What’s the best credit card to protect yourself against fraud on your summer vacation this year? Even better, which card offers you the best interest rate, no annual fee, and the best travel rewards?
Did you know that areas frequented by tourists are literally the worst places to use a debit or credit card that is attached to your bank account?
You have traveled all night to get to your destination, stopping only when needed for gas, snacks, and such because you’re all so excited. When you finally reach your vacation rental, hotel, or resort, and you are ready to check in, your debit or credit card is declined. That’s not possible, you tell the desk clerk. The money was there when you last checked your account. Frantically, you check your bank account using your mobile phone…only to find out that someone has drained your account.
Where is all your money?
Unfortunately it’s very likely that somewhere along the way, there was a gas pump, an ATM, or even a dishonest server with a “skimmer.” Just moments after you swiped your card, your card number, along with your PIN, was transmitted to someone who duplicated your card and then used it to clean out your bank account…all before you even realized what was happening.
Now what are you going to do?
Although you’re sure that your bank will ultimately return the missing money to your account, you will still have to file a dispute, cancel your card, and wait up to ten days for the funds to reappear in your account. But until then, you’re hundreds or thousands of miles from home with no money, no place to stay, and no way to pay for anything at all until you get the problem with your bank account resolved. And to think, all of this could have been avoided if you’d used a credit card instead of the debit/credit card that is attached to your bank account. And, even though it is true that your credit card could have been compromised just the same as the card attached to your bank account, you would have at least still had access to your bank account, and chances are, you would have had enough money in your account to cover something… a place to stay, gas for the disappointing trip home, food for your family…