[pct-l] backpacking with money

Austin Williams austinwilliams123 at gmail.com
Tue May 4 13:12:23 CDT 2010

In my experience, the opposite is true.  Debit cards are protected by a
four-digit pin number, whereas Credit Cards only need a fake signature to
get access to your account.  Most bank debit cards can act as both debit and
credit cards.  If stolen, thieves can only use them as a credit card (since
using them as a debit card requires a pin # that they don't know).  Thiefs
can use credit cards for a month or more before you realize what's
happening.  With debit cards you'll see your balance drop immediately.

In my experience of having my debit card stolen, the bank just asked what
day the card was stolen, and re-credited my account with everything that was
spent after that date.  No problems.  If a merchant screws up your
transaction and you catch it, they just recredit your account on the spot (I
had that happen a few times too).  It's pretty standard procedure.

If I was concerned about security, and I had a card that doubled as a debit
card and credit card, I would actually be more inclined to get the *credit
card* feature disabled - but to each their own.  If you hold on to your card
then it doesn't matter anyway.  And if you lose it - then pray it was a
debit card.  Either way, call and cancel right away.  No matter what kind of
card you own, you'll have to jump through hoops at the bank.

As for the "Free 30-day loan" argument I hear a lot for credit cards:
consider that even the highest interest savings accounts right now are only
providing 3% annual interest.  Over the course of a month, the amount of
interest you earn is in the ballpark of one fourth of one percent.  That
translates into a very tiny amount of monetary gain - certainly not worth
the risk of not paying on time and getting charged interest and.or fees.

Credit card numbers can be used over the internet  - debit cards require a
pin to do so.  yada yada yada, blah blah blah.  It's just my opinion.  I
wish I was on the trail.  :(


On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM, Gary Wright <gwtmp01 at mac.com> wrote:

> On May 4, 2010, at 1:41 PM, Austin Williams wrote:
> > I carry a debit card, and only about $20 or $40 in cash.
> I don't ever use debit cards.  If they are stolen, the thief can drain your
> entire bank account and you'll spend a lot of time arguing with the bank to
> get your cash back.  A merchant can screw up a transaction also and they
> will be screwing up your bank account at the same time.
> Credit card transactions have a much more robust consumer protection laws
> than debit cards. You can always dispute
> credit card charges before you pay the bill.
> An alternative is to have a separate bank account tied to the debit card
> and to limit the amount of cash in that bank account.
> If you have an ATM card that can double as a debit card you may want to
> check with your bank to see if you can disable the debit card feature.
> Here is a look at some of the difference between debit and credit cards: <
> http://banking.about.com/od/checkingaccounts/p/debitvscredit.htm>
> Radar
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Austin Williams

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