ATM & Debit Cards FAQs
Can I use my debit card in foreign countries? How does it work?
Planning to use your debit card outside of the U.S.? Let us know your travel plans. Unusual charges are flagged in our system and may be blocked if fraud is suspected. Knowing you will be using your card in an unusual location will help us better protect your account. Contact your local branch or call our customer service center at 800-322-5222.
Your debit card works everywhere that MasterCard® is accepted, including foreign countries. Your four digit PIN is all that is required to use your card in foreign ATMs or POS locations. A fee of 1% will be imposed on all foreign transactions, including purchases, cash withdrawals, cash advances, and credit purchases from your account.
How often should I use my card to keep it “active”?
To keep your card active, you must use it at least once every 6 months. A simple balance inquiry is considered a transaction and satisfies the usage requirement. If your card isn’t used during a 6 month period, Merchants Bank will deactivate the card to help protect from fraud.
Other ‘Card Smarts’
Check your balance every day, either online or using phone banking and never let your debit card out of your sight. If your card is lost or stolen, or if you find a discrepancy, be sure and contact the bank immediately—for this will limit your liability.
Should I use my debit card as a PIN transaction at the gas pump?
The gas company can put a hold on funds for PIN transactions at the gas pump in an amount potentially higher than your purchase. We recommend you always use a signature transaction at the pump to avoid the issue entirely.
How do I change/customize my PIN (personal identification number)?
New Debit Cards come with a pre-assigned PIN (personal identification number) which is sent to you separately from your card. Once you have received the PIN in the mail, you may choose your own PIN by calling our Phone Banking system that provides step by step instructions. It only takes a minute! You may pick your PIN anytime by calling 1-800-852-5969.
How does holding reservations with my debit card affect my account balance?
If you use your debit card to hold a reservation, (i.e. hotel or rental car) yet pay using a different card (or cash), the hold on your debit card will remain in effect for three business days. While in effect, the hold will decrease your available balance.
When will an ATM deposit be credited to my account?
When you make a deposit of more than $200 at an ATM machine, $200 is made available to you immediately. The remainder of the funds will not be made available until the following business day. The ATM business day ends at 4 PM. Keep in mind that deposits made after 4 PM on Friday are considered to have been made on Monday and so the next business day will be Tuesday.
Are there any debit card fees?
There is no fee for using your debit card to make point-of-sale purchases or withdrawals at a Merchants Bank ATM. If you choose to use your debit card at a non-Merchants Bank ATM, you will be charged $1.00 by Merchants Bank, and you may also be charged a fee by the institution that owns the ATM. Some store merchants charge a fee if you request cash back on a PIN transaction.
Credit or Debit?
Either way, the money is debited from your primary checking account immediately. When you choose credit, you sign for the transaction and cash back is not an option. Merchants Bank and MasterCard provide zero liability for unauthorized signature-based transactions that are reported to the bank in a timely manner. When you choose debit, you enter your PIN (personal identification number) on a key pad, and you may ask for cash back at establishments that offer that service. Do everything possible to safeguard your PIN.
How do I know when debit card purchases are subtracted from my account balance?
Please remember to subtract the amount of your purchase from your balance immediately when you use your debit card. The Bank puts a hold on those funds immediately. The hold is removed when the merchant processes your transaction or in 3 business days (whichever is less). If the merchant doesn’t clear the transaction within the three days, it may seem that the money is still in your account. In actuality, it is not a part of your available balance, and you risk overdrafts if you do not subtract the funds from your balance immediately
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