Visa Debit Card Versus ATM

May 10th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 36
Visa Debit Card Versus ATM

Has anyone applied cash to a Visa Card in US and then used as debit rather than using credit card or ATM? A friend suggested this rather than taking 2 ATM's. Will not have safe in hotel room since hiking and camping in Spain for 40 days.
Angiep is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Why does your friend think the debit approach is better than the ATM approach?

If you are speaking of a pre-paid Visa card, you usually pay a little extra to get it.

With the ATM cards, even if you lose one, they are not valid without the pin number.

Of course the pin number could be guessed, but chances are it would take quite a few tries. My understanding is that after a few bad attempts the bank stops access to your account.

What will you do with your passport?
bob_brown is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,525
I assume you mean paying extra on your visa so you have a credit balance and then use ATMs to get cash - right?

If so - unfortunately that is not a good idea. If you take cash out of a machine it is considered a cash advance and you start paying interest immediately at a higher rate plus there is often a cash advance fee. So even though you do not need a cash "advance" (loan) since you have money on the card - you end up paying more.

Just use your regular ATM/debit card.

(If you meant a pre-paid visa travel card like bob_brown discussed - than no, they are too expensive to make sense. You don't pay a "little extra" - you end up paying more than 10% extra)
janisj is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Thank you for your recommendations. I did not know about service charge and I agree that makes no sense.

Have a great weekend.
Angiep is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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There are fees for everything you do on those Visa cash cards.

Keep your cards and passport safe by wearing them underneath your clothing in a security pouch. We never use a hotel safe.
Travelnut is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,181
Hi, Angiep,

I assume you are asking about your daughter's Camino, and you might feel better to know that there are ATMs at very frequent intervals along the way. You're right that there will be no secure storage in most of the places where she will be sleeping. There are occasional thefts in the albergues/refugios, but it's almost always because of carelessness -- like leaving a fanny pack sitting on the bed while you go the shower.

If you daughter makes sure to put passport, credit cards, etc, all in a fanny pack that she always keeps on her body and takes with her everywhere she goes, she is very unlikely to have a problem. I've walked this route 5 times now, and I've never had a problem. The Camino is a very safe place, but of course nothing is completely safe. I hope she has a wonderful trip.
lreynold1 is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 36
Thank you so much.

By chance did you stay at hostel in Zaragoza Spain or reasonable accomodations before the camino?

Also, wondering if anyone traveled from Zaragoza to St. Jean de Pied De Port.
Angiep is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 56

I am glad that AngieP asked this question. I have been making inquiries at my bank regarding charges; they tell me that if I opt to use the Visa debit card, there's a 2% Visa charge, and no ATM-related charges.

My question is: is this charge the norm? do you think I can do better at another bank or using another meanings of getting money once in France? the bank tells me that the 2% is coming from Visa and not the credit union.

Just wondering what your experience has been...

TIA for the help, as always!
pnk is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,181
Hi, Angiep,

Zaragoza to St. Jean Pied de Port is not an extremely direct trip. Is there any reason why they are starting from Zaragoza? To get to St. Jean from Spain, I think you have two choices

-- Take a taxi from Pamplona to St. Jean over the mountains. Contact Caroline Aphessetche at Express Burricot for prices. [email protected] Depending on time of day, I think it runs between 20 E pp to 35 E pp.

-- get to Irun/Hendaye by bus or train from Spain and from there to Bayonne, and from there a train to St. Jean.

Most Spanish walkers start in Roncesvalles, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. The cheapest way to get there is on the 6 pm bus from Pamplona to Roncesvalles. But the walk from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles is beautiful (at lesat if the weather cooperates) -- about 24 km. Many European walkers start there. It's a bit of a slog, though, and if you're not in pretty good shape, it's a tough way to start a 500 mile walk. St. Jean itself is a very pretty town and a nice place to spend a day.
lreynold1 is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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Thank you for sharing your insight. I will pass it on to my daughter. You are right about the weather and challenges.I appreciate the reminder.
Angiep is offline  

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