How do I activate my personal debit card? 

To activate your debit card, simply call (888) 800-9986. The primary member's birth date and last four digits of her/his Social Security number will be required. Please have the card on hand when you call.

Why is there a difference between my current balance and my available balance? 

Any time you use your debit card for a Visa® credit transaction (without entering your PIN), the corresponding funds are placed on hold for that merchant for 24 hours or until the transaction clears your account, whichever comes first. Other holds (e.g., deposits, electronic transactions) may also cause a variance between actual and available balance.

Why did someone call to verify my card transactions? 

Calls are made by Visa Fraud Prevention Services, on behalf of Desert Schools, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily on transactions that appear suspicious as determined by the system. If contacted, we encourage you to confirm whether you initiated the transactions in question via their toll-free phone number: (877) 902-4805.

What is Verified by Visa, and how do I sign up? 

Verified by Visa uses personal passwords to protect your Visa debit card against unauthorized use when shopping online. Here is how it works:

  • Create your password by visiting Verified by Visa 
  • Your Desert Schools Visa Debit Card will be recognized automatically at participating online retailers, and you'll be asked for your password
  • Your password will be verified
  • Your transaction will be completed

Why should I ask to sign (press Credit) instead of using my PIN (press Debit) for transactions? 

In both cases, there are no interest, no fees and the funds are drawn directly from your checking account. The difference exists in the processing. When you press Credit and sign for your purchase, Visa's Zero Liability policy applies, guaranteeing you maximum purchase protection.

What is a non-PIN debit card purchase? 

A non-PIN debit card purchase is any Visa debit card purchase when you do not enter your PIN. Always choose the Credit button for purchases made with you debit card and, if the merchant asks, "Is this debit or credit?" respond, "Credit, please." These "credit" transactions provide fraud protection under Visa's Zero Liability policy.

Why is a hold put on my account for a hotel reservation? 

When you use your Visa debit card to make reservations or purchases, you commit those funds to the hotel or retailer. Once we approve an authorization, the amount is held against your account until the merchant submits the transaction or one day passes, whichever comes first. Funds on hold are not available for withdrawal.

Why does a debit transaction place a hold on available funds in my account? 

When you use your debit card for a Visa credit transaction (without entering your PIN), the funds are placed on hold for that merchant for 24 hours or until the transaction clears your account, whichever comes first.

Why was I charged two fees for using my debit card at non-Desert Schools ATMs? 

You may be assessed a $2 foreign transaction fee, to offset the fees Desert Schools is charged by our ATM network provider, after exceeding two debit transactions at another institution's ATM. You may also be assessed a surcharge by the financial institution that owns the machine. This is the fee noted on the screen, which you must accept in order to complete the transaction.

Are there any non-Desert Schools ATM locations where I can use my card and not get surcharged? 

Yes. Desert Schools belongs to the CO-OP Network®. This allows our members and customers of other select financial institutions to use any ATM displaying the CO-OP logo without a surcharge. Access the link at the bottom of our Locations section for a list of ATM locations.

Is my Desert Schools Visa Debit Card a credit card? 

Your debit card is not a credit card, but it carries the Visa logo, allowing you to use it wherever Visa is accepted. Transactions are deducted from your Desert Schools checking account and detailed in your monthly statement. There are no finance charges, monthly payments or annual fees. And Internet purchases are secured by Verified by Visa.

Equal Housing Lender Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S.Government Agency. ©2014 Desert Schools Federal Credit Union