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Debit Card Frequently Asked Questions

What is a debit card?
A debit card looks like a credit card but works like an electronic check. Why? Because the payment is deducted directly from a checking or savings account. If you use a debit card at a retail store, you or the cashier can run your card through a scanner that enables Soo Co-op Credit Union to verify electronically that the funds are available and approve the transaction. Most debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash at ATMs (Automated Teller Machines).
 
How can I activate my debit card?
Please call 1.866.762.0558 from the main phone number on your account.
 
What should I do if my card is lost or stolen or if I notice fraudulent debit card transactions?
Please contact us immediately if you realize that your card is missing or if you notice any fraudulent transactions. By contacting us immediately, you help reduce the amount of potential loss.
Please call 1.888.241.2510  (calling from within the U.S.), 1.909.941.1398 (calling from outside the U.S.), 1.906.632.5300 or 1.866.632.6819.
 
Are there transaction fees for using my debit card?
Soo Co-op Credit Union does not charge transaction fees for using your debit card to make purchases. However, some merchants may charge a transaction fee or surcharge. An international transaction fee may be charged for debit card purchases and ATM cash withdrawals. Please see the Soo Co-op Credit Union Deposit Account Contract and the Truth in Savings and Fee Schedule found in the disclosures
You may trigger a fee if you overdraw your account using your debit card, just as you would if you “bounced” a check. Fees may also apply if you use your debit card as an ATM card at a machine that is not operated by Soo Co-op Credit Union or part of the Co-op Network. Please see the Truth in Savings and Fee Schedule found in the disclosures.
 
Are there fees for requesting a replacement debit card?
There are fees for each requested replacement of a debit card or PIN change request. The replacement fee does not apply when we replace a card upon its expiration. Please see the Truth in Savings and Fee
Schedule located under disclosures on our website soocoop.com.
 
How can I overdraw my account if my credit union network must approve a debit card transaction?
First, because payments are electronic, they are deducted from accounts more quickly than when using a paper check. Often, a debit card purchase is posted within 24 hours instead of days, as may be the case with a paper check. In addition, even though a transaction was approved, you may overdraw your account because the credit union won’t know what other withdrawals you have made that day until it settles all transactions for the day.
 
What is an authorization?
When you use your debit card for a purchase, the merchant will request an approval or an “authorization” for the transaction. This authorization generally confirms that an account is open and active and there are enough funds available to cover the purchase amount at the time of the request. The purchase amount sent by the merchant for authorization varies by merchant type. Many merchants request an authorization for the exact purchase amount. However, some merchants may send a nominal amount such as $1, or an estimate that is more or less the actual purchase amount. Each authorization may show a pending transaction. When the transaction is presented to the credit union, the actual purchase amount is deducted from your account, usually within 2 to 3 business days. If the authorization is not matched to an actual purchase amount within 3 business days, the transaction will no longer be displayed. This sometimes occurs when the merchant sends an authorization only to verify that the card is open.
 
What could cause a pending transaction or authorization amount to be different from my final or actual purchase amount?
A pending transaction or an authorization amount may vary from the final or actual purchase amount in situations where there is an estimated authorization amount or a tip is involved. The following three examples show how a pending transaction or authorization amount might be different from the final amount:
  • At a restaurant, an authorization is requested prior to a tip being added. The final purchase amount will include a tip you add. Some restaurants may add an estimated tip to the transaction total when requesting an authorization. Because of this practice, your final purchase may vary from the authorized amount. 
  • At the gas pump, the station requests an initial authorization prior to dispensing fuel and determining the final amount of the purchase. Many pay-at-the pump gas purchases are initially authorized for $1 no matter what the final purchase amount is. 
  • At a hotel, they are allowed to request an authorization for an amount based on the length of your stay and applicable taxes. An estimated amount for incidentals may also be made. Cruise lines and car rental companies may also follow this practice.

When will the final purchase amount replace the pending amount and be posted to my checking account?
It may take several business days for the final purchase amount to replace the pending transaction amount on your account. The pending transaction reduces your available balance. When the transaction is presented to the credit union, the final or actual amount is deducted from your account, usually within 2 to 3 business days. If the authorization is not matched to an actual purchase amount within 3 business days, the transaction will no longer be displayed. This sometimes occurs when the merchant sends an authorization only to verify that the card is open. 

