How to choose a debit card and make full use of it

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Written By Sonamkumari

When it comes to making payments and completing transactions, a debit card is a convenient and safe banking instrument to use. It allows you to access funds from your savings account easily and frees you from needing to visit a bank branch for simple cash withdrawals. With a debit card, you can perform a variety of cashless transactions, including ATM withdrawals, card swipes, and eCommerce payments. This means you don’t need to carry cash when traveling abroad.

One of the benefits of a Kotak 811 debit card over a credit card is that it helps regulate overspending, as you can only spend the amount available in your account. To fully use a debit card, choosing the right one is essential. As soon as you open a savings account with a bank, you become eligible for a debit card, but there are several factors to consider before making a choice.

Understanding payment network processors (PNPs) and choosing the right debit card

When selecting a debit card, it’s crucial to consider the payment network processor (PNP) behind it. Popular PNPs like Mastercard, VISA, Maestro, American Express, and Rupay operate in India, but their acceptance varies depending on the region. Choosing a card with a PNP with a high level of favor is recommended in the area you plan to use it the most.

For instance, Rupay, operated by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), has a vast network and is highly accepted in pan India. Additionally, Rupay cards have comparatively lower annual charges. In contrast, international PNPs such as VISA and Mastercard have a more extensive global acceptance, making them an ideal choice for people who travel abroad frequently.

Contactless debit cards vs. regular debit cards: which one should you choose?

In today’s digital age, everyone knows debit card meaning has evolved with the introduction of contactless technology that enables transactions without physical contact or PIN. These cards have gained popularity, especially during the pandemic. With the Reserve Bank of India allowing transactions up to Rs 5000 without entering a PIN, contactless cards make shopping in the market faster and easier.

However, if lost or stolen, these cards may lead to financial loss as they do not require a PIN for low-value transactions. It is recommended to set a lower transaction limit or disable the contactless feature using the bank’s mobile app or online banking if not in use.

Co-branded or non-co-branded debit cards?

Co-branded debit cards, much like credit cards, offer exclusive benefits when used for specific purchases such as booking movie or flight tickets, reserving hotel rooms, purchasing holiday packages, or shopping with particular merchants. These cards usually have higher reward points, attractive cashback offers, and exclusive discounts from associated brands.

However, co-branded debit cards can come with higher charges or be less versatile than non-branded cards, as their features may be more focused on the co-brand. If you prefer non-branded transactions, such as withdrawing cash from ATMs or making online payments, a non-co-branded debit card may be better for you.

Tips for choosing a debit card that suits your needs and budget

Choosing a debit card requires careful consideration of its features and charges. Don’t opt for a card with a high annual demand if the offered features don’t align with your spending habits. Evaluating your usage pattern and choosing a card that caters to your requirements is essential.

For example, if you don’t like using physical cards, go for a Kotak 811 debit card download and use it virtually.

Some debit cards also come with exclusive features such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, higher shopping limits, lost card coverage, personal accident coverage, and more. However, evaluating these features and ensuring they align with your lifestyle and expenses before opting for them is crucial.

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