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Whether you’re planning to travel abroad or within the country, you’ll need to consider 1) the amount of money you’ll require, and (2) the means you’ll use to pay for your expenses (accommodation, eating out, transportation, day trips etc).

It tends to be safer to arrange alternative payment options, such as credit and debit cards, rather than carrying a lot of cash. And with the rise of travel rewards points, aka travel hacking, credit cards have become a popular option.

But what about the pros of using a debit card to prevent unintentional overspending?

Which approach is ideal? 

Read on to know more.

Should You Use a Debit Card or Credit Card When You’re Traveling?

Use of a Debit Card: Advantages and Drawbacks

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Using a debit card is equivalent to using cash. Whether you choose the “credit” option or input a pin at the purchase, the money will be deducted from your account within a few days.

Therefore, a debit card may be a wise choice for someone who wants to avoid going over budget. Even if using a card is simple, you still have to deal with the limited amount of money in your bank account.

An additional perk of utilizing debit cards is they also serve as ATM cards. So, if you require physical cash, you can use a debit card to access it. Just watch out for expensive ATM and exchange costs.

The major disadvantage of using a debit card instead of a credit card is that if it is compromised or stolen, the money in your bank account could be in danger. If you don’t have a backup credit card, your entire trip could be distorted while you wait for everything to be resolved and your finances to become available.

If someone gets access to your bank account details and manages to withdraw the entire balance, you could suffer severe financial repercussions. Moreover, your credit score could suffer if pending payment transactions or checks bounce.

Use of a Credit Card: Advantages and Drawbacks

Dim Sum Credit Card American Express RF

With a credit card, there are significantly fewer spending restrictions than there are with a debit card. You have a lot of money to spend if your credit limit is respectably large. The issue is that sometimes it’s just too simple to spend more money than you have.

The advantage of using a credit card while traveling has two sides. You can spend approximately as much as you like, but you should only spend what will not take a long time to pay back.

One of the most significant advantages of utilizing a credit card for international travel is that you won’t have to worry about losing access to your funds if your card is stolen.

However, if that happens, you will still require a backup card, whether debit or credit. Furthermore, your card provider may suspend your account while handling the issue.

The drawback of using a credit card while traveling is that you can’t use it at ATMs to withdraw money from your bank account.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a place that only accepts cash, you will run into trouble if you don’t have cash or a debit card to use to make a cash withdrawal.

How can you easily get a credit card online? allows you to apply for credit cards online. Visit their site to set up an account today. 

Combining The Two is the Best Strategy

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Since both means of payment offer a reasonable number of benefits and drawbacks, combining them is best. Rather than debating whether to use a debit or credit card, bring both when you travel to avoid possible problems.

Being prepared makes a difference when you’re far from home. But consider your spending patterns when looking at which one you should use most frequently.

Keep using your debit card if you’re worried about spending too much. Use a credit card if you’re concerned about fraud.

While the credit card won’t stop fraud, it does stop access to your bank account in the event of fraud. Whatever you do, pick the course that ultimately yields the best results for you.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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