Yes i think debit cards are the way of the future and a much better deal than the over-prices travelwx travel money cards which you see advertised all over the place. Basically the travel money card is a pre-loaded credit card i.e. a debit card – except you get to pay to add money to it and even to check the balance.
In contrast I was sent a debit card by my bank as a replacement for an ordinary EFTPOS card. The debit card isa mastercard branded card which will work anywhere that Mastercard is accepted – which is pretty much anywhere! The mrechant may think its a credit card – and that’s the button you push on the machine – but in fact its a debit card because you are using your funds direct out of transaction account.
Makes sense to me – although you need to check what fees are being charged particularly for cash withdrawals from ATMs using the card for direct purchases makes a whole lot of sense. You can keep track of your account using your normal online banking as well – no need to try to remember yet another password!
One thing is for sure I think I have bought my last traveller’s cheque – they really have gone the way of the horse and carriage! These days I travel with a mixture of cash and the debit card will be joining my credit card along for the journey so I have a mixture of Mastercard and Visa – yes there is the odd country swhere one is much more commonly accepted than the other.
Cash is still king in a lot of circumstances and I use a mixture of clean, non-damaged $100 bills for the bulk of it and some $10’s for the odd border official or taxi driver on arrival. Yes all US$ I am afraid – still the world currency dispite its battering in recent years.