Why I Don’t Use My Debit Card For Travel

Why I Don’t Use My Debit Card For Travel


Risk Mitigation – I don’t anything online with a debit card, even for my Mom. It can expose me to a world of deceit, deception and financial hardship the likes of which most have never experienced.

See the chart above, that’s the FTC breakdown of Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards. Can you make heads or tails of it? Me neither. Use a credit card and your financial exposure is reduced. Still confused, read this 33 pages of goodness. It’s from the FTC so it has to be true…..

Travel insurance – Using a credit card to book travel offers a plethora (another word you can use in a  meeting) of travel protection.

With the American Express personal card:

  • Three options of incremental medical emergency cover, and cover for baggage loss, baggage delay, missed travel connections and ticket upgrades.2
  • Additional Medical Emergency Cover
  • Cancellation of trip
  • Cutting journey short due to unforeseen emergency circumstances
  • Travel delay
  • Emergency medical and related expenses for medical conditions that existed prior to travel
  • Baggage loss, baggage delay, missed travel connections


The Southwest Rapid Rewards card offers some benefits. Unfortunately, their 17 pages doesn’t make any sense to me. Here’s what I can tell you, Southwest lost my luggage, and without jumping through any hurdles they authorized me to buy $200.00 in clothing and toiletries.  Last week I received a $200.00 LUV voucher in response to a 9:00 PM delayed flight due to their shortcomings. I figure I’m up $200.00 with some new clothing to boot.

Here’s the biggie……. Reward Points – Yes, the holy grail of travel. If your butt is in a seat or your heads in a bed, you deserve the points, honestly what else is the reward? Generally, your debit card offers the smallest reward points.

I work with a friend that’s a card-carrying Hilton Honors fan, and by playing his cards right he banks 14 points for every dollar he spends at a Hilton property.

Early 2018 I switched from American Express to the Southwest Rapid Reward card, here & here.

Like I’ve discussed before my 2018 goal is their companion pass.

Companion Pass – Friends fly when you do. Companion Pass is the benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with you, free of airline charges (does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. To qualify, simply fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, and you’ll earn Companion Pass for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned it.

After charging my 2017 tax return, company travel and college tuition I will nail this by June 1st.

A debit card is so 2012/2013, especially when it comes to travel. There are points and rewards at stake my friend.

That being said, if you decide to charge travel on a credit card carrying a 20%  interest rate and don’t pay it by months end you will lose.

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