Debit cards can be used to access money in your account, through ABMs, point-of-sale terminals such as at the checkout at a grocery store, and online.
Following are some tips on how to save money using your debit card:
- When withdrawing cash from an ABM, use your own financial institution’s ABM whenever possible so you won’t be charged extra fees. It can cost more than $8 to use an ABM not owned by your financial institution.
- Stay within your monthly limit by making fewer withdrawals of larger amounts of money from an ABM, rather than several smaller withdrawals. This is especially important if the ABM is not owned by your financial institution.
- Don’t hesitate to cancel a transaction at a point-of-sale terminal if you discover you will be charged a fee for using your debit card, or if you feel that the fee is not appropriate. You may be able to use another means of payment, such as cash, cheque or credit card, or you can take your business to another merchant who doesn’t charge for this service.
- Ask for cash back when you pay using your debit card in stores if the merchant offers this service at no charge. Using this service can help you avoid extra transaction fees that may apply at ABMs. Note that not all stores allow such transactions free of charge.
- Always be careful when using your debit card. Never give your PIN to anyone, or you may be held responsible for losses if someone gains unauthorized access to your account.
- You may also be responsible for unauthorized transactions on your account if you do not have a secure PIN. If you choose your own PIN, make sure it is not one that can be easily guessed by others. Do not use your name, phone number, your date of birth, social insurance number (SIN), address or anything else that someone may easily guess.
- Always cover the PIN pad when you enter your PIN at an ABM or a merchant’s terminal. Never let your debit card out of your sight when you make a transaction.
Source: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada