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Old 05-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #15
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We use a debit card for almost all purchases except gas (PenFed Visa 5% Cash Back card for that). One thing I did was unlink our savings from the debit card, that way if someone gets your card number and PIN somehow all they'll get will be what's in your checking.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:48 PM   #16
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Are USA debit and credit cards accepted in Canada? If so, is there a charge added on to the purchase for using either card? The reason I ask, last year I purchased a couple sandwiches at a Subway shop in Waterton Peace Park, which is in Alberta, and a small amount was added on to the total. I don't remember if it was a debit or credit card I used for the purchase. Maybe store policy, or maybe an international charge?
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:56 AM   #17
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Any debit card that is part of the PLUS or Interac system can be used in Canada. Whether there is a charge or not is dependent upon what kind of service fees you pay at your bank and what they cover. Bear in mind too that using cards means you are subject to whatever exchange rate happens to be going at the time wheras with TC's you can wait until the exchange rate is advantageous and they buy your dollars. I would suggest a little of both is probably a good way to go if you are going to be out and about for awhile.

As for Credit Cards, Visa and Mastercard everywhere, Amex and other cards are problematic in some places. You don't really see Amex up here that often.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:21 AM   #18
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We use our Credit Union cash card at ATMs all over the world. While there is a currency exchange charge, usually pretty insignificant, it is much safer than caring a huge amount of cash. Our Credit union absorbs the ATM fee if there are no fee free ATMs available.

Good advice on letting the Credit Card issuer know of your plans.

I prefer Credit cards over Debit. A loss on them is limited to $50 unless you don't report their being lost within a day or two (not sure of time). With a Debit card, yo can have your accounts cleaned out, and it's your loss. Just make sure you don't use the Credit Card unless you can pay it off at the end of the month.

In Europe, they have taken to special fees for Travels Checks, as well as a currency exchange. Don't now if this true in Canada.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:27 AM   #19
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Thanks for the credit card use information in Canada. Sounds like using the Visa may be a better choice than the debit card. Good to know.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:32 AM   #20
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My wife's credit card was stolen last Christmas, but I haven't reported it yet because the thief is spending a lot less than she was spending.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:08 PM   #21
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We were travelling in Oregon several years ago and we had a hard time finding a gas station that would accept our traveler's cheques - we haven't bothered with them since. We always carry cash, and credit cards - they seem to be accepted everywhere...
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:25 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rubix cube View Post

In Europe, they have taken to special fees for Travels Checks, as well as a currency exchange. Don't now if this true in Canada.
They were doing this in the 80's in Europe in some places. It was because those wonderful banks were charging the merchants a fee when they went to cash them. Much like some stores now give a "discount" for cash over credit card use (illegal by the way in BC at least and I think Canada).

Having a few TC's is useful. If you have ever been at a place where the debit machine is broken and you don't have cash, you will appreciate the fall back position. Most merchants in Canada haven't been charging for the use of TC's. but one can't speak for all places and all situations.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #23
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Wal-Marts will give you back $100 over on a purchase in the US. Not sure of the CN policy.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #24
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DW travels 80% of the time - much of that internationally, including Canada. When she first started five years ago she would carry traveler's checks until she discovered they were nearly impossible to use. We typically take an out of country vacation annually and noticed that hotels and restaurants were not eager to accept them. Evidently they are so easy to forge noone wants them. Saturday we were in a restaurant near Orlando when the couple in front of us (obviously from England) were trying to pay with traveler's checks. The cashier did not want them and insisted they use their credit/debit card or pay cash. When the manager was called he said they did not take checks, including travelers checks.

Perhaps there are still some places where they are useful but we do not carry them anymore.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:07 PM   #25
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My wife's credit card was stolen last Christmas, but I haven't reported it yet because the thief is spending a lot less than she was spending.
I see knots on your head for this Christmas.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:10 AM   #26
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There is actually more risk to a debit card than anything else. Of course this depends on the amount you have in the bank. A credit card is the best way to go, the least liability.
It also depends on the financial instituion the card is from. There are some, especially credit unions, that treat debit cards as a credit card when it comes to security. My credit union (Altier in Tempe, AZ) is one that does. My debit cards with them have all the advantages of a credit card, no annual fees, it's just as safe, and I don't have to worry about paying a bill at the end of the month.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:15 AM   #27
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...One thing I did was unlink our savings from the debit card, that way if someone gets your card number and PIN somehow all they'll get will be what's in your checking.
I've done the same. A PIN isn't always necessary to use a debit card; most places can run them as credit. I'll do that to avoid debit card fees.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:17 AM   #28
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We were travelling in Oregon several years ago and we had a hard time finding a gas station that would accept our traveler's cheques - we haven't bothered with them since. We always carry cash, and credit cards - they seem to be accepted everywhere...
Very few places accept checks of any kind anymore.
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