International Debit Card Advantages and Disadvantages

Published: 15th May 2009
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The newly booming international debit card industry indeed has great rewards of which the best is having a private freeze-proof offshore bank account, but also has certain risks and disadvantages. And only through knowledge of it potentials and threats can a holder be able to maximize its capabilities and reap its utmost rewards and at the same time avoid making mistakes in using it.

Advantages of Using an International Debit Card

1. A consumer who does not have good credit score and is likely to go through great difficulty in obtaining a credit card can more easily obtain an international debit card, allowing him/her to make plastic transactions.

2. Use of an international debit card is limited to the primary account balance, thereby keeping the holder from racking up debt as a result of its use, or being charged interest, late fees, or fees exclusive to credit cards.

3. For most transactions, a check card can be used to avoid check writing altogether. Check cards debit funds from the user's account on the spot, thereby finalizing the transaction at the time of purchase, and bypassing the requirement to pay a credit card bill at a later date, or to write an insecure check containing the account holder's personal information.

4. Like credit cards, international debit cards are accepted by merchants with less identification and inspection than personal checks, thereby making transactions faster and less disturbing. Unlike personal checks, merchants generally do not believe that a payment via an international debit card may be later dishonored.

5. Unlike a credit card, which charges higher fees and interest rates when a cash advance is obtained, an international debit card may be utilized to withdraw cash from an ATM or a PIN-based transaction at no extra charge, other than a foreign ATM fee.

Disadvantages of Using an International Debit Card

1. Some banks are now charging over-limit fees or non-sufficient funds fees based upon pre-authorizations, and even attempted but refused transactions by the merchant.

2. Many merchants mistakenly believe that amounts owed can be taken from a customer's account after a debit card has been presented, without agreement as to date, payee name, amount and currency, thus causing penalty fees for overdrafts, over-the-limit, amounts not available causing further rejections or overdrafts, and rejected transactions by some banks.

3. In some countries debit cards offer lower levels of security protection than credit cards. Theft of the users PIN using skimming devices can be accomplished much easier with a PIN input than with a signature-based credit transaction.

4. In many places, laws protect the consumer from fraud a lot less than with a credit card. While the holder of a credit card is legally responsible for only a minimal amount of a fraudulent transaction made with a credit card, which is often waived by the bank, the consumer may be held liable for hundreds of dollars in fraudulent debit transactions.

5. In most countries a consumer who purchases goods or services with a credit card can pursue the credit card issuer if the goods or services are not delivered or are unmerchantable. While they must generally exhaust the process provided by the retailer first, this is not necessary if the retailer has gone out of business. This protection is not provided by legislation when using an international debit card but may be offered to a limited extent as a benefit provided by the card network.

6. When a transaction is made using a credit card, the bank's money is being spent, and therefore, the bank has a vested interest in claiming its money where there is fraud or a dispute. The bank may fight to void the charges of a consumer who is dissatisfied with a purchase, or who has otherwise been treated unfairly by the merchant. But when a debit purchase is made, the consumer has spent his/her own money, and the bank has little if any motivation to collect the funds.

7. In some countries, and for certain types of purchases, such as gasoline, lodging, or car rental, the bank may place a hold on funds much greater than the actual purchase for a fixed period of time.

8. While international debit cards bearing the logo of a major credit card are accepted for virtually all transactions where an equivalent credit card is taken, a major exception in some countries is at car rental facilities. In some countries car rental agencies require an actual credit card to be used, or at the very least, will verify the creditworthiness of the renter using a debit card.

Try the 2-GetCash international debit card now and enjoy all the great advantages of using a debit card without most of the disadvantages.

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