Debit Card Concerns
So, I know you have to put a Visa/etc on your room so they can charge to it. My concern is that our only Visa cards are bank debit cards, and if they put a hold on the card for the room deposit, sometimes it ends up putting a hold on your whole account because they can't always tell how much money is there, we will be charging some other things to our room as well, like the wedding photos etc, and I just don't know how this is going to work. Neither one of us has credit cards, we've closed them all in the past few years and have almoost paid off ALL our debt. Do I have to have an actual CREDIT card in order to avoid the hassles of having too much money held on my bank account?
If anyone has gone and used a Visa debit card on your room before, please share your experience.
It does not have to be a Visa card. They take Master Card and American Express
I do not use our debit card while traveling. Knock wood the few times we have had problems on it have been minor and easily fixed but we were home and not on vacation.
There are single use "credit cards" you can buy. Kind of like a gift card but it works more like a prepaid phone card in that you load it with money,and once the money is gone your time is up. i'm pretty sure this would work for you as you can out as much money on it as you want but your bank account is still protected.
We do have credit card we use while on vacation so I have never used one but from what I understand it acts like a credit card except your "credit limit" is the amount on the card.
Hope this helps
I would call your bank that issued the debit card and ask about international policy's. That way you will know what to expect. I am sure that it will be okay.
do notify you debit or credit card company that you will be traveling to Jamaica and the dates of your travel. i have seen folks get there and then have their cards froze as the out of country charges can be misunderstood as fraud. better to let them know than try to fix it once there and also the 800 number on the card may not work from Jamaica.
an ounce of prevention is better than spending a day of vacation trying to get things fixed.
What they do is take an imprint of your card to be used as a security deposit for any charges made to your room. If no charges are made the imprint is returned not filled in. We have never experienced a problem in the past.
Pay in cash
You still have the option of paying anyroom charges in cash we did at CN two weeks ago because we would have been charged for using our card abroad.
I would NEVER use a debit card in a foreign country. That could give any thief direct access to the cash in your bank account. It's a lot easier to cancel a wrong charge than get back cash. DON'T DO IT! Get a regular credit card even if it's a prepaid one. I never travel without a few credit cards with high credit limits just incase of emergency. Make sure to get trip insurance to! Better to be safe than sorry.
Thanks for the responses. We might look into a prepaid card, and I will definitely talk to my bank before leaving.
Ditto what ShariandJames said. The biggest problem with using a debit card instead of a credit card is that the rules are different.
Have your credit card stolen or improperly used? You have legal protections. It may take some work on your part, but the biggest problem is your credit card may be unusable for a short while.
Have your debit card stolen? Then everything in your bank account is available to be stolen as well. There's no legal requirement for the bank to refund you the stolen funds immediately. In the meantime, your checking account will be useless, any checks you'll write at home will bounce, any automatic loan or utility payments will be rejected, and so on. And the bank will add their overdraft fees on top of these - even though they'll likely waive them later, it means there's even less money in the account than there was before. Much more of a nightmare to deal with.
A good summary of these issues can be found here: http://redtape.msnbc.com/2007/09/paper-or-plasti.html
Absolutely great advise. We did this a couple weeks before we went, and the lady on the other end said if we hadn't called there's a good chance they'd have frozen my account. I used my Visa quite a few times without incident, as I didn't like carrying cash, and it was great. I didn't have any conversion or transaction fees and it was nice to not carry around a bulky wallet (had a small travel wallet w/ money clip).
Originally Posted by Sue and Randy
We once got an urgent call from Citibank on our cell phone while travelling through the back country of Jamaica last year. Someone was trying to make multiple unconfirmed foreign charges on our card. So we had to cancel it, but it affected our plans as we were going to be using that card for other stuff on the trip.
When all the dust had settled it turned out that it wasn't some unscrupulous Jamaican vendor, but rather a confused Irish hotel manager who was trying to charge me for a deposit on a rental cottage that I had just booked before leaving home. Seems his computer connection was bad and he'd run my card number several times instead of just once, thereby triggering an automatic alert.
So let this be a lesson to all of you; when traveling in Jamaica, beware of Irish hotel operators. ;)
Cubismo, we will keep that info in the list...lol