In my opinion, the only people who should use a debit card are those that have excessive amounts of cash in their checking accounts or those who will never write a check on the account that is being debited.
And here is why. Obviously, excessive cash will handle a myriad of charges without fear of overdrafts. Most people who use the debit card do not have a mechanism for adjusting their checkbook balance for each charge. And even if they did, some vendors (like gas stations) hold amounts that are twice the actual charge, creating overdrafts for which your bank will happily charge you.
The right way for most people to use their debit card is to check their balance every day and be cognizant of what they are charging. But if they write checks, they will never know when they will clear and that could cause an overdraft as well.
And in the long term, how many people actually check their receipts against their banks statements?
Howard Lipset, CPA
Progressive Management, Inc.