Maestro Debit Cards

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Oct 9th, 2006, 04:51 AM
  #1
AR
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Maestro Debit Cards

As someone that doesn't want to have Credit Cards, I use my debit card everywhere. I will be visiting the USA next May and want to know, quite simply, do hotels generally accept Maestro (Switch) debit cards?
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Oct 9th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Wow, I have never heard of it or recall seeing a logo for that one on the ATM machines.
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Oct 9th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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I would expect that it needs to be a Mastercard or Visa debit card. The Maestro portion is the ATM network which handles ATM cash transactions. Debit is handled by Mastercard or Visa. Also, be aware that some hotels, restaurants and rental car agencies have some weird ways of immediately debiting the account for estimated charges so be sure to have more than enough to cover and not leave you without access to cash that you should otherwise have access to.
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Oct 9th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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Just to be clear, Maestro is a brand of MasterCard, so MasterCard processes their transactions. Most businesses in the US treat debit cards the same as credit cards, so it's likely you could use your Maestro debit card anywhere that a Mastercard is accepted (i.e., almost everywhere in the U.S.). We don't have the chip restriction that some Euro countries have on the use of a debit card.
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Oct 9th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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AR
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Thanks all - especially for that info, Doug.

I contacted my bank and they can issue a card with the MasterCard logo as a secondary card to my account as a pre-paid card. I just need to top it up with whatever I need (free of charge) and away I go. This kind of card is just starting out in the UK and I believe (according to websites) is used a lot in the US for people with low credit ratings or bankrupts. I'll just use it instead of a credit card because I just don't like them - and at least this way I can keep track of spending my OWN money!
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Oct 9th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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You could also get one of those American Express Travelers Cheque Cards, but Amex isn't accepted as widely as Mastercard in the US ... though virtually all hotels would accept it and it allows you to get cash, though (in my opinion) at too high a fee. I don't know what transaction costs you'll end up paying with one of the Mastercard alternatives, but you should price it. You can save a lot using a credit card that gives you a favorable exchange rate if it has low transaction costs, and you could always cancel the credit card when you get back home. It's a somewhat safer way to travel, too, since you don't actually lose money that has to be replaced if it's compromised.
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Oct 9th, 2006, 10:15 AM
  #7
AR
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Amex is almost impossible to use in Europe these days.
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Oct 9th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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If you're renting a car, be aware that they handle debit cards differently than credit cards. I used mine once and they "froze" the amount of the rental PLUS twice that amount as a guarantee of some sort. That cut into my vacation money.
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