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Debit cards for booking hotels and Bank accounts

Travel Forums General Talk Debit cards for booking hotels and Bank accounts

1. Posted by l1ncs (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y

Is it possible to get a debit card that can be used to book all hotels (i.e. a Mastecard/visa)? I noticed when i book hotels online they usually require a visa or mastercard which i always assumed were credit cards. I ideally dont want to get a credit card as they are evil things but would like to be able to book things online (whihc will be essential when i go travelling as i will not be pre-booking anything before i leave). Are there any accounts that offer such things?
Also on the talk of banks and things are there any bank accounts anyone can recommend that are suited to travellers, with things like free forgein withdrawls etc (I am based in the UK by the way)?

2. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

hi.

hsbc do what they call 'current account plus' you pay them 10 pound a month and this allows you to take cash out at any atm machine in the world without been charged, including handling free, interest, charges etc

in relation to credit cards / visa cards, you can get what they call a visa debit card and it behaves in the same manner as a visa card, visa debit card comes out of your bank account and is not money that is on credit but money that you already saved or had in the bank yourself:)

DO NOT ACCEPT FROM YOUR BANK VISA ELECTRON CARDS! they are useless...also maestro is nice when buying stuff in shops (standard on most cards) but you cant book hotels or flights with this card which is the killer.

your local bank will be able to advise you...

do not go to barclays! barclays are the biggest scumbags that i know of! they charge silly interest rates! try and phone you up all the time selling all kinds of products...

hsbc for me is by far the best bank in the uk...plus they got offices all over the world!

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2007, at 4:10 PM by oslaue ]

3. Posted by cde3879 (Full Member 142 posts) 9y

Quoting l1ncs

Is it possible to get a debit card that can be used to book all hotels (i.e. a Mastecard/visa)? I noticed when i book hotels online they usually require a visa or mastercard which i always assumed were credit cards. I ideally dont want to get a credit card as they are evil things but would like to be able to book things online (whihc will be essential when i go travelling as i will not be pre-booking anything before i leave). Are there any accounts that offer such things?
Also on the talk of banks and things are there any bank accounts anyone can recommend that are suited to travellers, with things like free forgein withdrawls etc (I am based in the UK by the way)?

I've got a Nationwide Flexaccount exactly for this purpose as it is free to run and you don't pay a penny for withdrawing/spending money abroad. Screw paying HSBC £10 a month for the same thing!

UK issued Mastercards are all credit cards but what you could do is get one and ask them to give you a tiny limit on it if you don't trust yourself. Then dump a load of money in the account (giving it a positive balance) then you can use it in places that take/require credit cards, but it's still your own money that you're spending. Beware if you do this though - if you are in credit and you spend on a credit card, you won't get the same protection in the event that say the airline went bust that you would get if you were using the card the way the card company intended you to use it.

However a lot of this is academic as Flexaccounts come with a Visa debit card which you can use in places that take Visa. Personally I prefer the security a credit card offers so I buy things on my credit card and then pay it off in full each month. Then if the goods are rubbish or the supplier I paid goes bankrupt, it's the credit card company's problem, not mine.

Cheers,

Chris

4. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

If a product is rubbish or breaks etc…how is it the credit cards company fault? Doesnt the product come under its own warranty?

And why would they ever pay for this? If that was the case then I would not be paying my credit card company ever!
because everything I buy is rubbish!

The only benefit I see of a credit card is that you can spend money that you don’t have which is dangerous! But very good to have when
Travelling and if you lose receipts and you paid by a visa card…then all the purchases are recorded on your statements naturally.

I agree, paying £10 a month is not nice, but I also get free world wide travel insurance a long with a lot of other nice benefits,
Price promise insurance, various officers on travel, discounts etc

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 5, 2007, at 2:09 AM by oslaue ]

5. Posted by Oakey (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Quoting oslaue

If a product is rubbish or breaks etc…how is it the credit cards company fault? Doesnt the product come under its own warranty?

