There is a lot of fear and apprehension about losing a debit card while traveling, or having it stolen, and many think it’s not a good practice.
Although there are valid points as to to why many people prefer using a credit card while traveling — some car rental agencies and hotels will put a hold on funds before you’ve actually paid — there’s also a high price to pay if you DON’T carry a debit card with you.
In an article I read recently, a personal finance blogger asked how she could make so many bad financial choices, one of them being never traveling with her debit card. Personally, I would feel half naked if I didn’t have my (PerkStreet) debit card with me at all times. I never leave home without it!
Carrying cash while traveling — especially on business — is important, too, though you don’t want to have a bunch of cash on you while you’re traveling. That’s dangerous. But sometimes you need cash while traveling, like for tipping a a cabdriver, eating at a cash-only restaurant or splitting a meal. So you don’t want to carry to much cash, but you might need it. What happens when you don’t have a debit card to use at an ATM? Kind friends might cover you; otherwise, you’ll need a cash advance from your credit card, which will cost you dearly.
Credit card companies charge an upfront transaction fee on all cash advances, and they have a much higher interest rate (which starts being charged immediately after withdrawal), and you may not even be able to pay off this interest until you’ve paid off other balances, first.
Taking a cash advance is almost as bad as taking out a payday loan; once you’re in that cycle, it’s hard to get out.
Debit cards are just as safe to travel with as credit cards, too. If you carry a Visa or MasterCard debit card, you will even be covered under the same (Zero Liability) protection and security guidelines as a credit card. If you’re a PerkStreet customer, you can find out the advantages of your debit card here. If your card is stolen or lost, a simple phone call can cancel your card and prevent you from becoming the victim of fraud.
How do you like to travel? Which plastic – if any – do you carry at all times. Why? Join the discussion in our comments section below.
Carrie Smith is a PerkStreet Customer Columnist who has worked as a freelance Certified Bookkeeper for nine years and as a Tax Specialist for four. She specializes in small business and oil and gas accounting. She has written several finance and accounting articles at Hubpages.com, and also writes regularly on her own blog CarefulCents. Follow her on Twitter @applecentsmith.