A friend rented a bike to go riding in Vail. He stopped for lunch. After lunch he discovered his bike had been stolen. Unfortunately, he had used his debit card to rent the bike, which didn’t protect him from theft. He had to cover the cost of the bike.
When renting a bike, car or other items, use your credit card. Most credit cards will protect you from damage or theft. Check with your credit card company to determine how much protection you have.
When making reservations for a hotel, use your credit card. Let’s say you make reservations a month in advance for three nights at $200 a day with a debit card. $600 will be taken out of your account at the time you make the reservations. Of course, if you cancel your reservations, you do get your money back.
If you had used your credit card to reserve your room, the $600 wouldn’t be billed until you receive your monthly credit card bill, which could be a month after you stayed at the hotel. In this case, the difference is you would have use of your $600 for two months longer.
When buying online or ordering by phone, use your credit card. You want to be sure you receive the product and it is what you expected, before paying for the item. If there is a reason to dispute the charge, it is much easier to do that via a credit card rather than a debit card. With the debit card, your money is already gone.
When buying an item that you think requires a longer warranty, choose a select credit card. Some credit cards will automatically extend your warranty. I recently bought a laptop computer using a credit card that I know gives me an extended warranty at no extra cost.
When you want travel miles or to receive a percentage, such as one or two percent, of the money charged, use a credit card. Some people think these benefits entice consumers to spend more money. It doesn’t have that effect on me.
If you have any credit card or debit card stories, please share them.