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Our bank is mildly encouraging us to get debit cards and use online banking. Being one who enjoys the benefits of technology this is one area where I am, oddly, a bit of a Luddite. We have a few automatic payments setup (utilities, student loan) but otherwise mail out checks for the rest of our payments, and also use checks at the grocery store and for many retail purchases. We use credit cards seldom and pay those balances in full every month.

We know about saving on postage but there is a perverse satisfaction to writing out a check for the mortgage every month, a physical reminder that we're making progress. And it sure felt good to slap that stamp on the big lump payment that paid-off the Legacy a month back. For us, there's a positive psychological aspect to using paper checks.

But we need to join the 1990s one of these days. :icon_redface: What is your experience with online banking and debit cards?

- How do you keep track, day-to-day, of your balance, especially when two people are drawing on the same account? Any problems with overspending since there is no checkbook with a running total?
- Have you had to dispute charges, and how easy, or difficult, was it to resolve?
- Have you had any fraud or security problems with a debit card? Does the debit card offer the same level of fraud protection as a credit card?
- Has the bank screwed up any of your online payments?
- How easy was it to setup online payments?
- How are you keeping track of payment verification? I assume the bank doesn't leave those records permanently accessible online.

Yeah, I know debit cards are supposed to be quicker at the grocery checkout line, but I'm faster with my checkbook than most clowns trying to figure out the card swiper. :biggrin:
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X
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286 Posts
I don't use online banking.

I'm sure some people like it and I have no wish to argue the matter with anyone.

But this much I will say—in these days, whenever a bank recommends something, you can bet it's going to be primarily in the bank's interest, not yours, to herd you in that direction.

I have a debit card but use my Amazon Visa (through Chase) whenever I can, because Chase has a reward setup.

I share your inclination to keep things in your own hands.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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- How do you keep track, day-to-day, of your balance, especially when two people are drawing on the same account? Any problems with overspending since there is no checkbook with a running total?
...online banking usually keeps track of it for you.. showing you your balance and whats been spent and added to your account also showing pending and cleared transactions.. i usually keep track of my balance in my head n roughly subtract stuff in my head.. you can always just keep your own written record like youve been doin with your checkbook..

i have overspent only once n usually try to avoid that since they have overdraft fees

- Have you had to dispute charges, and how easy, or difficult, was it to resolve?
...this may depend on the bank.. i have bank of america n theyre usually pretty good at resolving issues, though, ive only personally had like 1 or 2 instances an issue.. but not big.. they even try to refund overdraft fees if they can for you

- Have you had any fraud or security problems with a debit card? Does the debit card offer the same level of fraud protection as a credit card?
...never had an issue *knock on wood*

- Has the bank screwed up any of your online payments?
...nope

- How easy was it to setup online payments?
...easy.. you either type in ur debit card number or bank account/routing number.. but this is more with the company your setting up online payments with rather than the bank

- How are you keeping track of payment verification? I assume the bank doesn't leave those records permanently accessible online.
...some companies send you a confirmation email.. i personally remember the date auto-payments are gonna be made n i check both my bank account online n the companys online statements my moneys goin to.. n i think bank of america offers records online n the farthest ive gone back was 6 months! so i guess it varys with banks

what it comes down to really is less paper n not having to wait for checks to be sent out/received n cleared..
 

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My debit card is through visa. It can even be used as a credit card if needed (have used it like that in an emergency when I didn't have the cash I thought I did in my account).

Online you can access pretty much any stats of your bank account. Each and every activity and it shows you all your balances (current monthly etc). Its pretty nice, I can just go online before I go out to check my balance. My bank has a nice interface for doing transfers etc (I have 2 accounts with them and can instantly transfer money between them). However I've never used online bill pay (dad does most of the accounting so puts it through his system and prints out checks so that we have a central record of all our finances).

Also my bank is a local company, so any issues and I just goto a branch where they know me by name and they work to fix any issues pretty quickly (one of the reasons I don't do my banking with chase, boa or any of the other big names except for CC accounts)
 

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-Depending on your bank and the merchant, your online statement can be updated instantly. I use my phone to check my account regularly, but honestly, I just keep in mind how much I spent. Haven't overdrawn ever yet. I like to keep about $3k in the checking account every month and throw everything else in savings.
-Yep.. can either do this via the phone or the bank too. It's really the same as before.
-Twice.. and your bank can help you with those fraudulent charges.
-Never.. but I don't use bill pay. I instead log into each of my accounts every month to initiate the transaction (like utility bills and CC bills) so I know when it was paid and how much is going out.
-I scan my receipts. Things like checks are posted for a short time. You can use this time to print them out but you can request a paper copy for a small fee too.

