Does Selecting ‘Credit’ When Using a Debit Card Increase Purchase Protection?

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Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.

I Select ‘Credit’ When Using My Debit Card. Is That Good or Not?

John from Florida asks: “I know Clark’s not a fan of debit cards for purchases, but I select “credit” when using my debit card for groceries, etc. Is that not good, and why?”

Clark’s Take on Whether Selecting ‘Credit’ Helps Protect You When Using a Debit Card

Clark says: When you use a debit card and select “credit” when making purchases, it’s good for the card issuer. The consumer? Not so much.

“It’s really good for the bank or credit union that issued your debit card when you clear it as credit, but … clearing a debit card as a credit card does not change the lack of consumer protections you have on a debit card. It just makes the bank or credit union more money and costs the merchant more money.”

“A debit card is potentially dangerous because Congress has never passed consumer protections for debit cards. Protections have existed for credit cards for almost 60 years,” Clark says.

Want to learn more? Read why you should never use a debit card.

To hear Clark’s full take on this question, listen to the segment from his podcast:

Do you have a question for Clark? Use this form to ask him! And remember that you can listen to the Clark Howard Podcast at any time here.

If you have a question but don’t want to go on-air, contact Clark’s Consumer Action Center for free money help.

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