How to Trace Charges on a Debit Card

Keeping track of the charges you make on your debit card is essential so that you don't end up racking up a pile of overdraft charges. Be aware that a charge you make today may not post and clear in your account for one or two days. Thus, if you rely solely on the "ATM available balance" for all your balance information, you may overuse the card and overdraw your account. Tracking both automatic payments and debit card purchases is easy using your bank's online services.

Step 1

Open up your Internet browser and go to the website for your bank.

Step 2

Log in to your account with your username and password. If you don't have a username or password yet, it may take a few minutes to follow the prompts and get your accounts registered for online viewing.

Step 3

Select the account for which you wish to view transactions and the available balance.

Step 4

Look at the line items to determine which are debit card purchases. Items with a "POS" in the description mean a "point of sale" charge at a location such as a gas station or store. Items with an "ACH" in the description are "Automated Clearing House" purchases such as monthly debits to utilities or an online and phone vendor.

Step 5

Examine the charges for anything suspicious, such as charges you did not make. There should be an address for the vendor or a phone number for online and phone charges that you made to allow you to inquire about the transaction.

Step 6

Call your bank with any unverified charges for which you suspect fraud or identity theft. The sooner you report this the more you will be covered from illicit activity on your account.

Warning

Realize that when you use a debit card for a hotel or rental car transaction, there is often a large amount of money placed on hold until the transaction is complete (check-out or car return). This may "freeze" assets in your account, causing your debit card to be declined even when you have funds in it.

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