Very confused about Credit V's Debit, Explanation in simplest form please
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Oct 10, 2012 7:06 AM Last Post By: MTL
Oct 9, 2012 10:12 AM
Very confused about Credit V's Debit, Explanation in simplest form pleaseApart from going on holiday and having cash for the trip I know nothing about money abroad.
I fly to Prague the first week of November and from there have
on my list of places to visit.
I am confused about the money side of things,
some people are saying have a credit card but I am unsure of why I need this? Is it for having money on and use it for things or have it there to pay for things and then when you get a min pay it off before interest kicks in?
Or am I best to transfer cash to my Debit card and just use it to take money out ATM's??
Can someone explain this in the most simplest form please!!
Oct 9, 2012 12:04 PM
1There is no single simplest way to pay as you go. The most commonly accepted way for experienced travelers to fund a trip is a combination of credit cards and ATM cards for cash.
Credit cards are good for two reasons; first, they offer very competitive exchange rates and, second, they have fraud protection so that if it is stolen or you are swindled you don't have to pay anything. Some cash is required for most trips so using an ATM card is also a good choice. ATM cards allow you to access cash as you go so you don't have to carry around a big hunk of cash at any one time.
Both credit cards and ATM's have fees though so you still have to be smart about your purchases.
Oct 9, 2012 1:00 PM
2The Halifax Clarity credit card is generally considered the best travel card, I have used it all over the world and have never been charged any fees by Halifax and always got a competitive exchange rate.
Generally paying by credit card is the cheapest way, but you will need some cash obviously.
It is usually worth having a back up card.
The following link is quite in depth but does offer some very good advice.
Oct 9, 2012 1:29 PM
I think what I get confused about is using the credit card....
Obvioulsy there won't be money on it do I just use it to pay things and make sure I pay it off before the interest gets me?? So just like using it here?
And to pay the credit card do I just go to an internet cafe and use my internet banking to transfer that funds?
Oct 9, 2012 1:47 PM
4As noted above, it's nice to have both. But here is what I usually do:
I rely almost exclusively on my debit card, and pay most things in cash. I tend to stay in lower-priced accommodations, and not all of them accept credit card. I just withdraw cash as I go on the debit card, and pay for everything in cash. In a trip like yours where you are moving from country to country (and currency to currency), you have to be careful to not withdraw too much cash, and then have to exchange it. Every time you have to exchange money, you lose a little bit of money. So a couple of days before you are ready to depart a country, try and estimate your cash needs and take out only what you need.
The credit card is nice to have for two reasons. 1) an emergency backup. 2) if you are staying at more expensive hotels, with larger bills, so you don't have to withdraw a large amount of cash to pay the bill.
Costs vary by bank, so you'll want to call your bank and ask about fees. You also want to let them know you are traveling, so they don't put a hold on your account because of suspected fraud.
Here is a helpful summary:
Oct 9, 2012 2:12 PM
5Set up to pay the full balance on the credit card every month, you can also pay it off online if you wish.
#4 has a point, I try and take out a certain (fairly large (£200ish)) amount of cash as well, again using the clarity card as it has no charge from Halifax but the ATM you take the cash out of will usually charge you, but rather than exclusively using the cash I pay for whatever I can on the card making the cash go further. When all the cash is gone I take out the same amount again and so on.
I hope that makes sense.
Oct 10, 2012 7:06 AM
6In terms of exchanging money, in 99% of cases the cheapest and safest way to get local currency is using ATMs with a debit card issued by your local bank. Period. A credit card is complementary and reduces the amount of cash needed.
if you want a more detailed explanation, please read this link, which provides a full explanation:
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