A debit card looks like a credit card, but banks treat it like a cash transaction. A consumer receives no "credit," equivalent to a small loan, for any debit-card transaction. Debit is not credit.
Why, then, do some gas stations charge higher "credit card" prices for debit-card purchases? Because they can, according to state regulations, but only if they post signs on the face of the gas pump and at the cash register declaring the debit-as-credit charge.
When there's no sign, however, a gas station must treat debit cards like cash. Next time, check for signs. If there are none, your debit card deserves the posted cash price. If the gas station attendant refuses, or the gas pump charges the higher credit price, file a complaint with the DCP at email@example.com. Include the date of purchase, gas station name, town, price paid and any other relevant information. (And also send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
"The agency works to bring stations into compliance and seeks reimbursement for the wronged consumer," says Carveth.
Federal regulations protect the consumer from fraudulent charges greater than
The Electronic Funds Transfer Act protects debit cards, though liability depends on how quickly the card holder reports it has been lost or stolen. If it's reported within two business days, your liability is
If your debit card number, but not the card, is stolen, you're not responsible for fraudulent charges if you report them within 60 days of your statement being sent. Check with your bank for additional coverage:
Whenever possible, do not use a debit card for an Internet purchase. It's also safer for debit-card users to sign for purchases. Save the PIN for ATM use only.
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