Save Money On Fees

Frugal For Life has a couple of tips for saving money on fees. For one, she advises swiping debit cards as credit because some stores will charge you to process the transaction otherwise.

We’ve just been swiping as credit card just to prevent against identity theft, good to know that it can actually save some money sometimes too. — BEN POPKEN

Saving Money on Fees [Frugal For Life]


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  1. partyone says:

    I always swipe my debit card as a credit card, because I get Visa points on my purchases through Wachovia. These points are like frequent flyer miles and allow me to get some pretty good swag.

  2. nweaver says:

    NEVER swipe your debit card at stores PERIOD.

    If someone steals your credit card info, who cares? Its not your money until you write the check.

    If someone steals your info from when you swiped your debit card? Its is your money missing until you get it back from the bank.

  3. MrSmokesTooMuch says:

    From the merchants point of view: Credit card companies charge us a percentage when we run your card as credit and a flat fee ($0.50 or so) when we run your card as debit. My business never charges a fee to run a clients card as debit but we do ask if we can run a charge as debit when the total is over $100.00. Why would we charge a fee when it’s actually saving us money?

  4. orielbean says:

    Also I think if you debit vs credit you can’t do a chargeback if an issue comes up. Is that a correct assumption?

  5. urban_ninjya says:

    href=”#c1310236″>orielbean: I think debit cards, you’re only liable for about $50 of fraud with most companies. I guess you lose the ability to charge back for fraud on small amounts.

    Either way, it’s a lengthy process that costs even more than it’s worth getting your money back. I had a fradulent charge once, and the credit card company even alerted me via phone about it. But then to get the money back I had to submit a notorized document swearing that I didn’t charge it, even though I was clearly in a different country during that period, lots of documents and stamps. In the end, contesting a $30 charge costed me $45 and some change. So basically all I really did was lose $15 and hopefully aided justice.

  6. Buran says:

    @urban_ninjya: Nope. No federal law protects debit card users. The $50 liability cap you speak of is the liability cap, under federal rules, for credit card fraud. You are only held liable for the first $50. Banks don’t have to hold you liable at all (and most don’t, for PR reasons) but no matter how mean they are they can’t charge you more than that.

    That’s why I treat my debit card as an ATM card only.

  7. Moosehawk says:

    When I first got my debit card and tried swiping it at a few places, I would always hit the debit button and it would return an error. I just hit credit out of habit now.

  8. Greeper says:

    It violates the terms of service between merchants and card companies to charge a service fee for using the card. You can always get the charge reversed. (Minimum purchase requirements also violate TOS for VISA, MC, AMEX, and Discover. You can charge $.01 per the TOS). I think this has been covered on here before.

  9. purkinje says:

    The only time I use my debit card is in ATMs; otherwise, it’s all credit, all the time. Mostly I do this to get my 1% cash back from Citibank, but also to avoid fraud. If there’s a problem with a transaction, I want it to come out of Citibank’s pocket, not mine.

  10. mantari says:

    I’m with Popeman. Except, it was _also_ that I was too lazy to do the PIN thing all the time, and swiping as a credit card was that much easier.

    A few years ago, clerks were really confused by my telling them to treat it as a credit card and not a debit card. And some systems make you think that you _have_ to type in your PIN (which you can usually just hit a CANCEL button and do the transaction as credit). But, like Ben, I didn’t like putting my PIN number out there for anyone to see on a visible data entry device.

  11. tubedogg says:

    In most cases it’s not the store charging you the fee to use the card as debit (though some stores do), it’s your bank. They treat it as if you are using a “foreign” (i.e. not your bank’s) ATM. A lot of banks have stopped charging fees in this manner, but a lot still do.