Consumers who spend a lot of time traveling may wonder whether a debit or credit card is best for overseas usage. The truth is that it depends on the company that is offering the card. Debit cards have many of the same advantages as credit cards. The main difference is that the balance on the debit card is consumer controlled instead of company mandated. A customer can use either a Visa credit card or a debit MasterCard to purchase goods in the United States and abroad. The elements that a consumer should review before traveling are as follows:
Foreign Transaction Fees
Visa credit cards and debit cards both come with foreign transaction fees. Foreign transaction fees are fees that companies charge for purchases in other countries. These can be as high as 1 percent or as much as 3 percent of the transaction depending on whether the customer receives a double charge from his or her bank. In this case, a bank debit card could be the least friendly contender when it comes to traveling abroad. A new credit or debit card applicant can read about foreign transaction fees in the “terms and agreements” section of the card application.
International ATM Fees
Credit cards and debit cards can have high international ATM fees attached to them. Every time a consumer withdraws money from an international ATM machine, he or she could be looking at an additional $2 or $5 charge for the transaction. The same flat fee may apply to all purchases whether they are small or large. Therefore, a person who needs to take out $20 at an international location might have to give the credit card company 25 percent of that for the service. The best way to avoid this fee is to bring enough cash for the trip.
One good benefit that some Visa credit cards and MasterCard debit cards may offer its international travelers is travel insurance. Such insurance covers travelers when they are in other countries. The insurance covers things such as loss, theft, damage and automobile accidents. The benefit may also offer emergency vehicle services such as a fuel refill or tire replacement. Many Visa cards add this benefit for its qualified members. Business persons and travel lovers should always look for this helpful addition when they are reading about credit card and debit card benefits (see UOB Bank Debit MasterCard). Some travel insurance policies offer large amounts of coverage.
Debit cards and credit card both come with a wealth of positive attributes. Choosing the best option is the customer’s duty. One should always use a comparison tool to find the best deals for debit card and credit cards. Many factors are variable, so finding the perfect mixture of benefits may take a while. To minimize one’s expenses during traveling, he or she should speak with a customer service agent about any premium features that may be on the card.