One Credit Card for Debit and Credit TransactionsSeptember 7, 2011 - 4:02 pm
Most people with debit cards related to their checking accounts know they can use the card as a debit card or a credit card. Debit card transactions require you to enter your PIN, while credit card transactions only require a signature. Both transactions, however, pull money from your checking account.
Fifth Third Bank, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, has launched the Duo MasterCard, which actually does make credit and debit transactions. The card is linked to both a checking account and a revolving credit line. Debit transactions, those made by entering a PIN, will be deducted from the cardholder’s checking account. On the other hand, credit card transactions will be posted against the credit line, not the checking account. People with the Fifth Third Duo card will be sent two monthly statements – one for the checking account and one for the credit card.
The card could be confusing to some cardholders who are used to using the “credit” option for purchases they want to come from their checking accounts. You might forget that these purchases actually go onto a credit card balance and that you’re responsible for making at-least minimum monthly payments on the credit card account. Of course, missing a payment has consequences, starting with a late fee.
On the plus side, you could carry fewer credit cards. The card could also provide some help with credit card fraud. With normal check cards, fraudulent transactions, even those using the credit card number, would take money from your checking account. You’d have to wait for the bank to replace those funds to pay your regular expenses. But, fraudulent credit charges on the Fifth Third Duo would go against the credit account and wouldn’t affect the money in your checking account. You have a lower liability for charges on a stolen credit card than those same from your checking account. To deduct any money from your checking account, the thief would have to know your PIN.
Since the two accounts are linked, the DUO Card comes with automatic overdraft protection. If you don’t have enough money in your checking account for a purchase, the transaction automatically uses your credit line. However, the transaction will be declined if your credit line is maxed out.
The credit card has no annual fee and rewards you with 2 points for every $1 you spend on gas, groceries, and discount stores. You’ll earn 1 point for every $1 on other purchases. Point can be redeemed for a statement credit or other reward benefits. If you pay your cell phone bill with the card every month, you’ll automatically get Cell Phone protection plan for up to two phones.