Are credit cards really safer than debit when traveling?

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Are credit cards really safer than debit when traveling?

Postby s.jessica » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:31 pm

Hi, I'm new here. Been doing lots of reading and it's getting me confused.

Now if I understand correctly, there are more protections when using a credit card than using debit?

The reason I'm asking, I currently have 2 credit cards which I've had for about a year, I have a bank checking account with a debit card which I rarely use and recently Wally World sold me up the river on one of their Bluebird American Express cards. I really don't feel comfortable using my debit card because I was told a thief could use it to empty my entire account, so I keep it locked up and hidden. I got the Amex because most prepaid cards "fee" you to death and the Bluebird doesn't have fees, at least I don't pay any.

Okay, I'm planning on going to South Dakota to visit relatives over Christmas/New Years and might be gone up to 2 weeks. I'll need gas, motels for a couple nights and make several stops for food on the trip.

They gave me several options, use my Bluebird card, open a separate checking account so I have a real bank account with a debit card and keep only the money in it that I need for the trip, get something more disposable like Green Dot and throw it away when I get back or use the credit cards for everything.

I've been trying to lay off of the cards, keep them open so I keep building credit, but then do most of my shopping with Bluebird so I don't get carried away spending money I don't have. I usually end up using my cards to eat out or something so they stay active, but loading up the cards doesn't do much for you other than give you a bigger bill to pay.

One place says it's safer to use prepaid debit than anything and the other place says to use credit cards and leave everything else at home.

Could someone please explain?

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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Credit cards are the safest way as you have more protections with a credit card than a debit card, plus if someone commits fraud they are spending the bank's money and not YOUR money in your checking account. That's why debit cards are so dangerous - if someone steals your card, that is YOUR money getting ripped off and now you get to fight with your bank to get it back. If someone steals your credit card, that's THEIR money that got stolen and in many cases you are liable for nothing as many waive the 50 bucks the law allows them to charge you.

Prepaid debit at least won't drain your bank account but think about it - in effect it's not much different as you already paid your money upfront. Now you have to try to fight to get that money back. How that is better than a credit card, I'm not seeing, maybe someone knows something about it I can't think of?

I say use your credit cards that's what they are for. You have the most protection against getting ripped off that way. And many credit cards will help you in an emergency situation, which I don't think many debit cards do, by sending you emergency money and so on to get you home if need be. Obviously this should only be done in an emergency as they will charge you for this, but if it's that or much worse, well it's only money....

So, I'm not seeing a reason not to use credit cards. Maybe someone else can chime in?

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