Why Could It Pay To Stick With A Debit Card While Abroad?

Why Could It Pay To Stick With A Debit Card While Abroad?

If you’re planning on travelling or going on holiday, then you might be stuck between the choice of taking your debit or credit cards. Traditional thinking seems to lean towards taking your credit cards with you as it can give you access to larger funds and was more widely accepted in the past.

However, nowadays the situation is changing and you may find that it’s actually better to stick with your debit card when abroad. Below, we have looked at the pros and cons of both:

Why Travel with a Debit Card?

Here are some of the top reasons to use a debit card when travelling:

Global Acceptance

Debit cards are now more widely accepted abroad than before – which is great news for those who don’t own credit cards. Many people either don’t have or don’t like to use their credit cards when abroad and young travellers in particular may not own credit cards.

Access to Cash

Debit cards also give you better access to cash from ATMs all over the world. While it’s not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash when travelling, having some loose change on you is often preferable to having a credit card in your pocket.

Find yourself in a panic when only cash will do, and a credit card is not much use.

Less Fees

Credit cards are often expensive to use when withdrawing cash and this can be a big downside. Add in the fact that you may face expensive fees to use your card abroad and it becomes an even less tempting proposition.

Debit cards are definitely the best way of getting access to local currency and the exchange rates are charged at the interbank rate which is usually the closest to the actual rate and better than exchange offices.

Can a Credit Card still be useful?

Whilst debit cards may be the wiser choice overall when travelling abroad, a credit card may still come in handy in the following situations:

Making large Purchases

If you’re planning on making big purchases then a credit card may be the better option. This is because you are better protected as your card provider is jointly responsible with the supplier for safeguarding your money and ensuring you get the goods and services you pay for.


Taking your credit card abroad is often reassuring – especially in case of an emergency. If your debit card is declined or you run out of funds then you may find that your credit card helps you to get out of a tight financial spot.

If you’re going away, it is probably a good idea to take your debit card for normal funds and to make small purchases but it might be a good idea to take a credit card with you as a back-up just in case something goes wrong. That way you have all the bases covered and can be sure you have enough money for any eventuality.

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Simon writes for Payzonecards, a leading provider of UK card payment terminals. He covers a wide range of current topics, including all things card processing and related e-commerce topics