Are you planning a trip this summer? As you prepare, you might be wondering whether you can use a debit card while on vacation. Get ready for a relaxing trip without any nagging financial worries in the back of your head with these helpful debit card tips!
Should I pay for my vacation with my credit card or debit card?
While you can use either a credit card or debit card to pay for your vacation, there are positives and negatives to using either.
The advantage of using a debit card on vacation is that it forces you to stay within your vacation budget and not spend any more than you have in the bank. Also, debit cards can be used nearly anywhere your credit card is accepted. For example, VISA® debit cards offer the flexibility of a credit card by being accepted wherever VISA® is accepted.
One caution to consider if you’re paying for something online with a debit card is that they use funds directly from your bank account. So, be sure you trust the site or vendor you’re making a purchase from.
Credit cards are convenient and can be used most anywhere. However, if you don’t have the funds saved up to cover your vacation expenses, you run the risk of incurring interest payments on your credit card. So only pay for amounts you can actually cover.
Related: Apply for a credit card from Mercer Savings Bank>>
Should I use my debit card on vacation?
Your debit card can be used just about everywhere. If you’re a Mercer Savings Bank customer and have one of our debit cards, you can use it anywhere VISA® is accepted.
You don’t have to worry about your safety, as the same protections apply no matter if you’re traveling three hours away to Hocking Hills or flying across the Atlantic to tour Europe.
If you’re still feeling a bit nervous, you can download our CardValet app. Using your phone, you can receive alerts whenever your card is used and restrict when, where, and how your card is used. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind on your vacation, knowing that your hard-earned money is safe while you kick back and relax.
You can always let your bank or card service know that you’ll be traveling to another location to prevent any charges there from being marked as suspicious. Typically, this isn’t as much of an issue with domestic travel, but it doesn’t hurt. If you’re going abroad, see the section below.
Related: How to protect your identity on vacation >>
Can I use my debit card overseas?
Yes. However, it’s a good idea to let your bank know first if you’re traveling outside the country. If not, you risk the card being shut down due to the stringent security measures in place to keep your account safe.
Be on alert for potential pickpockets while on a trip. Don’t wear a purse or backpack that can be easily opened without you knowing, allowing access to your wallet. An interior pocket or money pouch that you can wear under clothes is a smarter choice.
Can I still check my balance online when I’m on vacation outside the country?
As long as you have internet access, you’ll be able to do all your mobile and online banking as usual. However, if you’re on a different device than normal, you will be asked additional security questions to validate that it’s you trying to access your money.
Common-sense safety rules apply: Don’t use a public computer to check your balance. And don’t rely on public Wi-Fi, like in a coffee shop, to check sensitive information. Not only could the network be unsecure, but you also run the risk of someone looking over your shoulder to see your information.
If you do notice a fraudulent charge on your account, you’ll want to report it to your bank as soon as possible. This not only lowers your liability but ensures that thieves can’t continue to access your account.
All the money management tools you need for vacation
From planning your trip to enjoying the vacation to coming back to reality (and bills), Mercer Savings Bank has you covered with convenient online and mobile banking services. You can easily monitor your savings, transfer funds and protect your accounts with our apps and services.
Learn more by reading our guide, How to Get the Most Out of Online and Mobile Banking. Safe travels!