Signature on Visa Debit Card

Old Oct 8th, 2009, 10:40 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Signature on Visa Debit Card

I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some advice on this (though I think I already know the answer). I'll be travelling to Paris next week (for the first time!) and I had planned on mostly using my Visa debit card. But I only just realized that, when I first got the card 2 years ago, I unwisely wrote "See ID" on the back instead of signing it.
Now I fear that this is going to be a huge problem in Paris! Would I be better off getting a prepaid Visa TravelMoney card to use? It's too late for me to get a replacement debit card.
Thanks!
Beltempest is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 10:45 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No and no. Use your ATM card. There is no need to use a more ezpensive credit card option and even more expensive (as in rip-off) Travelmoney card. No!

ATMs are everywhere.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 10:59 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's not going to be even a teeny tiny problem. And NO, don't get a TravelMoney card - total waste of money.
StCirq is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 11:13 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,026
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
See ID is kind of a silly thing to put on a debit card, as the whole point is to show the signature matches the ID.
Christina is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 11:15 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,026
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oh, and I don't know what difference it makes as an ATM can't see your signature anyway on a debit card. If you intended to use it for purchases, take a credit card to be safe. There is no advantage to using a debit card over a credit card for purchases, I don't even have one.
Christina is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 11:53 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 13,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We always use our debit card to get cash from ATMs and then a credit card for non-cash purchases. I prefer using a credit card for non-cash purchases over a debit card because in case of fraud, the debit card is linked to my actual money whereas the credit card is basically linked to virtual money, so less risk.
november_moon is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 11:54 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"It's not going to be even a teeny tiny problem"

Cobblers.

Have you really never used a card in a French store?

Salespeople in France more often look at the signature strip than not if you're unfortunate enough to have one of those steam-age, unchipped, cards Americans travel with, If they do and that signature strip says "Mickey Mouse" or something equally dunderheaded, they'll reject it.

That obviously won't happen at ATM machines. But it almost certainly WILL at supermarket checkouts and the like, because everyone else will be using a 21st century card that doesn't need a signature anyway.

If you really have made your card invalid (that's what absurd defacement of the signature strip does), get a new one ASAP - or take lots of cash to France.

St Cirq is talking through her rear end.
flanneruk is online now  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 12:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, my rear end, along with my unsigned debit card, has been spending a few months in France racking up purchases at supermarkets and the like every year for 20 or more. No one has ever even glanced at the signature (which isn't there).
StCirq is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 12:23 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,339
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Perhaps, StCirq, that's because they were too distracted staring at your rear end? ;-)

Stuff it on this one, flanner, my experience in years of using debit and CC all over the world (most frequently in France) is the same as StCirq's. I do not sign either CC or debit card, because if lost the finder then has my signature to forge. I do not enter "See ID", just leave it blank. Occasionally I am asked for ID and produce passport and/ or DL.
Seamus is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 12:43 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't carry my debit card around when traveling. If lost/stolen, your balance can be wiped out very quickly without your PIN. All can be resolved eventually, but not likely during your travels.

Most banks will issue an ATM only card in addition to your debit card, and that's what I carry. My bank will issue one instantly at a branch.

As for the signature, when I handled credit card transactions, those with "SEE ID" were refused, as cards do indicate "Not Valid Unless Signed".

Is there room to sign over the "See ID"?

As for checking signatures in Paris, I can't remember the last time anyone checked. In restaurants, they swipe it and hand it back without a glance at anything at all. Same goes for most shops and stores.

I use a Capital One credit card, though, as there's no pesky currency conversion charges/fees.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 12:50 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let me say this in all due respect to anybody who disagrees...I don't see the sense in using a visa debit card for purchases. Get a visa credit card (the exception might be if you have lousy credit and are unable to get a credit card). There are several reasons why.

1. While visa (and MC) claim you have the same protections as you do with a credit card, what happens if your card number gets compromised? If it's a credit card, nothing really. You get a bill, report which transactions are fraudulent, they are credited to your account, a new card is issued and problem solved (except for notifying those companies that automatically debit your account for things such as utilities, mobile phone services etc. of the new number). Not that big a deal when you get right down to it.