What if I see an error on my pending transaction history?
If you see that there appears to be an error on your pending transaction history, please call us at 1.906.632.5300 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm eastern standard time Monday through Friday. 
You may also call 1.888.241.2510  (calling from within the U.S.), or 1.909.941.1398 (calling from outside the U.S.) to immediately block your debit card. 

How do I dispute a transation on my ATM or debit card?
If your dispute is concerning the merchandise or services from the merchant, you will need to contact the merchant to dispute. 
For fraudulent activity please contact us immediately at 1.906.632.5300 or toll free at 1.866.632.6819. 
To immediately block your debit card please call 1.888.241.2510  (calling from within the U.S.), 1.909.941.1398 (calling from outside the U.S.).

How can I request a debit card?
Once you open a Soo Co-op Credit Union checking account, or if you already have an existing Soo Co-op Credit Union checking account, you can request a debit card by: 

  • Visiting our main branch located at 536 Bingham Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, 49783 for an instantaneous cards or
  • Visiting any one of our Soo Co-op Credit Union Branches
How do I request a PIN (Personal Identification Number)?
Call 906.632.5371 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm eastern standard time Monday through Friday.
You may also request an instantaneous PIN change at our main branch located at 536 Bingham Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, 49783.
You may change your PIN by calling 1.866.762.0558.
 
What should I do if my PIN (Personal Identification Number) isn't working?
Please contact us immediately at 906.632.5371 or visit one of our branch locations. For your security we do not have access to your PIN. We can request a copy of your PIN to be reissued or you may stop at our main branch located at 536 Bingham Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, 49783 to instantaneously change it. Please see the Truth in Savings and Fee Schedule found in the disclosures for potential charges associated with reissuance and PIN changes. 
 
How can I avoid problems if I plan to use my debit card while traveling domestically or internationally?
To help prevent an interruption in debit card access when you travel domestically or internationally, we recommended that you set a travel notice on the card(s) you plan to use while traveling. This can be
done by filling out the Travel Notifaction form, or by calling 1.906.632.5371 (Monday – Friday 9 am – 5:30 pm eastern standard time) or visiting any of our branch locations.
 
Is there a difference between signing a receipt and using my PIN (Personal Identification Number) to authorize a debit card purchase?
No. Whether you sign or use your PIN, there is no difference in what you are charged and the purchase amount that will be deducted from your Soo Co-op Credit Union checking account. However, by using your PIN at a point of sale, the transaction is subject to our normal ATM limits, when using your card as “Credit” you will have access to your full available balance in your checking. Please click here for the full disclosure and current limits.
If you select “Debit”, you will use your PIN and enter it on the merchant keypad. If you select “Credit”, you may be required to sign to authorize your purchase. A signature may not be required for certain transactions, such as internet, mail order and pay-at-the pump purchases. Your options may differ depending upon the merchant.
 
How is a debit card different from a credit card?
You can use your Soo Co-op Credit Union debit card wherever MasterCard is accepted, just like a credit card. However, when you use a debit card, the purchase amount is deducted from your Soo Co-op Credit Union checking account.
 
What do I need to know about overdrafts and overdraft fees?
An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. We can cover your overdrafts in two different ways: 
  1. We have standard overdraft practices that come with your account.
  2. We also offer overdraft protection plans, such as a link to a savings account, which may be less expensive than our standard overdraft practices. To learn more, ask us about these plans.
What are the standard overdraft practices that come with my account?
We do authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions:
  • Checks and other transactions made using your checking account number
  • Automatic bill payments
We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions unless you ask us to (see below):
  • ATM transactions
  • Everyday debit card transactions
We pay overdrafts at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. If we do not authorize and pay an overdraft, your transaction will be declined.
 
What fees will I be charged if Soo Co-op Credit Union pays my overdraft?
Under our standard overdraft practices:
  • We will charge you a fee each time we pay an overdraft. Please see the Truth in Savings and Fee Schedule found in the disclosures
  • There is no limit on the total fees we can charge you for overdrawing your account. 

What if I want Soo Co-op Credit Union to authorize and pay overdrafts on my ATM and everyday debit card transactions?
If you want us to authorize and pay overdrafts on ATM and everyday debit card transactions, please contact us to complete the form at any one of our Soo Co-op Credit Union branches or call 1.906.632.5300 or 1.866.632.6819.