A Choice of Credit or Debit
Visa is no longer just a credit card. The Visa imprint now supports debit card transactions, which are growing in overall volume. Credit cards charge interest each month. Debit cards have many of the same benefits as credit cards, but the money is automatically withdrawn from a checking or savings account at the time of purchase.
How Does This Work?
A Visa credit card will charge interest payments based on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) listed in the credit card agreement. A Visa debit card will not charge interest. Credit cards have a credit line that allows you to make purchases up to a certain threshold. The debit card allows you to spend up to the amount in your bank at that time. Some charges may cause overdrafts, if your bank allows them. You’ll need to check with the issuing bank of your debit card to see if this is the case. You can add a Visa credit card to your bank account as overdraft protection, ironically enough.
Benefits to Consumers
The biggest benefits to consumers using Visa cards is fraud prevention and buyer protection. Fraud prevention from Visa is automatic. Consumers are never liable for charges that take place from stolen cards, identity theft, or fraud. Buyer protection means Visa will intercede on behalf of the consumer in the event of a dispute over products or services purchased using the card. This process, known as initiating a chargeback, results in the return of your funds from a vendor if you can’t get a refund. These features apply to both debit and credit cards that carry the Visa logo. These features are the reason Visa cards have grown so popular with the average consumer. Disputes between customers and vendors happen all the time. The ability to enter a dispute with a third party offers peace of mind. People can order products online with confidence knowing their rights are protected.
In order to initiate a chargeback you will need to provide transaction information to Visa. They’ll want a purchase receipt. They’ll also want as many details as possible on what happened. After they have gathered the information, they’ll contact the vendor for their version of events and decide what happens to funds. Keep in mind you can’t use this process just because you’re lazy. If the vendor has a return policy, you will need to follow their return procedures. Chargebacks should be used as a last resort only. They are not a first line of defense for every consumer transaction. If you use this tactic sparingly and when necessary, it’s a powerful weapon in your fight to be treated right by companies you deal with.
Use Your Card Wisely
Visa debit and credit cards need to be handled with care. A Visa Credit card has late fees, over the limit charges, and annual fees built in. You’ll need to check for specific details in your loan agreement. The agreement governs your rights. Your payments will be included on your credit history. If you miss too many payments, your account will be turned over to a collection agency. Your debt may be sold to others who will collect on your account. All of these rules are common to all credit cards, including American Express and MasterCard. Debit cards are not governed in the same way. Your debit card activity will not be recorded on your credit history. This subject has been a matter of debate because many people now use debit cards for most of their transactions.
Whether your use a debit or credit card is your decision. Each has its own drawbacks and benefits. Both offer the main advantages of Visa cards with buyer protection and fraud prevention.
Prepaid Visa Cards Are an Option
There’s one other type of Visa card to mention. That’s the Visa prepaid credit card. Consumers without a checking account or bank account can get one of these. You purchase a Prepaid Visa card and load it up with a deposit. You can spend up to that amount anywhere where the Visa logo is accepted. There’s no credit line, no chance of an overdraft, and no reporting to credit agencies. You can reload the card when you wish. There may be a small monthly maintenance fee, but if a minimum amount of deposits are met each month it could be waived. You’ll need to check the terms to be sure. Each Prepaid card varies concerning maximum monthly deposit limits.
By now you probably realize why Visa has grown to the stature it enjoys. Acceptances of these cards is nearly universal. There are very few businesses that don’t accept Visa Cards. If you plan on doing any online shopping, you’ll appreciate the convenience and protection of Visa. Whether you use a debit card, prepaid credit card, or a standard Visa credit card makes no difference. Choose the Visa card that is right for you and have fun spending!