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Debit or Credit ? Paper or Plastic ?
Old 08-02-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
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Debit or Credit ? Paper or Plastic ?

Maybe this is stupid, but I haven't figured out yet....

My card for my bank has a "Visa" logo - so I am assuming it can be used for ATM / Debit / and Visa transactions.

ATM: I understand.

Debit: that's where I enter PIN and I understand the amount is immediately withdrawn (or reserved) from my checking account.

Visa: when I use this card and I say "VISA", I don't give a pin and it is processed like a regular credit card transaction.

Question: if I use the card and say "VISA", does the amount immediately get withdrawn from checking ? Or do I get a Visa bill from the bank for the month's charges ?
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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It's immediately withdrawn from checking but the merchant pays the full cost of a credit transaction.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
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IMO you have to "read the fine print" that you received when you got the card. I thought it was EITHER a Debit Card or a Charge Card but not BOTH. Not sure about the ATM part of it - I have separate ATM cards.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:12 PM   #4
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It's immediately withdrawn from checking but the merchant pays the full cost of a credit transaction.
That's how mine works. It always acts as a debit card, but if you say "credit" you don't get stuck with the fee. So, when faced with a choice, "credit" is the correct response. You will have to sign, rather than giving your pin number. The transactions are otherwise identical.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:14 PM   #5
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Want2, we've never paid for a debit purchase at a retailer. It could depend on where you bank, I suppose. But, regardless, with our US Bank bank account or credit union account, we've never paid to use the card as a debit card at a retailer.

It works out better for the retailer as well as the transaction fee is much lower for clearing a debit card than a credit card.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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My credit union always reminds members to say "credit" when using debit cards...something about the way they are charged. So I always try to use credit when using my debit VISA card.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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I've seen merchants charge for atm/debit fees (Arco gas stations here in CA are a good example) and I've seen merchants charge extra or hit you up for a fee for using a credit card instead of cash.

Use the one that doesnt charge a fee. On the bank side it works exactly the same for a visa branded debit card...the money comes out immediately. In one case the atm network processes the transaction and the debit. In the other case, visa processes the transaction and the debit.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:39 PM   #8
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Guess I'm slow to change my habits.

Anyone else have an opinion on "paper or plastic"? My city now forbids the bigger stores from using plastic. I don't know what to do with all those paper bags. So sometimes I purposely go to smaller stores to get the plastic bags for using for garbage; then pack them in the paper bags, seems a waste but then that's what garbage is. I also now buy small size bags for the bathroom garbage and kitty litter scoops.

I never use the cards marked debit except at the ATM machines.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
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Well, I guess my bank is a bunch of scoundrels... should I be surprised? :lol: I got stuck with a number of those fees when I first got my debit Mastercard, about 10 years ago. Since then I have always selected "credit" transactions and I never pay, so it really doesn't matter much to me what they do with "debit" transaction fees..

My large grocery store only offered plastic for years. Last year the store's chain failed and was bought out by another chain, which offers paper or plastic. I admit I am somewhat taken aback when making the choice. I don't know what to do!

Before plastic was ever an option, back in the dark ages, I really liked paper because I lined my wastebaskets with them and the plastic bags were too small for that. Now, I choose plastic and use them to pack my lunch for work.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
Guess I'm slow to change my habits.

Anyone else have an opinion on "paper or plastic"? My city now forbids the bigger stores from using plastic. I don't know what to do with all those paper bags. So sometimes I purposely go to smaller stores to get the plastic bags for using for garbage; then pack them in the paper bags, seems a waste but then that's what garbage is. I also now buy small size bags for the bathroom garbage and kitty litter scoops.
I've been using mainly cloth bags for 15+ years.

I use paper bags for recycling paper.

I take plastic bags to the farmers' market for reuse.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:17 PM   #11
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I've noticed that withdrawals made as POS credit charges usually take a day or more to show up in my account. POS debit charges show up right away.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:35 PM   #12
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Giving a PIN to a retailer probably isn't a good idea. You're trusting that the retailer will not record the PIN accidentally or on purpose.

