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Benifits of creit card???

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1. Posted by rorone (Budding Member 40 posts) 10y

i never use a credit card and i am afraid of getting one cause i dont want to come home after travelling and find myself in debt up to my eyes..

can any body give me some advice and if its a good idea or not..

cheers..

2. Posted by AlexT (Respected Member 245 posts) 10y

I tend to always travel with a credit card just in case I incur some unexpected expense which totally stuffs up any budget I had. I also find that it gets a fair bit of use as far as booking airfares goes whether at travel agents or online. It is definately an advantage to have one when you set off on a trip with insufficient funds as I often do...

3. Posted by RJ Mc (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Self control, Rory. I agree that a credit card is an important tool when travelling. Remember to protect it, too, and not carry it in the same place with your cash, I.D., etc. But if you just cannot resist using it for non-essentials, then maybe you'd better have another plan. Be safe. - Rebecca

4. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 10y

Nope, totally disagree. Credit cards are evil and the scourge of the earth, stay as far away from them as possible.

5. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Having a credit card along is less and less a necessity these days, now that there's dependable ATMs worldwide and a possibility to pay with your debet card in many shops and restaurants.

Nevertheless, I do agree that they're useful when travelling. Flashing one usually counts as proof for sufficient financial support, which is useful for entering certain countries without an outbound flying ticket; they're also good to pay hotels (which for some reason start to fret if you want to pay with your debet card), flights, etc. And I don't see the risk of burying yourself in debt; it's easy to monitor your expenditures, isn't it?

Niels

6. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

I use my credit card a fair bit whils away.
It actually gives a good exchange rate, covers you on purchases and fraud.
Nowdays you can manage your accounts online too.
Like all financial services, you have to regulate yourself, if you overspend and get into debt you only have yourself to blame.

Using ATM's with a debit card (maetro/cirus)is another option, but fees vary depending on your bank and the withdrawl bank also. But this is far better than withdrawing cash on your credit card.

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

Nope, totally disagree. Credit cards are evil and the scourge of the earth, stay as far away from them as possible.

To each there own, I suppose.

I agree that you ened to be sensible and have good self control, but I regularly use mine when away. I get better rates than with any of my maestro/cirus cards, and can get cash advances much easier. I also get insurance on things like tickets if i pay with my card.

HOWEVER - i normally am significantly in credit on my card (i.e. i will put 1000gbp or so on my account before i leave, and make sure that i'm always paying it off straight away. It means it gets lots of use, and my credit ratiung is very good, but i am only extremely rarely actually using the "credit" feature of the card.

It also serves as a security blanket. I always know that if the worse comes to the worse and i run out of money (although i do have a seperate account set up which i never touch for just such an emergency) or need to leave somewhere in a hurry, i can buy a plane ticket/other between any two points on the globe - essentially, only needed to get back home - as i have enough credit. And realistically, enough to also help 2-3 others get out as well. I've never needed it, but sometimes events happen well beyond your control and you need to be able to buy something which isn't cheap in a hurry.

[ Edit: Edited at Jul 12, 2006 2:44 AM by Gelli ]

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 10y

I've got numerous 'credit' cards and couldn't really do without them. I should explain though that they're very different from the kind of real credit card that you get in most countries.

Here in Norway for example, they're more like a debet card combined with an ATM card, with payments normally being made on it in the same way you would use an ATM card (just swipe and punch in pin code). There is absolutely no credit involved, the amount just comes straight from your bank account. The real benefit is you still have the VISA logo and a real credit card number/cvc code to give out when you're booking something (online for example). It'd be hard to book accommodation in advance anywhere these days without having this, but I can't get into debt (ie. there needs to be cash on the account). Just for booking/buying things online, I don't know how I could ever do without a 'credit card' again! When overseas and swiping the same card, I usually need to sign for it, so there it does act more like a traditional credit card (again, except for the credit bit). But I can also use it in overseas atm's with a pin code :) To top it off, it doubles as id as it has my picture and signature imprinted on the back. Personally, I think it's one of the really advanced things I've found here in Norway (there are more that I can't live without already) and I can't believe there's not a whole lot more countries that have this. Imagine the benefit of not having to carry a driving license/passport for id purposes (especially when the Dutch driving license is still a frikkin' paper document about double the size of any normal wallet!)!

I also have a Dutch 'credit card', which is more like a debet card where the expenses accrue and are deducted once a month from a linked bank account. Again, here I can't really get into debt as I need to cover the amount each month (there's no interest/payments like on 'real' credit cards).

The real benefit of both of the above cards is that they can be used as a credit card, meaning I can pay/buy things online and overseas with no hassles which I really couldn't do without in this day and age. The second one also lets me postpone payment for about 3/4 weeks, handy if you've spent your salary already :)

If I didn't have access to the debet type card, I would have a credit card but probably do like Gelli does and have credit covering most expenses in order not to get slammed with those 15+% interest fees!

Personally, I prefer to never use the cards and take out some cash to last me a few days on the ATM function of the first card. But sometimes that just doesn't work.

9. Posted by Emmalineau (Full Member 94 posts) 10y

Hey -

Yep, have to agree with Sam I Am - Debit Credit cards are the way to go. Most Australian banks do them (not sure about other places) and you can just load your savings into the account and use it in exactly the same way as a credit card - for online/phone bookings, to avoid carrying cash in certain places etc. It also works exactly like an ATM card so you can easily withdraw cash with lower withdrawl fees than credit cards.
As for unexpected expenses, I often leave a little stash of cash with my parents or sister and then if I lose a card or have it stolen, I can get a new one and have them wire me the cash (instantaneous and can be collected from a Western Union branch to tide you over).
Credit is bad and debt after travelling can leave a sour taste in your mouth if you're bad with paying it off!

Good luck!!

10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

You can't really compare debit and credit cards.

With one you use your own money, and with another you use someone else's money, therefore they both have their pluses and minuses.

They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they compliment each other. For instance, you might be happy to pay for everyday items on your debit card (with your own money) but come across something quite expensive that you didn't budget for (eg. carpet in Turkey) which you'd use your credit card for, and still have enough funds for your day to day expenses.

The other card that Sam is referring to whereby the amount borrowed is paid off in full every month from his savings account is really a "charge card". In the early days, American Express and Diners cards were charge cards. You paid no interest, but the account had to be repaid in full every month.

I use credit cards all the time, both on a day-to-day basis and when travelling. I pay most of my bills by credit card and always pay off the balance in full every month and so pay no interest. I am, in effect, using it like a charge card.