I would say you just need to be mindful of what you spend and watch your account on a weekly basis at the minimum via online banking. It's much like the old style, but with more instant tools.
 

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Welcome to 1998 :biggrin:

while we still do have a chequebook, we almost exclusively do our bills/banking online and through debit cards. have been doing it that way for five or six years now, once a week I sit down with a coil book and check through our account report; looking for things that don't add up. just a habit to keepan idea of where we are at and what is going on.

skimming is a risk that is getting bigger, so if you don't recognize charges or start seeing them from across the country get the bank on it. It hasn't happened to me yet but I know three or four friends who saw $20-$400 charges 'hidden' in their records.

mike
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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I do online banking but I would never use a debit card. If someone taps in to my cc card its the banks money. If they tap into my debit card its my money. I have a tough time why anyone would have a debit card.
 

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2008 Forester XT Manual
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I was in the same boat as you. Just never took the time to set things up. Now that I have online banking I would say it is a huge time saver, saves on stamps, automaticly balances my books and no more filling out envelopes. The only hurdle I had to overcome was to remember to tear the payment stubs off of my bills to jog my memory that they were paid. Otherwise you need to sign on and get a report whenever you go "Did I pay this?". It is a good thing IMHO.
 

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I use my CC through my local credit union (Visions) as many treat debit cards. It keeps me out of trouble this way. When I buy something, I go immediately online later that week and pay it off from a linked savings account, this way I see everything I spend (and if something has gone wrong) right away. I do 90% (only thing paid with a check is my rent) of my stuff online and have not had any fraud issues yet *knock on wood+!*. I find it simpler, faster, and more straight forward, I see where my money goes and when it comes in. On top of monitoring it online I keep a few running excel spreadsheets (a good skill to have if you don't already).

I have tried both the paper trail and electronic, electronic overall has been more pleasant with less loopholes for ppl to screw you over.
 

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I would find out what from your bank what their fraud protection program is. Many have safegaurds in place to prevent liability is fraud happens.

I do online banking but I would never use a debit card. If someone taps in to my cc card its the banks money. If they tap into my debit card its my money. I have a tough time why anyone would have a debit card.
For me though I don't leave enough in my checking account to really be in a bad place if something were to happen. Since I use my debit card only for purchases of under ten dollars and only write rent checks I put money into my account as I need it from my savings. I use my credit card primarily and pay it off right away plus I get great rewards points..... I just redeemed some for 50$ in amazon gift certificates. :biggrin:
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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I hate checks, especially in retail situations where they just clog up the line. And now with the increased incidence of identity theft, I sure don't want to be giving out my account number and routing code to the public.

Assuming an ability to control one's shopping desires, credit cards have it all over debit cards. Better (federally mandated) protection, reward tie-ins, fewer nasty fees lurking out there, and the ability to spend somebody else's money till the bill comes at the end of the month.

As for on-line banking and on-line bill paying, there's never been a problem (other than the occasional one of my own making). I've tied as many recurring bills as possible to a Frequent Flier credit card, and that card never leaves the house. We carry a different one (also Frequent Flier) in our wallets, so if we lose it or it gets compromised we don't have to go changing things on all the recurring bills.

We paid two kids' college tuition on credit cards and got tons of FF miles!

We did have two instances of card number theft, probably the result of "skimming" at restaurants. Minor hassle, but no liability. The credit card company itself caught both of them before I even found out about them. I guess there are patterns that they look for.

A few useful services offered by one or another credit card company:
  • Automatic e-mail notification of any charge above a limit which I specify.
  • One-time card numbers that expire in a month or so. These are useful for on-line shopping at places that don't take PayPal and are of unproven trustworthiness.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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I wrote a check earlier this week, and it was the first check I wrote since November 2006. I have direct deposit, a Visa debit card and I online bank. I never go inside a bank or write a check and I love it. It is easy to do and very simple and I don't have to wait in any lines with the rest of the cattle to cash a check or transfer funds.
 

