A quick question about online ordering

Hi, I don’t know how many of you buy things online. But up intill recently I had to use money orders for everything I bought (hey I’m just a kid ;p). It always tacked on a few extra days to the order. But now I have one of those visa check cards. I was just curious if anyone has used one to purchase anything online. As in choosing to pay bye credit card, but using the check card instead. I don’t know if it will work or not.

Thanx :smiley:

A debit card works identically to a credit card, as far as merchants are concerned. Cecil covered this topic in one of his books, although the column is not in the archives at the moment. So the short answer is, yes you can.

The one thing you have to be careful of is only buying from those merchants you know and trust. Unlike a regular credit card, debit cards don’t always have theft protection (i.e. you’re not responsible if the card or number is stolen), and if the number is misused, you can bounce a lot of checks (or be overdrawn) and be responsible for those. Bounced checks entail additional fees and you can run the possible risk of prosecution and loss of check-writing privileges.

The best defense against the above is to print the confirmation screen and keep it. Then, reconcile your statement against the confirmation screens. If there are any squirrely charges, protest those immediately so the bank can trace them and you won’t be out a lot of money.

Another thing you can do is see if your bank offers one-use numbers for Internet shopping. These are numbers that are only good for one-time use and can’t be used again. I don’t know if they’re in use for debit cards, tho.


Thank you, my card does have theft protection. And I’ll look into those one time use numbers. And thanx for the advice, I’ll take it all under wing.

thanx again :smiley:

Yeah, I use my debit card for many on-line purchases. And while I’m not certain what my credit union does about fraud coverage, I don’t let it concern me; I have a dodge for that. My card is for a checking account I set up specifically for on-line shopping; I only use it for that. When I use my card to buy something, I go immediately to my credit union’s website and transfer to that checking account only the necessary funds. It’s also important to make certain your financial institution won’t automatically apply funds from other accounts to any overdrafts on the debit card.