Your debit card looks like a credit card, but functions very differently. A debit card is connected to the funds in your checking account. When you use your debit card, your bank immediately removes the funds from your checking account. You have the option, however, to use your debit card for credit transactions. Like debit transactions, credit transactions on a debit card pull funds directly from your checking account. The difference is that credit transactions may take two days or longer to process. Only then will your bank withdraw the money from your checking account.
Hand your card to the cashier when you are ready to pay for your purchases or swipe its electronic strip through the customer card terminal at the register.
Show the cashier your ID if she asks for it. Some merchants routinely check ID when customers use credit or debit cards.
Select “credit” on the customer card terminal’s screen or, if there is no customer card terminal, inform your cashier that you’d like to run the card as a credit purchase rather than a debit purchase. Unlike a debit purchase, you will not need to input your PIN when using your debit card as a credit card.
Sign the merchant’s slip the cashier hands to you or provide the store with an electronic copy of your signature by signing within the space provided on the customer card terminal’s screen.
Don't count on all credit transactions taking two days or longer. Depending on when the merchant processes its credit card slips, your payment may go through on the same day.
- credit card terminal image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com