Money IQ: Avoid Holiday Shopping Surprises – Know Your Debit Card Daily Purchase Limit

Money IQ
By Fidel Gutierrez

Avoid Holiday Shopping Surprises – Know Your Debit Card Daily Purchase Limit

During the holiday season, it is not uncommon to spend more on a daily basis than usual.

If you are planning on using your debit card to pay for purchases, it is a good idea to be familiar with your financial institutions daily debit card purchase transaction limit.

You have probably witnessed (or have experienced it yourself), a shopper’s debit card being declined at the check-out stand.

The shopper insists that they have money in their checking account but the cashier is unable to get authorization for the purchase.

Many debit card transactions are declined because the shopper has exceeded their debit card daily purchase limit.

This might come as a surprise to them because they have forgotten or didn’t even realize a daily limit is in place.

In many cases, this daily limit may be much lower than their checking account balance.

Most financial institutions have separate daily transaction limits for debit card ATM cash withdrawals and debit card purchases.

For example, the standard daily limit for Los Alamos National Bank (LANB) customers is $500 for ATM cash withdrawals and $500 for purchases.

The limit is a cumulative total for the day so you can see how one could easily exceed the limit (or come close) when shopping.

If you are planning a shopping trip and know that you could potentially exceed your daily purchase limit, your financial institution may be able to temporarily increase your limit.

If you need your limit temporarily increased, you should contact your financial institution and find out if this can be done and if so, what the procedure is to increase the limit.

You also want to make sure of the timeline in which the increased limit will be in place. Most financial institutions are able to increase your debit card purchase limit effective immediately while others may have a day or longer delay.

Please keep in mind that if you do need your debit card daily purchase limit increased, it is best to increase the limit for the amount that you think you will actually need.

It is also a good idea to know the time period that you will need the temporary increase to be in effect.

Plan ahead and avoid an unpleasant holiday shopping surprise!

Editor’s note: Fidel Gutierrez has worked for Los Alamos National Bank for 25 years and is a Senior Vice President.

  • Look for Money IQ every Wednesday in the Los Alamos Daily Post.


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