crave a cappuccino, stop taking out your debit card and pay cash for daily transactions. The crucial thing is that you ensure you don’t get into any problems by using your debit card.


Keep Track of Transactions

To prevent bounced checks, overdraft charges, and stress, keep detailed records. Note down any transaction in your check register straight away. 

For those with joint accounts, this goes double for you. You both must document and be in constant contact with each other for all your transactions. 

Debit Card Tips to Remember

Be Smart About Choosing A PIN

Begin by choosing a randomized combination of numbers you can easily recall. Do not have a PIN that could be guessed by a criminal, such as your initials, the birthday of your child, the last four digits of your Social Security number, or numbers in order. 

More significantly, be careful not to share with others this sensitive information. Never send the number of the pin via text, chat, or email. If you have to save it, have it stored in a place that can only be accessed by you.

Watch Out For Holds

Be keenly aware of holds. A merchant may put a “hold” on your transaction in certain cases, where they will obtain an estimated purchase amount approval from your bank. You will be charged until they get approval for the estimated purchase cost. 

This “hold” will take 1-2 days, so during this period, you will not have access to held money in your bank account. You should make sure to keep track of the transactions held during the day so that you don’t try to spend the money in your account that is held.

Make sure that no holds have been or will be applied on your account before using your debit card for stuff such as buying gas, booking hotel reservations, or buying airfare tickets. Try using a credit card instead, if you’re not confident about this.

Debit Card Tips to Remember

Use ATM Terminals Wisely

It is not unusual to have your debit card data compromised after the use of ATM terminals. In order to steal information, some robbers mount skimming devices and fake card readers to the terminals. 

Be sure to only use the ATM terminals you can trust, such as those in public places within the bank and credit card locations and terminals. Make sure it’s safe to do so until you use an ATM. Using ATMs only in secure, well-lit areas.

Bottom Line

Owning a debit card has various advantages. To prevent additional problems and confusion down the road, safety measures should always be made. 

A debit card is a wonderful tool, but it’s just not for all. Ask yourself, “Am I the kind of person who is going to have trouble with this?”