Travel Credit Cards
Chapter 8 : Debit Cards, Traveler's
Checks and More
My first time overseas, I had to exchange cash in $200 of
travelers checks. The bank charged me $8. During the same trip,
I used my debit card at an ATM to get $200 from my checking account.
Once home, I saw that the charge for this was one dollar, and
that was the last time I used traveler's checks.
Debit Aand Credit Cards when Traveling
I usually carry a debit card and a credit card when I travel
now. I keep them well-hidden in two separate places. If they
are stolen, which has never happened yet, they have either zero
liability, or a fifty dollar liability limit for any unauthorized
charges. Ask your bank or credit card company about this.
When an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) won't take one of the
cards for some reason - and this will happen - I use the other
card, which usually works fine. Credit cards may be less trouble
than debit cards. Your liability could be zero on your stolen
debit card, but you probably won't have access to your account
until the matter is sorted out.
Of course, on longer trips it's a hassle to pay the credit
card bill on time, which isn't a problem with debit cards. Carry
both, and on longer trips you can wait until you're a few weeks
from home to use the credit card. That way you'll get there before
the bill does.
An important advantage credit and debit cards have over travelers
checks, is that when you need the local currency, you'll almost
always get a better exchange rate with your cards. Also,
the cash you get from the local ATM will truly be accepted everywhere,
unlike traveler's checks.
Tip: Call your credit card companies before traveling
overseas to let them know which countries you'll be in and the
approximate dates of your trip. This will help you avoid having
a card rejected by over-zealous security departments at the card
Let your memory be your travel bag. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Continue with Chapter 9 here: Cheap
Note: This chapter on travel credit cards and debit
cards was part of the e-book Travel Secrets. Now all chapters
are free on this site. See the homepage (the link is at the bottom
of this page) for a list of all chapters and links to them.