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Published September 29, 2011, 09:52 PM

Comparing credit cards vs. debit cards

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a choice we make every time we use our bank card at a store, debit or credit. But is one way safer than the other?

It's a choice we make every time we use our bank card at a store, debit or credit. But is one way safer than the other?

Mike Micholovic – Debit Card Hacked: "That 4 digit pin you enter into those little machines in the stores. I don't trust those."

Mike Michlovic has good reason to be leary

Mike Micholovic: "About a year ago I used my debit card at one of our local chain stores in Moorhead, I probably bought about $20 or $30 worth of stuff"

The next day a security official with Gate City Bank called Michlovic.

Mike Micholovic: "They asked me if I had made a $400 and some purchase in Florida the day before. I said no, I have never been to Florida.”

Michloovic PIN had been lifted electronically by some one working for that store in Florida, and because it happened so soon after the purchase in Moorhead, Gate City Bank figured that something didn't add up, and while not every bank has this monitoring system, all card holders have the same protection

Of course if your bank does not have real time monitoring, a stolen debit PIN could lead to you not having money in your checking account for a time. So while security wise there may not be a big difference to you between credit or debit, for retailers there soon will be a big financial difference between credit and debit.

Visa and Mastercard plan to increase the processing fees for credit transactions to offset the loss in debit fees, but that won't make a difference to Miklovic who has already decided what he'll be using.

Gate City Bank says it’s important to make sure your contact information is up to date so your bank can get in touch with you if there is a problem and regularly check you bank and credit card statements.

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