Perhaps you don’t know this, but it is usually far better for the merchant if you pay by entering your PIN instead of signing for a purchase. Debit card charges to the merchant are lower than credit card charges to the merchant and the same for you.
So, now you know why Wells Fargo (and probably other banks) are trying to sign you up for things like the "Exclusive Rewards" Program which only earns points for you when you pay the credit way.
Don’t make small businesses bend over for you to get your stupid Starbucks latte reward for every $2600 you charge.
Support local business and say "Debit" when they ask how you want to pay or better yet just give ’em cash.
4 thoughts on “Debit or Credit?”
I always understood point-of-sale debit charges to be a withdrawal from a “foreign ATM,” and as such subject to a bank fee.
Not with my bank (Wells Fargo). I pay with debit and even get cash back all the time at all kinds of places with no fee.
Debit purchases come without fees from most banks these days. In fact, debit purchases are the easiest way to get around those pesky ATM terminal fees that are all the rage.
A mean-spirited corollary:
When unavoidably buying something someplace you don’t particularly like, use American Express. Their merchant fees are huge, sometimes double Visa’s or Mastercard’s. (And besides, they allow nifty tricks like returning your laptop 3 months later with no restocking fee, or having them buy you a new iPod when you drop it 6 months after the warranty expired.)