Using a debit card can put your money at risk

Using a debit card can put your money at risk

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you go out for lunch or coffee or run another errand - how do you pay? A new survey finds most people use debit cards, which is not a good move for a number of reasons.

New data from The Nilson report finds debit cards were the number-one payment method used by Americans in 2016, the most recent data available.

Americans whipped out debit cards nearly 68 billion times in 2016, paid with cash 49 million times, and with credit about 35 billion times. That means people used their debit cards nearly twice as often as credit, even though credit cards are more likely to mean rewards and come with much better fraud protection.

If someone runs up fraudulent charges on your credit card, the most you'll pay is $50 out of pocket. Most lenders will forgive all the charges.

But if someone steals your debit card number and uses it, you need to report it right away. If you don't report debit card fraud in two business days, you could be on the hook for up to $500.

Your safest bet is to use credit cards or cash in nearly every situation.

Another smart move - set up alerts with your bank, so you're notified each time your debit card is used.

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