6 Places Where You Should Put the Debit Card Away

By Steph Machado

Published 05/27 2014 05:10AM

Updated 05/27 2014 09:36AM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - When you head to the gas station, you probably just want to pay at the pump instead of using cash. But does it matter which card you whip out to fill your tank?

It does, according to AARP. A recent report says credit cards offer better protections than debit, and federal law allows credit card holders an unlimited amount of time to report fraud. On the flip side, the law only requires banks to refund debit card fraud if the user reports it within two days. Of course, your bank might offer better perks than the law's minimum requirements.

Here are the six places AARP says to never use your debit card:

1. Gas Stations. They are a popular target for "skimming," a process by which a criminal puts a device inside the pump and steals the card number and PIN of the debit card.

2. Online Purchases. It's much easier for hackers to get your card number online than in person.

3. Big-ticket items. Credit cards often offer better perks, rewards and even warranties beyond what the retailer offers when buying big items.

4. Restaurants. It's one of the few places where the card leaves your sight, and while most servers are honest, some could steal your card information and use it to steal from your bank account. It's better to pay credit, so you don't lose the money while reporting the theft.

5. Retail Stores. After the recent Target breach, retail stores join the list of places to use credit instead of debit. A sophisticated malware has been successfully cyber-attacking the computer systems at cash registers used in retail stores.

6. Hotel Deposits (or any other deposit). When you give a card to a hotel to hold your room, there is often a small hold placed on your bank account as well. It's better to use credit to avoid the hold on your account.

Watch the video above to see how knowledgeable Vermonters were when we asked them when to use credit or debit!

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