Which type of transaction should I do when using my debit card at the point of sale – PIN (debit) or signature (credit)? Does it matter?
Think of your debit card as a check card, because the money still comes out of your checking account whether you do a credit or a debit transaction with it at the point of sale (POS). The transaction is just processed through a different network. When you swipe or insert your debit card at the checkout, the terminal will often prompt you to enter a four-digit PIN. We encourage you to bypass this option and use your signature instead. When you sign for purchases using your debit card, you earn rewards points! When you enter a PIN, no rewards points are earned.
When using my debit card as a “credit” transaction, how is that possible? It’s a debit card, not a credit card?
We understand how this can be confusing. It has to do with how the processing networks are set up.
PIN-based debit transactions are routed through what are known as electronic funds transfer (EFT) networks. The EFT network authorizes the transaction and immediately deducts the transaction amount from your checking account. Within a few days, the merchant receives the money.
Signature-based debit transactions are authorized, cleared and settled through the Visa or MasterCard network, the same one used for processing credit card transactions. The merchant submits the transaction with the rest of their card transactions, usually at the end of the day, and then receives the money, typically within a day or two of the settlement. Signature debit transactions are referred to as “offline” transactions, because a PIN debit network does not play a role in processing.
How do I make a signature-based transaction at the point of sale (POS)?
In most cases you press the green (Enter) button on the terminal after swiping or inserting your Arsenal debit card. If you're not sure which button to press, ask the cashier which color to press for “credit.” You then simply use your signature to complete the transaction.
For small-amount purchases, you may not even have to sign anything. The funds are then deducted from your checking account, typically within a day of the processing date.
Who do I contact about my rewards points?
If you have any questions about your points balance or using your rewards card, please contact CURewards member services at 800.637.7728. You can also contact our member services department at 314.962.6363 or 618.239.6363, option 6, then option 2.