Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How To: Withdraw Money With A Debit Card But Get the Fraud Protection of a Credit Card

So here's the conundrum:

1.  You don't want to carry a lot of cash overseas because it might get stolen.
2.  Traveller's checks are an option, but in reality they are hard to use because so few establishments take them, especially if you're in a non-developed country.
3.  You can use a debit card to withdraw money from ATMs in major cities (which also gives you the benefit of a favorable exchange rate) but debit card protection liability is $50 (meaning you have to pay the first the first $50).
4.  Credit cards have almost unlimited liability protection, but they also have abusive rates if you withdraw cash from them, which compound daily.

Meaning: You want to use a debit card, but if it's stolen you're screwed.

Well, Visa Prepaid has a card that's a good solution: the Vision Premier.  Basically, you deposit money into your prepaid account (which can be done via bank transfer or direct deposit) and then you use it the way you would use a debit card: to pay for purchases, buy things online or withdraw money from ATMS.

But since the card has Visa's Zero Liability Protection, you're completely covered if it's stolen and someone rings up charges on your account.  So: protection of a credit card without the rates of a credit card.  Pretty sweet.

Since Visa is promising no credit check and no fees with this card, I assume they are making interest off the money you deposit on the card prior to spending it.  That means you aren't making any interest.

My advice: keep most of your money in savings or high interest checking, and try to be organized enough to only move what you need onto this card when abroad.  Since bank transfers usually take 3 days, I'd also keep a couple hundred extra on the card in case of emergencies.

Click Here: Learn More about the Visa Prepaid Vision Premier Card

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