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Old 03-22-2013, 03:05 AM   #1
hardrocker1
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Bank debit cards, prepaid cards, cash, travelers' checks, which is best?

I was thinking someone told me travelers' checks are now on a card, I guess like a prepaid card or something?

We are trying to decide how much cash to have on us, or to take our debit cards (sometimes our debit cards are funny, they have a security feature on them that if you use them far away from your home, they put out an alert or something, anyway, our cards have been denied before) or to get a prepaid debit card. Or combine all of it.

What advice do you have for me? We are taking about 2 grand for expense money for our family of 4.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:56 AM   #2
trewin
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My family is taking gift cards so we get fuel perks! Maybe check out your local grocery stores to see if anybody has a reward program. Somebody also said you can get $$ off buying at Target? We are going to do increments of $100 or so Incase we lose one, then all of our $$ isn't gone.

As for a debit card- No matter what I would let your financial institution know your going on a trip! So they don't deny any charges. I would take it as back up Incase you need any thing else or run into a place that doesn't accept Disney gift cards ( if you go that route) Not sure about now but TRex didn't our last trip)

We are also taking $200-300 in cash for tips. (We have dining plan).

Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
Shelly F - Ohio
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Call your bank and let them know you will be traveling and that should help with getting your card declined.

Yes you can get travelers checks in the form of a card.

I would take some $1 bills for tipping.

If you are worried about your cards be accepted I would do the travelers check card. If you go strickly with the Disney GC you may end up with left over money on the GC that can only be spent at Disney. Where as with the travelers check card you can use it for anything once your trip is over.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
ParrotBill
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We have been using cash + our own credit and debit cards, and call our banks to tell them when we are travelling.

The prepaid cards have tons of fees. See http://www.nerdwallet.com/prepaid/
for a rundown.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:31 AM   #5
ironpig70
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I always use my credit card as it is much safer than any other method out there. I can set an alert so any time its used I get an email. So if it goes missing or if somebody steals the numbers off it I can have that stopped and not out any money while it gets dealt with.


Also since I have a Disney card I get points and if meet the qualifications get a discount.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:10 AM   #6
AnnaNonamus
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I went down with about $20/day in cash, but used gift cards and debit for the rest. I always had a $20 tucked into my lanyard pouch, but I rarely needed it. There are some things that are cash only, though- street venders, balloons, etc.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:57 AM   #7
theparsons
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardrocker1 View Post
I was thinking someone told me travelers' checks are now on a card, I guess like a prepaid card or something?

We are trying to decide how much cash to have on us, or to take our debit cards (sometimes our debit cards are funny, they have a security feature on them that if you use them far away from your home, they put out an alert or something, anyway, our cards have been denied before) or to get a prepaid debit card. Or combine all of it.

What advice do you have for me? We are taking about 2 grand for expense money for our family of 4.

Thanks in advance!
Call your bank before you leave and let them know you'll be in the Orlando area for these dates and they should be able to program that in so that you won't have a problem.

If not...then I would suggest prepaid VISA or Mastercard (most banks carry them). They are accepted everywhere and if you get home and actually have money left on them you can still use it anywhere. While I love Disney gift cards and in the past have given them to my kids before a trip....if you are frugal enough to not spend all you budgeted...well, the balance has to sit and wait for your next trip, lol.

When buying a prepaid credit card, be sure to watch for hidden fees. Most will charge you $3-$5 to get the card, but some actually charge you a MONTHLY fee; some charge you to reload; some charge if your minimum balance falls below a set amount (which makes no sense to me, lol). Some charge a fee if you use it at an ATM to get cash.

I find that I don't need cash (as in dollar bills and coins) and of course that is more dangerous becausing losing it can't be replaced. The only places I ever found at Disney that could not take a credit card were the street sellers (the balloon guy, the ones selling the light up things, etc just before the parade) and a very few food kiosks.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
hardrocker1
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Thanks for the tips everyone! I think we will do the traveler's check card and take some cash and have our debit cards as back-up. We were also thinking maybe my dh, me, and my 16 y.o. each having a $50 bill on each of us, that way if one of us loses their wallet etc, we won't lose it all.

Thanks again! :-)
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
Cheshire Figment
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If you are staying at a Disney owned and operated Resort you can have either a cash deposit or a credit or debit card on file. Then you can use your room key as a charge card.

Normally if in a Value Resort they set the limit to $500, in a Moderate at $1,000 and in a deluxe at $1,500. If you are at or close to your limit they will then run the charge through and do another reauthorization.

So except for very few places that do not take any cards you really do not have to carry cash at WDW.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:02 AM   #10
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There are some drawbacks to traveling with a bank debit card. Hotels sometimes place a "hold" on debit cards the day you check in, often for a much larger dollar amount than you will actually spend at the hotel. (What the hotel is doing is hedging its bets and estimating how much they think you'll be spending, then holding that amount from Day One of your trip.). That means this dollar amount is essentially "frozen" in your checking account for the duration of your trip. Many people don't realize this, and it could cause your account to be overdrawn.

It's also much more of a hassle if a debit card is lost or stolen, rather than a credit card.

I guess I would recommend using a credit card when traveling if that's an option for you. Even prepaid gift cards can be problematic if lost, or if they don't work for some reason.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
ktrask
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Does anyone know how much of a hold they put on a debit or credit card? We will have paid for the trip in full since we have a magic your way package plus dining.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:27 AM   #12
hardrocker1
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We are staying at The Swan so I think that excludes us from charging to our room or whatever?

We don't believe in credit cards, we do have one to keep some kind of credit as opposed to no credit, but it has a $300 limit. We pay for everything in cash/bank debit cards. We are probably in the minority here in having no credit cards, huh?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:41 PM   #13
CtinaDitty
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As a banker, I recommend using a credit card and gift card. The reason being that if you lose your debit card, someone can start using your debit card and drain your account. If you lose a credit card, the impact won't be as detrimental. It is your worst nightmare to lose your debit card on vacation and be without one.

Do yourself and your bank a favor and don't use your debit card on vacation. If you really feel the need to at least call your bank and let them know so they can make a note on the account. Otherwise, it will send an alert to the fraud department who can shut your card down temporarily until you get ahold of them. If it's not during banking hours, you could be stuck in a very uncomfortable situation with no money.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #14
purpledisneyprncess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpig70 View Post
I always use my credit card as it is much safer than any other method out there. I can set an alert so any time its used I get an email. So if it goes missing or if somebody steals the numbers off it I can have that stopped and not out any money while it gets dealt with.


Also since I have a Disney card I get points and if meet the qualifications get a discount.
I too try and use only my credit card b/c I am afraid of losing cash or it getting stolen. Same goes for gift cards, just afraid I will lose it somehow and unlike a CC, once a gift card is lost there is no way to stop someone from using it and losing that money.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
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We put everything we can on the Starwood American Express card. This earns us points to stay at the Swan or Dolphin. We bring minimal cash, mostly for tips.
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