Money Minutes | General Electric Credit Union Blog | Financial Resources

Debit Cards are a Wallet’s First Draft Pick

Jan 28, 2022 | 4 minute read

checking account

A debit card gives you easy, secure access to funds in your checking account. If you’re like many Americans, this piece of plastic has a lot of competition in your wallet. From credit cards to cash, there are many ways for you to shop. Below are a few reasons to make a debit card the first draft pick in your wallet.

The Top Benefits of Using a Debit Card

1. Options to Earn

While checking accounts are essentially spend accounts, some can help you earn as well. One example is an interest earning checking account, which is based on a tiered-rate system. The higher your balance, the higher your return. Note that you will need to report any earnings when filing in tax season 2022. Your financial institution will send you a Form 1099-INT to aid you in this process.

2. Security

If someone were to steal your wallet and use any cash you had on hand, you would have virtually no recourse to get those funds back. Alternatively, you can report unauthorized debit card transactions to your bank or credit union. They’ll investigate the fraud and issue you a replacement card.

Did you know? General Electric Credit Union (GECU) debit cards are covered under our Zero Liability policy. You won’t be responsible for the fraudulent transactions you report.

The best debit cards also have control features that serve as an additional layer of protection. Limit transactions over a specified dollar amount, turn off the ability to make foreign transactions, and much more. Learn more about Debit Card Controls, including how to activate them, here.

Lastly, you can connect some debit cards to a digital wallet for a secure, contactless way to shop in-store, online, or in-app. Merchants will only receive a single-use code instead of your card details, better protecting you from data breaches. You’ll also need to authenticate each purchase via a pin, fingerprint, or facial recognition. This ensures a stranger won’t gain access to your banking information should you lose your phone.     

3. Conservative Spending

The average credit card limit in 2019 was over $30,000.1 While this amount is technically available to you in its entirety, that doesn’t mean you should blindly take advantage of it all at once. Unless you can afford to pay off the balance in full by its due date, you’ll end up accruing interest payments. These can quickly snowball, so it’s important to verify that you can reasonably afford card payments before racking up debt. Alternatively, you can always use your debit card. You only have access to money you already have, removing the temptation of buying something out of your price point.

GECU checking accounts are a step ahead the competition. Accountholders can expect the above as well as our top-rated Money Management budgeting app, exclusive perks like FICO® Score access at no cost,2 and free use of nearly 100,000 in-network ATMs and ITMs with a GECU debit card.3 You can even spend today and save for tomorrow with Round-Up. This program rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar, then deposits the change into your GECU savings account. Enroll by calling 513.243.4328, emailing memberservices@gecreditunion.org, or sending us a Secure Chat within Online Banking or our mobile app.

 

 

 

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1Fool.com What Is the Average Credit Card Limit?

2FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries. General Electric Credit Union and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. General Electric Credit Union and Fair Isaac do not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating.

3Our ATM network is fee free for withdrawals for GECU debit cardholders. In-network ATMs include: GECU, Allpoint, MoneyPass, CULIANCE, and Fifth Third ATMs. For more details visit our Debit Card Access page. Foreign transaction fees apply to out-of-network ATMs, please review our Fee Schedule for those details.

 

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