Places to avoid using your debit card

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- These days, many consumers just don't like carrying cash around. That's because debit cards seem to have become the "norm" when people want to pay for something.

One Valley resident we talked to said she used her debit card, "because if I have cash in my wallet I tend to spend it easier."

Another resident said people use their debit cards because, "it's the ease of transaction," and "they have made it easier to use debit than cash."

But according to, there are some places you never want to use your debit card.

For example, online purchases.  The problem here is you're too vulnerable if you have problems with your purchase. Plus, if there is a problem, getting the money returned to your bank account is always a hassle.

Another purchase to avoid with your debit card is big ticket items. Unlike credit card purchases, debit cards offer fewer protections and few dispute rights.

Always avoid using your debit card for deposits because the deposit comes immediately out of your bank account.

This one may surprise you, but never use your debit card at restaurants. Restaurants are one of the few places where your debit card actually leaves your sight and you have no idea if someone is writing down your card number somewhere.

Finally, don't use your debit card at gas stations. Even if you pump $10 worth of gas, you could have a temporary bank hold of $50 for the next two or three days.

Of course, the way around this is to use your debit card, but select the "credit" button so it's processed as a credit card transaction.