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.
- Bankrate.com: Check Card Problems to Watch
- Washington State Department of Financial Institutions: Debit Card Frequently Asked Questions
- Consumer.gov. "Using Debit Cards." Accessed July 16, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "When a Company Blocks Your Credit or Debit Card." Accessed July 16, 2020.
- Element Federal Credit Union. "Debit Card Holds and Issues Explained." Accessed July 16, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "A Closer Look: Overdraft and the Impact of Opting-In," Page 1. Accessed July 16, 2020.
- MyFICO. "What Is Amounts Owed?" Accessed July 16, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards." Accessed July 16, 2020.
- 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.
Ciele Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been a consumer advocate and credit specialist for more than 10 years. She currently works in the real-estate industry as a consumer credit and debt specialist. Edwards has experience working with collections, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, loans and credit law.