If you have a credit card, you more than likely have a debit card. And debit cards have been undergoing some serious changes lately. Many banks have begun charging monthly fees upwards of $5 a month to maintain a debit card and checking account. Analysts believe that this will be good for the credit card industry, as consumers will be more apt to choose a low-interest no annual fee credit card as opposed to paying monthly debit fees. Either way it’s important to get to know the changes that will be affecting your debit card, and how they may affect your credit card. The good news is that your credit card will not be very much affected. Banks have begun sending more mail offers and offering better introductory deals in order to attract more consumers who may be on the fence about which their preferred payment method will be after these monthly debit fees go into effect nationwide.
Your credit card is safe, but if you still want to use your debit card, but want to avoid the fees. Here are some ways to do that.
- Set up an ING Direct account. ING Direct has great credit card as well as debit and checking account options. Checking accounts with ING are usually low-cost and have great interest rates of up to one percent for checking and savings accounts. The only thing is that this card will charge cardholders a foreign transaction fee, which is generally three percent of every purchase.
- Ask your local credit union. Credit unions have been gaining popularity with the introduction of these monthly debit fees. Credit unions are non-profit organizations that are designed to help educate consumers on credit and financial matters. These banks are usually benevolent, and are less likely to charge you underhanded fees and will continue to offer free and low-cost debit cards, in addition to low interest credit cards.
- Try PayPal. PayPal has an option to convert your funds into a debit card. When you do this you will not be charged a fee, and will be issued a MasterCard branded debit card that is linked to your PayPal funds. Charges occur when you use the debit card outside of the country and when you make withdrawals from ATMs that are not Cirrus or Maestro branded.
If you still want to use your debit card after the introduction of these new fees, then you can try a few options listed above. But in the end a switch to a credit card may be the best option. With the ING Debit card, foreign transaction fees can turn out to be expensive pretty quickly. Transferring money to a credit union can be a long process, and it may be hard to find available ATMs, so you may end up racking up outside ATM charges. PayPal is the best option, but the process takes sometimes up to a week for you to get the debit card in your hand. A credit card on the other hand, can be opened up at any bank, credit issuing institution, or online provider. And not to mention, it’s quick, easy and fast.