debit vs credit card

I have noticed that there is no fee attached if you use a debit card vs a credit card to book train travel between London and Paris and other places. Is that safe to use your debit card to do an online transaction?

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2393 posts

It is as safe as using your credit card. The only difference is that if your debit card is compromised, your account balance can be temporarily deleted and unavailable. You will ultimately be credited for anything stolen from your balance, but it can be a little more inconvenient than if your credit card is compromised. For that reason, most of us don't recommend using a debit card for purchasing when traveling internationally. But that caveat wouldn't apply as much if buying online.

Posted by Stacey
Kansas City
112 posts

Are you speaking of a fee from the vendor you will purchase from? My bank charges 2% for any debit card transaction, even online from my home, in a foreign currency. However, my debit card has the same protections on it as my credit card does. I have used both debit and credit to book things without a problem with either.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
683 posts

Is this the Eurostar cc fee? If so, I wouldn't worry (as above, I wouldn't worry generally, but especially not with Eurostar).

Posted by Robert
629 posts

I'd be cautious about using a debit card on-line. If it's compromised, I believe it's easier to have your account drained and harder to resolve the issue than if it's a credit card.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

While it is true that a fraudulent transaction could tie up your debit account temporarily, it is actually no harder to straighten out than for a credit card account, in my experience. You have the same protections against fraud as a credit card, and the bank will replace your money and then pursue straightening it out later. Of course, if you are abroad there might be a delay in being able to get in touch with the bank, due to time zone differences.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1562 posts

The only time I had Major problem with debit card was booking a hotel in Rome. If I had been smart, would have used credit card. To make a long story short, it took six months to get our money refunded after numerous phone calls to the major hotel chain and finally a certified letter to the CEO. I booked in May, cancelled within twenty four hours and had all the information on the cancellation. With credit card, would have them fighting for me but with our credit union, it was just me against this chain, but I did win in the end!

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

You have many legal rights with a credit card. Some cards even give you a free extended warranty on purchases, physical damage on rental cars and charge back rights in certain conditions. Some credit cards also give you "miles" on future travel. With an ATM card, you often have no rights. We use our ATM card only to secure cash for spending money. We use a credit card for rental cars, hotels and sometimes restaurants if we don't have enough currency. FYI: Our Capital One card charges are based on current exchange rates, where some cards take advantage of their customers. All credit cards are not created equal.
And as always, contact your bank and credit card holders to notify them of when you're traveling and where you're going to be overseas.

Posted by marlene
north Brunswick
11 posts

Thank you for all your comments. I will use the advice given.

Posted by Stacey
Kansas City
112 posts

Marlene, if you are talking about the Eurostar, I booked tickets from London to Paris yesterday and there is a $4 charge to use a credit card, but none for debit. Actually, for some reason, my credit card would not process through the site, only my debit card would. So far there have not been any problems with my debit card, but it has only been a day. I do not anticipate any issues though. It is a secure site.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
784 posts

We have used our Capital One credit card all over Europe, four years in a row. You aren't charged any transaction fees. We also take a Travelex debit card with us. Then we go to the local ATM's in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc. and get cash. You can go to a local Travelex loction, if there is one near you. Otherwise, you can find them on-line at When you return to the U.S., you can turn in your Travelex debit cards for a cash refund.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

There is no reason to use a high-fee Travelex debit card when you can just put your travel funds in a regular credit union account and use their regular ATM card with less or no fees at all. Your travel account doesn't have to be tied to your other accounts, so there is no risk to your other money. You don't have to turn in your card for a refund of unused money, either.