How to Buy Things Online With a Debit Card

By Emily Weller

A debit card, also called a check card, is usually linked directly to your bank account. Like the ATM cards of old, you can use a debit card and a PIN to get cash from your account at an ATM. You can also use a debit card to make purchases online, much as you would a credit card.

Use

When it comes time to check out, type in your card's number as well as its expiration date. Some websites may ask for the card's security code, which is a three digit number printed on the back of the card.

Features

Unlike a credit card, when you choose to use a debit card, the money is automatically taken out of your bank account.

Risks

If you use a debit card online and your card number becomes compromised, you may have more liability than if you had used a credit card. The maximum liability for a consumer if his credit card is stolen is $50, according to the FTC. It can be as high as $500 for a debit card if a person doesn't report his card missing within two days. If a hacker gets your debit card information, he can drain your bank account, so that any outstanding, legitimate checks or payments withdrawn from your account will bounce.