3 Reasons I Don't Carry My Debit Card in My Wallet

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KEY POINTS

  • I have a debit card for my checking account, but I don't carry it with me.
  • Leaving my card at home protects my identity and helps me keep spending costs down.

Carrying around a debit card doesn't make sense for me.

Like most people, I have a debit card that is tied to my checking account. But my debit card is not carried with me in my wallet. In fact, it's kept in a safe and secure place at home.

While it might seem convenient for this card to come with me when I go places, there are three big reasons why I have made a conscious choice to leave my debit card behind. Here's what they are.

1. There's less risk of theft

One of the biggest reasons I don't carry my debit card with me regularly is because I don't want to worry about it getting lost or stolen.

If my wallet or purse were to be taken, I don't want someone to be able to go and charge items on my debit card -- especially since the fraud protections tend to be much stronger on credit cards. My credit cards all promise $0 liability for unauthorized purchases, but the protection available if my debit card is used fraudulently depends on how quickly I were to report the card's loss.

If my debit card were to be stolen, this could also result in money being taken directly from my bank account so I would be out the cash until I sorted it out. I don't want to take on any of these big risks, so my card stays safe at home.

2. I want to make it more difficult to access cash from an ATM

I also like to leave my debit card at home because it makes it more difficult for me to take cash out of an ATM. If I want to access cash, I need to make a plan to do so and specifically bring my card with me to visit an ATM for purposes of getting money out.

Since I know I tend to spend cash more freely than I charge things on my credit cards, I don't want to tempt myself to take out money by carrying the card with me at all times.

3. I prefer to use my credit cards for purchases

Finally, the last big reason my debit card is kept at home is because I do not need or want to use it for routine purchases. When I buy items, I tend to charge as much as possible on my credit cards. My cards offer generous rewards -- while I would get no cash back, points, or miles if I purchased something with my debit card.

Since I don't want to put purchases on my debit card and I don't want to use the card regularly to easily access the cash in my accounts, I have no reason to carry the card with me and take the risk of something happening to it. I have my two most widely used credit cards in my wallet to buy the things I need, and I have the peace of mind of knowing the debit card linked to my checking account is safe at home at almost all times.

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