Sarah Deveau: Money Matters


Debit Card and Credit Card in One

Are these cards right for you?

Last month, TD Canada Trust launched a new TD debit card that provides consumers with both debit and credit card functionality, which has been rare in the Canadian banking marketplace.

"For consumers who prefer to pay for purchases with money they already have, this is a premier debit card," says Raymond Chun, SVP, Everyday Banking and Payments, TD Canada Trust. "It offers the convenience, security and ease to shop anywhere and any way, traditionally associated with a credit card. But it allows them the benefit of a debit purchase made directly from their bank account."

The enhanced card will allow for online, international, telephone, and mail order purchases, wherever Visa or Visa Debit is accepted. Point of sale purchases in Canada will continue to be processed as debit transactions.

CIBC has an Advantage card that’s been around for a few years now, offering similar functionality. It allows customers to use their debit card to securely pay for purchases directly from their CIBC account, plus shop in stores around the world, as well as online, over the phone or by mail where Visa cards are accepted.

The new TD card has the advantage of offering Interac Flash. At participating retailers in Canada, customers can also pay for purchases under $100 with Interac Flash - by simply holding the card against the reader, rather than having to swipe or insert it and enter a PIN. It offers the same safety and security of traditional Interac Debit, only faster.

The new debit card has an embedded microchip that stores information in a secure encrypted format. Transactions processed via Interac Debit and Interac Flash will benefit from the Interac Zero Liability Policy. International, online, telephone and mail order purchases, processed through the Visa network, are protected by Visa's security features including Zero Liability, Verified by Visa, address verification and the three digit code on the signature panel. Cardholders should protect the confidentiality of their PIN at all times and notify their financial institution immediately if they suspect fraud.

Are these cards right for you? Personally, I’m a big fan of free banking, and these cards are tied to bank accounts with fees. However, if you have limited credit card needs and like the idea of having the flexibility of a credit card without running the risk of racking it up, these cards are worth checking out.

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