On the other hand, if a debit card number is compromised or the card stolen, actual money leaves your linked account. While in almost all cases, it is eventually restored, while the money is out of your account, some of your outstanding checks and utility payments could turn to rubber resulting in bounced check fees or a person uses it fraudulently, overdraws the account, and again you're hit with fees. It is a hassle to get these fees removed (in most cases they eventually do but who needs the hassle?)

The other problem, and it is being addressed in the US by some legislaton and/or some pressure on the banks to change policies. Let's say you use your debit card when checking into a room and have $495 in your checking account. The hotel, as is the custom, swipes the card and gets pre-authorization almost always for an amount greater than the projected cost of the room to cover incidentals. So, although the projected cost of the room is $300, they pre-authorize $500...the credit card company allows the authorizaton to go through but that puts your available balance into negative turf. On the same day, an outstanding check you wrote out for $50 clears the bank....the computer seeing your available balance is in negative turn (even though there's still $495 in the account) either bounces the check incurring a bounced check fee or pays it and charges you a fee for overdrawing your account....then you go out and buy a $12 meal using the debit card. Again the transaction is authorized but when it reaches your bank, your available balance is in negative territory and you are charged another uncollected funds fee. Since these fees can be $35 a pop, you have now incurred $105 in fees. Don't laugh. It seems ludicrous but it has happened. In another case, using a debit card for a $7 purchase, the clerk accidentally punched in $70....it was immediately voided but guess what. While the $70 is immediately removed from your available balance, it takes several days for it to be restored. In that time, again your account may have charges against it that seems to be more than the available credit and the banks, which never pass up an opportunity to screw their customers on fees, merrily charge the fees. There was one internet story I recently read with this exact scenario where $150 in fees were posted and the bank gave the cardholder a hard time and compromised by waiving $75 of the fees and told the customer they didn't even have to do that.

It just makes no sense to use debit cards for purchases. Period. Use a credit card instead.
xyz123 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 01:54 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 819
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Michel_Paris and StCirq, I don't intend to wade into the signature strip argument as both points of view have been expressed with varying degrees of vehemence, but I would like to ask you why you consider pre-loaded cards to be a rip-off. I am not familiar with Travelmoney but I tried a Travelex cash passport for the first time last month loaded with euros. It did what it said on the tin. It is simply a source of ready but secure cash, or have I missed something?
stfc is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 02:37 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many of these preloaded cards carry excessive fees....there was an article about them in the last couple of days in the New York Times....if you must use a debit card for purchases what I do suggest is that you find an internet bank, and there are many, that allows you to have a checking account with no minimum balance and issues a free debit card. Then you can transfer enough cash into the account to in effect serve as a pre=loaded money card. Most of these banks charge no fees for purchases and for ATM withdrawals. Then at the end of the trip you can, again often by internet but if not by writing a check into your main account, the balance leaving $1.01 in the account for next time. This way, if the account gets compromised, none of your important stuff will bounce while the money is being restored to the account!
xyz123 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2009, 03:24 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 819
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK, am I right in thinking that on the US cards you pre-load them with dollars? That could obviously lead to excessive fees. The card I have was loaded in the UK with euros at Travelex's fairly reasonable internet exchange rate so that was cash protected by a PIN. And the cards have no chips on them.

In fact I was protected against the dive the pound took against the euro while I was away as I had already taken the hit for the exchange.

I agree of course with only using credit cards for non-cash purchases. I use a Santander Zero card which does not charge fees.
stfc is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Perak
Europe
6
Sep 4th, 2007 05:10 AM
thegypsyreel
United States
8
Jul 4th, 2007 10:48 PM
luli38
Europe
41
May 28th, 2006 07:58 AM
AONeal79
Europe
9
Dec 19th, 2003 11:14 AM
KathyM
Europe
10
Sep 19th, 2003 08:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information