Myself, I’m an AmEx guy. I get good rewards from swiping my plastic, and then I simply pay off my balance every month. I’m really good at tracking my cash flow (I’m the guy with the color-coded Excel spreadsheet which I update frequently) so for me it’s pretty cut and dry. But I can completely understand why folks would prefer to pay with a debit card when traveling this summer, for things like hotels and eating out, as it will ensure that they don’t go over-budget or rack up more debt. Sounds genius, right? Susan Tompor of the Detroit Free Press sings a different tune about debit cards however. She suggests that using a debit card exclusively during a summer vacation can actually sour the trip. Here’s her logic:
“Who wants to return from vacation this summer to a stack of credit card bills? I know; it’s sort of like asking who wants to stay one more night in a motel room with more than a hint of mildew.
Oh, sure, it’s convenient.
But plenty of people are packing their debit cards – instead of credit cards – as the plastic of choice this summer just because they want to avoid digging themselves deeper into debt.
Consumers need to watch out for fast curves in the road, though, when it comes to using a debit card on vacation. There can be onerous holds placed on your cash, unwanted ATM fees and even debit-card-related fraud out there.
UNEXPECTED HOLD: Some hotels could put a lock on your money longer than you’d imagine if you pay with a debit card.”
A very useful article, especially for folks who will be traveling this summer and considering what will be their primary mode of payment. I personally like getting the points and rewards that come with using my credit card, perks that my debit card is not currently equipped with. If it was me, I might pay with my credit card, to avoid blocks & holds and to get those rewards, then the next day simply transfer money from my checking to pay off what I just charged. My iPhone even allows me to do it without ever opening up my laptop or walking into a bank. Not too shabby, Apple.