And why would they ever pay for this? If that was the case then I would not be paying my credit card company ever!
because everything I buy is rubbish!

The only benefit I see of a credit card is that you can spend money that you don’t have which is dangerous! But very good to have when
Travelling and if you lose receipts and you paid by a visa card…then all the purchases are recorded on your statements naturally.

I agree, paying £10 a month is not nice, but I also get free world wide travel insurance a long with a lot of other nice benefits,
Price promise insurance, various officers on travel, discounts etc

I believe most credit cards offer some kind of insurance over purchases made on that card....

If you where to buy a digi cam for instance, and it was subsequently stolen, you may have a limited amount of insurance cover if you purchased it on your card.... Which could be quite good, although I dont know how easy it would be to make a claim (anyone got any experience of this?)

Cde3879... The Flexaccount seems interesting... I may look into applying for one before i leave, I am heading to Thailand/Bali for a month then Oz for a year.. I was planning on using my normal current account for the first month, then when I get to oz open an Australian current account and transfering some money into that from my current, but there will be charges involved in making withdrawls and transfering the money, so I may look into the flexaccount....

Have you had experience of travelling with it, is it as good as it makes out, ie. no hidden charges?..

Cheers

Mike.:)

6. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

i already have my australian account opened up on my arrival to australia, also got my phone sim car etc, my visa already organized. i went through some agency were i pay a hundred and something...yes i could have saved money if i did everything myself but i dont have the time, and dont want to stress either or have any complications...it means i can focus on other stuff on my arrival into australia...like travelling and finding work.

in relation any bank accounts, one has to question your level of spending...in general one has to try and limit themselves going to the atm machine all the time, for fraud and security reasons, charging reasons etc etc. but having a visa debit card totally avoids this!

i use cash for small purchases and card for big purchases such as long bug journeys, internal flights, expensive activitys... etc...

7. Posted by cde3879 (Full Member 142 posts) 9y

Quoting oslaue

If a product is rubbish or breaks etc…how is it the credit cards company fault? Doesnt the product come under its own warranty?

When I say "rubbish" I basically mean not as advertised, or if you book tickets from travel agents who then go bust before you go away, that sort of thing. But yes Oakey has made some good comments - basically some credit cards offer you short warrenties for expensive goods that you buy on it in case they do turn out to be faulty and the original manufacturer doesn't want anything to do with it.

8. Posted by cde3879 (Full Member 142 posts) 9y

Quoting Oakey

Cde3879... The Flexaccount seems interesting... I may look into applying for one before i leave, I am heading to Thailand/Bali for a month then Oz for a year.. I was planning on using my normal current account for the first month, then when I get to oz open an Australian current account and transfering some money into that from my current, but there will be charges involved in making withdrawls and transfering the money, so I may look into the flexaccount....

Have you had experience of travelling with it, is it as good as it makes out, ie. no hidden charges?..

Hi Mike,

Yeah I use mine every time I go away, there aren't any hidden charges that I've come across... They're a building society rather than a bank too so that's one good reason they have not to annoy their customers, as all their customers are shareholders rather than just a small board of fat cats looking to cream a profit every time someone withdraws from abroad!

Cheers,

Chris

9. Posted by Oakey (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Thanks Chris, ive just applied for a Flexaccount, I needed another account to keep my travel spends seperate from my normal account anyway, I had heard Nationwide done a decent account but had forgotten about it, thanks for reminding me...

I'm planning on opening an Australian account when i get there, does anyone know how easy this is??

Cheers

Mike.:)

10. Posted by Chix (Full Member 114 posts) 9y

I booked most of my hostels using hostelworld.co.uk because it allows you to pay a small deposit on your debit card then pay the balance when you arrive. We also found that our nationwide debit cards would work if the person put them through the EFTPOS (chip/pin) machine as 'credit' even though they were debit. Beware YHAs though - they want you to pay by credit card won't take anything else (except cash if you book in person but we did ours online)