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Your Money: Debit Cards Not Same as Credit CardsAired August 10, 2000 - 2:38 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: They look like credit cards, they spend like credit cards, but debit cards do not offer the same consumer protections.
Here's what you need to know about this new breed of plastic, from CNNfn's Susan Lisovicz.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Debit cards, they seem like the perfect companion. A banking card that works like a credit card, except the money comes straight out of your checking account. The number of users has grown steadily in the past few years. In 1999, 115 million Americans carried a debit card. But as good as they sound, debit cards come with some risks you need to know about.
DON D'AMATO, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: With a credit card, a consumer is liable for up to $50 if his or her credit card is stolen. In contrast, a debit card, it depends on when you report the loss of your debit card. It could range anywhere from $50 if you do it within two business days, or up to $500 or even more. It depends on when you report it.
LISOVICZ: But some debit card issuers are slowly changing their rules and voluntarily limiting a customer's liability to just $50, no matter when you report it. Another thing to consider:
D'AMATO: When you have an electronic fund transfer, basically, you cannot make a stop payment. It's an automatic withdrawal from your account. So if you have a problem with a purchase, it basically -- you have to deal with the purchaser directly. It's as if you paid cash.
LISOVICZ: Bottom line: know what your rights are when you switch to a debit card. Check with the bank about liability, as well as fees. With convenience comes responsibility, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
That's "Your Money," Susan Lisovicz, CNN Financial News, New York.
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