8 secrets about your debit card

Transactions may not deduct in preferred order
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Transaction register

Debit cards are like cash in some ways. But in others, they can be a completely different animal.

"People might think that when they use their debit card that transactions will come out of their account in the same order (in which) they are using their card," says Rebecca Borne, senior policy counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending. "What a lot of banks are doing is reordering those debit card transactions before they come out."

The model of processing larger purchases first, favored by some institutions, also produces maximum fees if a customer overdraws an account, she says.

You have no control over the order in which your bank processes daily transactions. But you can sidestep fees by not opting into fee-based overdraft protection programs, Borne says.

If you don't opt in, when your balance hits zero, the card stops working. And if you've already signed up for fee-based overdraft protection, you can cancel it just as easily.




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