Sign for debit card purchases

Closeup of credit card

Everyone who pays with plastic has been asked: "Debit or credit?"

If you say "Debit," sales clerks steer you toward the punch pad for your personal identification number because stores pay lower fees to process transactions with a PIN.

But using a debit card like a credit card by signing for a purchase sends it through the Visa or MasterCard network, providing all the same consumer protections as a credit card.

Most debit card reward programs also pony up more points when you sign for a purchase. Some won't give any points if you use a PIN.

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