Debit card use is on the rise and consumers find them the most convenient form of payment. The reasons vary, from attempting to prevent accruing more debt to dissatisfaction with increased fees. If you are one of these customers it’s important to know that while debit cards are a great tool for managing money, the cards have some features which travelers should be aware of.
For your protection, we restrict usage in certain countries where we see an increase in fraudulent usage. We have also employed a robust fraud monitoring system which monitors your card usage patterns and may reject transactions it deems "out of ordinary". To prevent service interruption during a trip, contact us before you depart so we can adjust our system. At that time, we can also talk to you about possibly adjusting your card limits based on your anticipated daily spending.
When the final dollar amount of a transaction is undetermined, such as a hotel stay, gas purchase, or equipment rental, many businesses will put a security hold on your debit card (this applies to credit cards as well).
If your card is stolen, the great news is that we have extended the same consumer protections that cover your credit card to your debit card. We recommend you read the terms and conditions of your debit card agreement to understand the specific protections. It's very important if you are traveling and have your card stolen, or notice fraudulent transactions to report it to us right away. Our 24-hour number for reporting debit card theft is (800) 554-8969.
A potential downside to traveling with debit cards is that many car rental companies will not accept any payment method other than a credit card. Or, the company will put obstacles in place as to make it nearly impossible to use your debit card, such as requesting copies of utility bills or requiring an additional credit check. Credit cards often offer additional insurance protection when renting a car which is an additional reason they would be the preferred method of payment for car rentals.
It is possible to enjoyably travel with a debit card as your primary method of payment; however you should make appropriate plans to compensate for the above concerns. For example, you may want to alternate between your debit and credit cards during the trip. Customers that travel often may find they prefer State Bank of Chiton's Travel Rewards American Express Card beneficial to earn points on charges they make. Consult us on the best options available to you for an easy, safe and stress-free vacation.