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Online Shopping: Picking the Right Card

Benefits of Credit Card vs Debit Card For Buying Online

Shopping online is a quick and easy way to buy what you want or need. While you can buy online from anywhere thanks to smartphones and tablets, there are some things you can do to make the most of your shopping experience and keep your personal information safe.

Protecting Your Information

Before you click ‘add to cart’, there are a few ways to protect your information. Start by looking for a lock icon next to the website address. The icon indicates you are shopping on a secure website and the page has privacy protection installed. The URL should also start with “https” instead of “http”. If you don’t see the “s”, that means the webpage isn’t secure and you should be cautious before using your credit card to buy something from the site.

Another way to protect your information is to avoid using public Wi-Fi that doesn’t have a password. Someone else using the same unsecured Wi-Fi network could access the information you are sharing as you make your purchase, increasing the chance of your information being stolen.

Choosing a Card

Once you are ready to check-out, it is time to pick which card to use. If you can, try to use a credit card instead of a debit card when buying online. Using a credit card online provides an added layer of security.

If your information is compromised while using a debit card, money immediately comes out of your checking account. While you might be able to get the stolen money back, it could take weeks before you are reimbursed. With a credit card, it is easier to dispute fraudulent charges. If your credit card is compromised and you alert your issuer to the problem, you likely will not owe anything and will not have to wait for stolen funds to be transferred back into the account.

Another option to consider is a reloadable debit card, such as United’s eCash card. This type of card allows you to deposit the amount of money you want, and use your card for only that amount. Not only does it help hold you to a budget, it also prevents a potential scammer to have access to your primary checking account should they steal your information online.

No matter what type of card you use for online purchases, it is important to keep an eye on your account to make sure there aren’t any charges that shouldn’t be there. Most banks or credit unions let you set up alerts for your accounts so you will know if there is any suspicious activity as soon as it happens.

Added Purchase Benefits

In addition to the added security, you could earn rewards while using a credit card instead of a debit card. When signing up for a credit card, look for companies offering credit cards that reward you for shopping.

United Federal Credit Union’s U Rewards Visa® Signature credit card allows users to earn 2% Cash Rewards with everyday purchase. You can take those points and redeem them for cash back, gift cards, travel and more. Here is how many points you can earn on everyday purchases:

The U Rewards Visa Signature credit card also offers real-time Visa Purchase Alerts. You can setup the alerts to help reduce fraud and monitor your account.

The Bottom Line

There is no wrong card to use when shopping online. If you pay attention to your account after you shop online and take precautions to only shop on secure websites, you can keep your information safe.