Should you avoid using a debit card at restaurants?

Category: Personal Finances


Many people don’t think twice about using their debit card to pay for a restaurant bill. But should you avoid doing so and use an alternative form of payment?

A common practice in other countries is for servers to bring portable credit card machines right to the table so that the card never leaves the customer’s sight. Unfortunately, this practice is almost nonexistent in the United States, and a restaurant is one of the few times that your card will, in fact, leave your sight. If you’re paying with a debit card and that information is stolen, it can be financially devastating since a debit card is directly linked to your bank account and your money.

And if that wasn’t scary enough—some establishments will keep records of customer payment information, especially if they offer delivery, as it makes future orders more convenient for them.

That’s not the only issue with using a debit card at a restaurant. Some restaurants will actually authorize the card for more than the total purchase amount because it allows the customer to leave a tip on that card. However, the authorized amount might still exceed the total amount you end up spending and it could take a few days for those funds to return to your bank account.

Instead of using a debit card, consider using cash, a gift card, or a credit card with a low limit. Although the use of a credit card poses the same level of risk as with a debit card, using one with a low limit won’t impact your finances nearly as much if fraud should occur. Not only are unauthorized credit card charges much easier to dispute than fraudulent debit card transactions, but you can take comfort in knowing that your money is safe.

Do you need cash now to pay off debt and bills? Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today! We can purchase some or all of your future long-term structured settlement payments or annuity payments and provide you with a lump sum of money.

Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: bank accounts, debit cards, financial loss, restaurants

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