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Test your debit-card IQ

If you have a checking account, chances are that you also have been offered a debit card. Do you know how to use it? Knowing the right answers to these questions will save you lots of money!
  1. Quick! What do you call that card in your wallet that lets you withdraw cash from an ATM and make purchases without using credit?

    Debit card
    Check card
    Enhanced ATM card
    Express checking card
    All of the above
  2. You can pull your debit card out faster than Billy the Kid wielded a six-shooter, but do you really know how they work. Ready? Choose the best description.

    Debit cards offer the same ''Buy now, pay later'' purchasing power as a credit card.
    Debit cards are like an electronic checkbook. Before the ink dries the money is out of your checking account.
    Debit cards offer a cash float until your next paycheck as the money takes up to a week to clear your checking account.
  3. Two types of debit cards exist: direct debit cards and deferred debit cards. Which statement best describes direct debit cards? (Go ahead, wade in the murky waters.) A direct debit card ...

    ... requires a personal identification number (PIN), directly removes purchase amount from your account and is accepted by many merchants.
    ... requires a signature, directly removes purchase amount from your account and is accepted by most merchants.
    ... requires a signature, has a Visa or MasterCard logo and is accepted wherever Visa or MasterCard are accepted and removes purchase amount from your account in two or three days.
  4. When you swipe your card through at the checkout line, you may be asked if you want to pay by ''debit'' or ''credit.'' So which button do you push?

    My card is a direct debit card only. I need to push ''debit'' and enter my PIN.
    My card is a deferred debit card only. I need to push ''credit'' and sign a sales slip.
    My card has both functions. I can push either button, and enter my PIN or sign a sales slip.
    All of the above are correct scenarios.
  5. With identity theft on the rise, which debit card offers the best security against someone going on a shopping spree with your money?

    Direct debit cards are the best choices. Would-be identity thieves would have to know your PIN to access your account.
    Signature-based deferred debit cards are better. Store clerks are educated to catch a forged signature immediately.
    Forget it! Either way, if a thief gets your debit card, you're toast.
  6. Your car breaks down while you're on vacation. To pay for the repairs, your best move would be to:

    Kick the tires and reach for your cash.
    Pull your hair and reach for your debit card.
    Hit the steering wheel and reach for your credit card.
    Kick the tires, pull your hair, and hit the steering wheel.
  7. Shopping on the Web with your deferred debit card is as secure as a credit card.

    True, I wouldn't hesitate to make purchases online using my debit card.
    False. I wouldn't risk using my debit card to make purchases online.

-- Posted: March 10, 2003

 

 

 

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