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Online banking is great. I don't write checks anymore, payments are done electronically when possible and they mail the check for you if it's not possible. Money is deducted that day from your account which makes balancing the account simple and straightforward.

That being said, I don't use the debit card for anything other than cash at ATM's. If someone steals your debit card info, you're gonna be out cash until if and when it gets resolved. With a credit card, you have a layer of protection there.
 

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The reason banks prefer you to do the online banking is that they make money. Specifically, they hold your payment for a couple of days and make interest off of it. If your payment is due, lets say on the 10th, your online banking system will have you "send" it on the 8th. This is ridiculous as the transaction is pretty much instantaneous during business hours. For two days then, your bank holds that money and make interest off of it before it sends the payment to the recipient. With an old-fashion check and stamp, the money is in your account (making interest for you) until the moment the recipient deposits/cashes your check. I'm sure there is also savings gained from eliminating paper and processing of checks on both ends of the transaction for the bank.
I personally love online banking as it eliminates checks, stamps, envelopes, and time from the bill-paying process. Plus you have easy access to info like when your payment posts. This was useful recently when the credit card company said my payment was late when in fact it was on time per the record I easily accessed online.
As for the debit card, I personally don't see any upside in using it. I pay my credit cards off every month, essentially getting a zero interest loan every month, and I get points/miles/cash back. Even with the cash discount for gas, it's about a wash paying w/credit card to fill up the Forester.
Again, the reason the bank wants you to have the debit card is to make money. If you pay off your credit cards every month then you are costing them money. If you use a debit card, that's your own money you tap into at that moment and they have washed their hands of your "freeloading."
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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One more plus for credit cards over debit cards: In the typical situation where you have a modest amount of money in your checking account but a pretty high limit on your credit card, the likelihood of an overdraft (with the attendant fees) on a debit card is probably a good bit higher than that of going over the limit on the credit card (with the attendant fees).
 

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I do online banking but I would never use a debit card. If someone taps in to my cc card its the banks money. If they tap into my debit card its my money. I have a tough time why anyone would have a debit card.
I never use my debit card at a place where it will leave my hands (such as paying at a restaurant). however I do use it at places like walmart or atms. Debit cards are generally more secure than checks and I know instantly what is going on with my account. I also have it setup to alert me if there are large withdrawals (over 100 iirc) and I keep a pretty low balance on the account that is linked to the debit card, if I need more I transfer it electronically from my other account. If someone taps into my debit card, its still the bank's money until the actual transaction takes place (mine basically places a hold on the money until it transfers, and I have the ability to stop payment) I also have equivalent fraud protection to my credit cards(actually better as its through my local bank and they have much better customer service, and they know me by name).
 

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I personally don't like credit cards, but it's faster & safer than using cash. IMO, a debit card is "cash", so I'd never use it to purchase anything on-line. It's much safer to use a credit card, which doesn't pull the money directly out of your checking or savings like a debit card does. :icon_eek:

Once I started to use on-line banking, I found there was no need to keep a check register, since your activity & balance is easy to check on-line.

I pay almost 100% of my bills on-line. I use my credit card whenever possible, since I get reward points... saving points for my digital SLR... should have enough points this month! Our Sony Blu-ray player was a rewards freebie. :biggrin:

Where I go most of my grocery shopping has their own Master card, which earns you points. I average $40-$50 bucks back on every cycle. :cool:

When I was younger, I really got messed up being "used" by credit card companies. Now, I've learned to "use" them! I never carry a balance on my credit cards. :wink:

Bobby...
 

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ATMs can be dangerous. Lots of worthless thugs on the streets these days. I use a debit card at the grocery store and always get cash back from those transactions.
 

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I do a lot of online banking, but the system is setup slightly different in Canada.
My online banking site gives me records back to when my account was created with the bank... and it also gives confirmation numbers you can track back to your bills in order to verify when the payments were made.
I pay almost all of my bills online now, and as for fraud... our banks here have been pretty well on top of those things and will refund you for fraudulent charges on your accounts. Typically they'll freeze your account if they notice something fishy going on, and you have to go to the bank and have them unfreeze your account and issue new cards whenever that happens (ask my sister).
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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I use my credit card primarily and pay it off right away plus I get great rewards points..... I just redeemed some for 50$ in amazon gift certificates. :biggrin:
You are getting only 1% from the Amazon Card. You get 3% from the Subaru Card. I get 500 bucks a year off of it..not too shabby.
 
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