Debit card variations have been around for longer than you may think, but the modern debit card came into popular use after the turn of the new millennium. Card and point-of-sale technology have continued to advance since then. Today, you may not even need to enter your pin or have your card on you to pay with a debit card at checkout. 

While you may have already been using your debit card to some extent, the Covid-19 pandemic increased the need for cashless payments. Whether shopping online or using contactless payment at local stores and restaurants, chances are you’re using your debit card more than ever these days. That’s why it’s a great time to review the benefits that come with using your Dieterich Bank debit card and make sure you’re getting the most out of it!

How does a debit card work?

A debit card looks just like a credit card but instead of borrowing money when you use your debit card, the money comes right out of your checking account. You can use your debit card to make purchases or to withdraw money from ATMs. 

When making purchases, you can run your debit card as you would a credit card and enter your pin number on the point-of-sale equipment. If you use your debit card to make an online purchase, you’ll need to enter the 3-digit security code found on the back of your card.

To use your debit card at an ATM, simply enter your pin number. Just bear in mind that you may incur a fee if you use a non-Dieterich Bank ATM. Find your nearest in-network Dieterich Bank ATM here. Some ATMs may charge their own fee as well, so pay attention when using any non-Dieterich Bank ATM. 

However, with Extreme Green Checking, Dieterich Bank offers ATM refunds up to $15 when you meet qualifications.

Finally, you can add your debit card to the mobile wallet app on your smartphone. When shopping anywhere a mobile wallet is accepted, you can simply tap your smartphone instead of taking your debit card out of your wallet or even having it on your person.

Now that you understand all the ways to use your debit card, let’s review the advantages of paying with debit cards!

Safe and convenient

Paying with your debit card is easier than remembering to stop at the ATM and making sure you have enough cash on hand. And debit cards are certainly more convenient than taking the time to write out a check by hand. With mobile wallet and tap to pay, you can complete your purchase in seconds!

But is there a price to all that convenience, you may be wondering. Luckily, no—debit cards are safer and more secure than the alternatives of paying with cash or checks. After all, your cash could get lost or stolen; someone could steal your checkbook and write fraudulent checks with it. On the other hand, if your debit card is lost or stolen, you can report it missing and get a new one right away. 

Activate your debit card under the Settings Tab in your Online Banking so you can “Hot Card” it to stop fraudulent purchases if your debit card is ever lost or stolen. Dieterich Bank also utilizes Guardian, which allows you to sign up on our website to receive alerts when your card is used out of state and for other unique instances.

All Dieterich Bank debit cards have an EMV chip for safer transactions, which reduces the chance of card-present card fraud from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards.

Stay out of debt

If you’ve had trouble with credit card balances in the past, a debit card can help you stick to your budget and stay out of debt. Link your bank account to a budgeting app or simply log transactions yourself with a spreadsheet or pen and paper. Since debit card transactions are immediately reflected in your bank account, it is harder to spend money you don’t have—and easier to keep track of your spending. To make sure you avoid excess spending and continue monitoring where your money goes, it is recommended to create and follow a budget.

No Fees

Some of the most attractive credit cards, such as a cash back and travel rewards cards, also charge an annual fee. Alternatively, Dieterich Bank debit cards have no fees associated with purchases.

Better for Small Business

Business owners pay “interchange fees” for payment processing when you make purchases with a debit or credit card. That’s why many small businesses have a minimum purchase amount for debit and credit card transactions. However, interchange fees are generally lower for offline, pin-based transactions. So if you want to help your favorite small businesses, pay with your debit card when you don’t have enough cash on you.