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I have a debit card tied to my primary checking account with my primary bank, and I use it for ATM withdrawals. I think the insurance on this is dismal; if I lose my debit card I'm liable for my checking account sum. I'd like to improve this. Ideas I have so far are:

  • Create a secondary checking account with a small sum that I only use for ATM withdrawals.
    • Problems: tricky balance between liability, and avoiding having no money or an overdraft.
  • Is an ATM withdrawal from credit card possible so I only carry a credit card?
  • Is it possible to have an ATM card with no debit especially at a major bank, or otherwise configure a card to only work as ATM with reasonable withdrawal limits?
  • Is another insurance option possible?

Basically is there a sensible option people usually to do avoid this?

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    Change banks to one that offers fraud protection on debit transactions? – Rocky Sep 3 '17 at 15:08
  • If you have a checking and savings account at the same bank you can put the majority of your money in savings and ask your bank to not let your savings be accessible through ATM. Then you can transfer funds that you need from savings to checking and not worry about having more than you can bare to lose accessible through a debit card. – Rich Sep 3 '17 at 16:26
  • I'm pretty sure that it's possible to have an ATM card that's not a debit card, though perhaps not all banks offer on. Mine (from a credit union) isn't, unless they snuck the debit facility in without asking me. – jamesqf Sep 3 '17 at 17:45
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If your debit card has no fraud protection then you need to find a different bank, many debit cards include it.

Even with fraud protection, I don't like to keep excess money in the checking account, so I have checking and savings accounts with an online bank. I can transfer money from savings to checking instantly, 6 times per month, which allows me to keep only what is needed in the checking account. Many online banks have a better overdraft policy as well, where you simply pay a small amount of interest on the over-drawn amount, rather than a set ~$35 overdraft fee, or a $20 fee for them to automatically transfer money from your savings account.

I've heard of, but not made use of threshold-based fraud alerts or two-factor approval, which you can set up so that any purchase in excess of $N triggers the need for additional approval via your phone.

  • Just confirmed with my bank, they've relatively recently added good fraud protection on debit. So we are all good. Thanks for suggesting I look into that. – djechlin Sep 3 '17 at 16:36

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