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Debunking the Debit Card

Tips & Tricks | June 23, 2021

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about debit cards that actually deter people from using them – we hear them every day from our clients! Most misconceptions stem from security and fraud concerns, while others may be based on general use. Either way, we’re here to debunk some of the most common debit card myths.  


Myth: My debit card is more susceptible to fraud.

Truth: Your debit card is no more susceptible to fraud than credit cards! While many credit card companies advertise sophisticated monitoring systems, identity protection, and fraud guarantees, the same can be said for your debit card. Debit card purchases are also monitored by sophisticated software, your spending habits are used to effectively detect any potential suspicious activity, and, at Home Federal, we have a highly-trained team to assist in a proactive approach to identity protection. 


Myth: My credit card offers more fraud prevention services than my debit card. 

Truth: Yes, most credit card companies nowadays offer great fraud protection services, but did you know that many (if not all) of the same services are offered for your debit card? Here at Home Federal, we have several FREE fraud protection services available to our clients including CardGuard, where you can monitor spending for you, your family and business, get activity alerts, and more. Mobile Wallets offer a more secure way to pay without even needing your debit card with you! By using your debit card instead of your credit card, you can be confident in the security of your spending while not having to pay high interest rates on top of your purchase amount(s).


Myth: My account and routing numbers are a safer way to pay online than my debit card.

Truth: NOT TRUE! We cannot stress this enough – if you’re paying for something online, or even setting up a recurring monthly payment, you should always use your debit card number instead of your account number and the bank’s routing number. Why? Because in the unlikely event that the online company you’re doing business with experiences a data breach, there is a spending limit on purchases per day on your debit card which means only a fraction of your account balance would be accessible (versus the entire account balance if your account number was on file). Plus – it’s much easier to get a new debit card (same day if you visit your nearest Home Federal location!) than it is to get you a new account number. We assume you would much rather stop by the bank for a few minutes while we get you a new debit card on the spot, than to deal with opening a whole new account. 


Myth: My debit card doesn’t offer as many benefits as my credit card. 

Truth: This may not be a myth, depending on multiple factors including your spending habits, your card’s interest rate, account fees, and more. There are a lot of credit cards that offer miles, cash back, and other rewards, but if you’re not a.) spending enough, and b.) paying off your credit card balance every month – the interest (and/or annual fee) you’re paying on your credit card balance may very well exceed the value of the rewards you may qualify for. With your debit card, there are certain bank products that offer rewards – such as waived fees and other benefits – just for using your debit card a certain amount of times per statement period. For example, with our Interest Advantage Checking account, your debit card transactions can earn you a higher interest rate on your checking account balance which could certainly add up much faster than that “1% cash back on gas station purchases.” Make sure and do your homework, analyze your spending habits and ability to pay off your credit card every month, and factor in your credit card’s interest rate and annual fees before determining which offers the best reward(s) – the savings and/or money back you can get by using your debit card may surprise you!


Myth: Using my debit card online does not count as a debit card transaction. 

Truth: There are certain banking products that offer additional benefits based on the amount of monthly debit card transactions you have, so this is a popular misconception we hear. In reality, every debit card purchase you make – regardless of if it’s at the register or via an online checkout service – counts toward your monthly debit card transactions. 


All in all, we want you to feel confident and comfortable using your debit card. It offers a quicker way to pay than paper checks, provides direct access to your funds, and is just as secure (if not more, considering our local team on your side here at Home Federal!) as credit card purchases. 


Have any further questions about debit card use? Give us a call at 888.489.5355 – we’re always happy to help. 

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