PINs no obstacle for debit card thieves - Security - MSNBC.com

"Litan says many merchants incorrectly store PIN information they should be destroying after customers enter the secret code on PIN pads in stores around the country. While the information is often encrypted into something called a PIN block, the keys necessary to decrypt the information are often stored on the same network, she said"
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:36 PM   #13
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5 finger discount. No debit, no credit, no paper, no plastic, and it's the most frugal option. The risk/reward ratio may bit a little on the high end though...
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
Anyone else have an opinion on "paper or plastic"? My city now forbids the bigger stores from using plastic. I don't know what to do with all those paper bags. So sometimes I purposely go to smaller stores to get the plastic bags for using for garbage; then pack them in the paper bags, seems a waste but then that's what garbage is. I also now buy small size bags for the bathroom garbage and kitty litter scoops.
About 25 years ago I vacationed in Maine, and the local grocery had these great "recyclable" plastic bags. I thought that was soooo cool, we could stop killing trees for grocery bags. I came hoe (DC area) and agitated my local Safeways and Giants to start using recylable plastic bags. A year or two later they did. I think of that every time I drive past a tree with bags caught in them, or see them floating in the bay.

I switched to cloth and re-usable recycled plastic bags (Trader Joe's has the best looking) about 5 years ago. But the above story is why I've become really hesitant about buying into any new "green" tech. Bio-fuels are another example. The Law of Unintended Consquences seems to rule.
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:59 PM   #15
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Back to that credit/debit card thing.

If I use my debit card, my bank hits me with a $1 fee on every transaction. Plus, the money is taken from my account more or less immediately.

If I use my credit card, there is no $1 fee. I get to hang on to my money during the grace period, at which time I pay the whole thing off. Then, at the end of the year, I get cash rewards from the issuer, which happens to be USAA.

This is about as close to a no-brainer as it gets. The debit card rarely sees the light of day. I have to get new credit cards early because the magnetic strip wears out.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
Anyone else have an opinion on "paper or plastic"? My city now forbids the bigger stores from using plastic. I don't know what to do with all those paper bags. So sometimes I purposely go to smaller stores to get the plastic bags for using for garbage; then pack them in the paper bags, seems a waste but then that's what garbage is. I also now buy small size bags for the bathroom garbage and kitty litter scoops.
We take our own reusable shopping bags. We've been doing this for > 10 years now. We started with large canvas bags, but now use the lighter "new fangled" recycled plastic woven bags. Most store sell these now cheap.

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Old 08-03-2008, 06:48 AM   #17
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If I use my debit card, my bank hits me with a $1 fee on every transaction. Plus, the money is taken from my account more or less immediately.
Damn - that's a helluva fee. Does it show as a extra line item ? Hope I'm not getting hit with this.

I did several purchases at grocery store - both Credit and Debit.

The credit charges show up as "CHECK CARD PURCHASE" on bank website.
The debit charges show up as "POS PURCHASE" on bank website.

Don't think I get charges for either.

Looks like Debit charges get posted right away. Looks like credit get posted in a day (they are NOT consolidated to a month end statement and charge like a "regular" visa).
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:24 AM   #18
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I have the same kind of card. The money is taking out of my checking account. I would suggest not using the debit option, I know many banks charge a fee when you use it.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:52 AM   #19
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If we use the credit option on our debit card, we can earn points, so I guess that would be a reason to go that way. We almost always use the debit function, though--the merchants are having enough trouble making a profit without the credit fees, and we don't get charged by our bank for using the debit feature. I could see going back to writing checks for purchases the old fashioned way if the banks start charging us for debiting.

For any bigger purchase we use a credit card, though.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #20
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We just switched from a bank with fee for using debit to one that does not charge the fee. I am so happy about that! I like to be able to get cash back at the grocery store when I need a few dollars without having to make a separate trip to the ATM.

Re: paper vs. plastic - I get some of each. I'm pretty environmentally responsible (I like to think) but we actually use the bags. We use them when we scoop cat litter daily (4 cats). If I didn't use the ones from the grocery store, we'd have to buy plastic bags or something anyway. When we get bags that have holes (happens sometimes) we put them in the plastic bag recycle bins at the store. If anyone has a better solution for disposing of cat litter, I'm listening. We use paper bags in our trash can and also to hold paper for recycling. I do often just forgo the bag if I am buying just one or 2 things. And when I go to the mall to shop, I do take my own shopping bag.

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