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Old 11-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
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Gift & Pre-Paid Debit cards vs Travelers Checks

I have credit cards and in the past have used TCs (Travelers Checks), when
traveling or RVing. Many places no longer accept TCs, the trend seems to be
headed toward GCs (Gift Cards) and/or Pre-Paid debit.

Walmart, American Exp, Visa and Master Card & others issue these cards.

There's a lot of fine print in their agreements. In the past I would take a lot
more than I was planning to spend and then just put back in my bank after
the trip. It doesn't seem that simple any more.

Does anyone have any ideas on the pro and cons of these new ways of paying
for things while away from home?
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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We pay for nearly everything we can with either our debit card or one particular Visa card. This way a very large portion of our spending is clearly documented and we download it into Quicken to track it month to month. The Visa balance is paid monthly, automatically from our checking account so we never carry a balance.

IMO, using TCs or pre paid debit cards is a big hassle and over complicates the process with unnecessary steps. I don't see the benefit of these options.

Good luck.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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We also use one primary CC. I don't like the risk of debit cards or travelers checks.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:11 PM   #4
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I charge everything I can on my credit card and pay it off each month.

If your prepaid card/gift card is lost or stolen, it's like cash and most likely it's gone forever.

A lost or stolen debit card can result in your account being emptied and quite some time to get your account credited.

A lost or stolen credit card = zero liability or $50 at the most.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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We use credit cards or cash - ATMs are everywhere. No debit cards for us - they are tied to an account and we had one compromised and drained over a weekend. It was not a big deal for us as the account was set up specifically for the debit card and did not have a lot in it. The bank replaced it all but it took about three days - would have been a big deal if we had really needed that cash immediately.

If I did not have credit cards, I would use prepaid ones. The fees are high, but, IMO they are a lot safer than flashing a lot of cash. I have not used traveler's checks for years. DW, who travels a lot, says noone wants them anywhere in the world anymore.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:45 PM   #6
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CC for us then pay bill monthly, Never ever used a debit card far to easy to compromise in todays tech age. I still cannot understand why the CC companies dont use a finger print for security on every sale, I mean even Disney requires a finger print to enter the Magic Kingdom ?????
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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Please be careful of what ya'll post on an open forum.

I also carry the Walmart card for purchasing fuel at their stores at a 10 cent discount. I just repopulate the card when I need to.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #8
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Please be careful of what ya'll post on an open forum.

I also carry the Walmart card for purchasing fuel at their stores at a 10 cent discount. I just repopulate the card when I need to.
Wayne,
You can 'DOUBLE' your $.10 a gallon savings if you purchased your fuel with "pay-at-the-pump" using a PenFed credit card. They'll give you "5%" off (at $4/gal that's $.20) every statement for your fuel costs. Google it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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I use my American Express every place I can. The AE gives me 2% cash back into my retirement account. If they don't take AE then I use my Chase rewards card. I also have gas discount card for Pilot and save $.05 over and above the rewards discount on the CC
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:47 PM   #10
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Have not used Travelers Checks for years. Southwest Airlines credit card for points and cash are primary, with a couple other credit cards as backup. No debit cards.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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I have a credit union. Over 300 years. Never paid ANY fees. Debit, credit, bill-pay, checking etc.
it is where the world is right now.
Havent been in a bank in eons. It is all online
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:05 AM   #12
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We use a Chase rewards credit card for most things and pay off monthly. Also have our banks debit card tied to only one operational account. We keep "pocket" money in it- 2 or 300 dollars. If that account gets compromised we are not out too much money.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #13
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We use a Chase rewards credit card for most things and pay off monthly. Also have our banks debit card tied to only one operational account. We keep "pocket" money in it- 2 or 300 dollars. If that account gets compromised we are not out too much money.
Not at all trying to be sarcastic but...

What's the advantage of using a debit card? You have to keep shoveling money into the account to use it,... you have no where near the protection as with a CC??
No one has been able to tell me the attraction to a debit card. I only see negatives. My bank (almost all banks) carry debit cards but can't tell me even ONE advantage without loosing the protection I get with a CC.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:27 AM   #14
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We use one CC for all of our travels, easy to track, and easy to replace if lost or stolen. We pay our balance each month, and have never had a problem.
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