It is time to start your vacation, and everything is packed, you and your spouse are excited about the upcoming adventure, but there is one question nagging at you. Should you take your debit card or your credit card? The answer is simple—you should take both. There are, however, some precautions you should take to keep them safe.
Be sure the back of your card is signed, or write CID on the back of the card. If you do this, be prepared to show your drivers license each time you use the card. It is a bit of a hassle but gives a little added security.
Do not carry your debit card and your credit card in the same place. Do not carry them in your wallet. Before you leave home, write down the phone number for your bank and your credit card on a separate piece of paper and place that in your suitcase. If either card is stolen or lost, you will want to report it immediately. If your wallet is stolen, you do not want to lose both cards or you will be stranded with no money. If you are travelling with your spouse, you may want one of you to carry the credit card and the other to carry the debit card. It is best to be safe—not sorry.
The next question is which one should you use for the expenses and why. The best card to use when traveling is a major credit card. Master card and visa are accepted nearly everywhere so that should be the card of choice. If you find charges on a credit card that are not yours, or the amount is incorrect, it is much easier and quicker to dispute than it would be with a debit card.
You will want some cash for some of the small impulse purchases, or in the case where a credit card is not accepted. Use your debit card in this situation to obtain cash from the bank or a secure ATM.
There are many reasons to use a credit card instead of your debit card when travelling. First, it is a method by which you can keep track of how much you spend. When you return home you will receive a statement and all expenditures will be itemized for you to go over. Be sure to keep all your receipts—yes every one. Put an envelope in your suitcase, purse, briefcase or the glove compartment of the car. Make sure it is somewhere you can get to easily and be diligent.
When you get home, go over the statement line by line and match receipts to it. If you find any expenditure that you are positive you did not make, then call the credit card company and question them. If after questioning them, you are still positive you did not make them, then ask the credit card company to dispute them.
Taking a few simple precautions before and during your vacation travels will ensure a much safer and more enjoyable time.