Should You Think Twice About Using Your Credit or Debit Cards?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wolters Realty & Property Management Company BK3045307

Wolters RealtyI am usually one of those people that never has any cash on them.  It has been years since I regularly carried cash around and I usually rely completely on my debit card.  Lately I have to admit I am starting to rethink this practice.   I was one of the people caught up in the Target malware problem. I spent maybe $20 one afternoon at Target, and ended up having to cancel my debit card and get a new card with a new number. This was a lot more of a hassle than it sounds like. I had to remember that all of my accounts that use that card, needed to be updated with the new card. I took 10 days to get the new card. Once it came, I changed it on itunes, and for my prescriptions and a few other places.  I didn't think about it, and ordered some things on Amazon, but they never came, when I looked at my account to see why, it said my card was declined and my order cancelled. I forgot to update the card on Amazon. That was annoying.



I thought I have everything updated, and then I received a letter from Sunpass and before I opened it I realized I never updated my Sunpass toll account.  I assumed it would be a ticket for going through tolls the previous weekend, and was relieved to see they just charged the regular price of the tolls, just putting my account in negative status, but no fine or ticket, thankfully. I fixed it right away.



Then when the news came out about Home Depot situation, I was relieved at first, I had not purchased anything at Home Depot in a long time, but found out my husband had purchased a saw blade for less than $10, in the time frame they mentioned. So now he had to get a new debit card.  Luckily his is not the one we use on our various accounts, but it was still a hassle. He had to be without a debit card for about 10 days, and we were advised to check our bank account every day for fraudulent charges. 



I understand that any fraudulent charges will not be our responsibility, but there is still a major amount of hassle that goes along with all of it, even if no fraudulent charges are made.



So to answer my own question, I am starting to think twice about using my debit card, especially on those small items.   I think I would much rather have to be inconvenienced by stopping at the ATM, then by having to change the card number on multiple accounts.  I used to have more faith in the security of these large corporations, but I don’t anymore, it becoming too common to see these stories. 




Posted by


~Cathy Wolters~

Your Brevard County Property Management Expert


Your Brevard County Property Management Expert
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Comments (14)

Whitney Watson
First Heritage Mortgage - Henrico, VA

Cathy, I didn't realize the aftermath that would be caused by the Target issues. This does sound like a major pain and I understand why you'd reconsider carrying cash for small purchases. 

Sep 26, 2014 05:53 AM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Thanks Whitney

Sep 27, 2014 01:42 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Oh my-- I started using cash most of the time since the Target mess last x-mas season.  I made and exception and got a gift card for a closing at home depot -- OMG, I hope my account has not been compromised!

Sep 27, 2014 01:12 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Cathy - I use cash for small items.  I also use cash for gas.  Those pump machines are notorious for skimming.

Sep 27, 2014 01:46 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I really might pay cash at Home Depot in NY for sure! 

Sep 27, 2014 03:47 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Cathy, use cash for most purchases under $30. Find that it works best for me! Enjoy your day!

Sep 27, 2014 09:56 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

These are very good thoughs for consumers to ponder. 

We do not use debit cards.

Sep 27, 2014 11:18 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I took an extra moment to 'like' the comments on this blog to add a little support and a few points for those who support your efforts. I hope that others will do the same.

Sep 27, 2014 11:19 PM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Broker/Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Cathy, I had to change one of my credit cards because of the Home Depot mess...never use debit cards. Also, I've never really had any faith with any of the security systems in place...all you ever hear is how safe they are and yet we are always hearing about compromises.

Sep 28, 2014 09:01 AM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Joan, i didn't actually leant my lesson after being caught up in the Target mess, but have now after the Home Depot one.  I hope your purchase at Home Depot didn't mess you up :)

Grant, You are so right about the gas pumps. I hate going in the stores though.. They really need to find a better way. 

Laura, yeah I agree with you about using cash, especially at Home Depot. 

Wayne, I think I may start doing the same. 

Thank you for the support Roy :)

Nick, my husband never had any faith either, and I always disagreed. Not anymore. 



Sep 29, 2014 03:28 AM
Lisa Perry - NMLS # 276329
FHA, VA, Jumbo, Downpayment Assistance, Conv. - Fairfax, VA
Northern VA - VHDA, 100% Loans - Jumbo Loans

I used my card at home Depot.  My bank sent me a letter saying I might of been affected.  They changed out my card.  Great Read!

Oct 02, 2014 10:17 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

When I use my check card for a purchase, I always run it as a credit, not as a debit so if I do have a problem, they cannot access (debit) my bank account. And, if it has the VISA logo, you get the same protection as you do when using a credit card (mine are all zero liability).

I don't like to carry a lot of cash for safety reasons so am considering getting a prepaid credit card...maybe preload $100 on it to use for purchases such as gas and reload as needed. I think they can also be used in stores and for online shopping but need to verify that.


Oct 02, 2014 02:31 PM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Thanks Lisa

Diana, that's a great idea. I never even considered that. I love it. I am going to check that out. 

Oct 02, 2014 11:54 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Having an opportunity to pay your bills or debt by the credit card is a great temporary solution, but those money should be used  with caution.

Oct 03, 2015 04:57 PM