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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We gave up credit cards about 6 years ago after we got into some financial trouble with them. We have been able to always meet our expenses without since them and would rather not get another one, but found ourselves in a bit of a predicament this weekend. We travel quite a bit for our children's activities. This weekend was a soccer tournament. We paid for our room and the coaches room (I had collected funds to do so and put those funds into my account). I used the credit card attached to my bank account- it has a mastercard symbol on it and I didn't enter a pin. I called several days prior to traveling to find out how much of a "hold" the hotel would be putting on the rooms as I know they typically do. I was told 20% which I was completely prepared for. Checked in without any problem. The next day I received an alert that my bank account was overdrawn. I logged onto my account and found that I was triple charged for the hotel rooms- they had charged me $2100 for 3 nights (2 rooms) in a hotel where our rate was $109 a night. It should have been about $386 including taxes (plus a 20% hold) times two). I was freaked out as I was 12 hours from home and now had NO MONEY!! I should have been amply prepared money wise. ugh. So, I called the bank, spoke with the front desk of the hotel, called the corporate office for the hotel and when it came down to it got no where. They all just pointed fingers at one another. The hotel said the bank must have somehow triple charged us. The bank said no way it was the hotel. I ended up having to have my parents put cash into my account so we could get back home- how embarrassing! My husband put a check in, but since it was the weekend it wouldn't clear in time. I guess that hotel and car rentals are times when it is difficult to not have credit cards as they can put very large holds on your account. And I guess when they make errors it can take days to clear. I had a huge fit and ended up with a gas card and free food at their restaurant, but my account is still messed up. Waiting to see when/if it is fixed. How do the rest of you travel without credit cards or is it impossible?
 

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Honestly we never travel without cc's just for the reasons listed. Years ago we used travelers checks but in recent years so many places won't take them.

We use our cc for travel and pay it off as soon as the charges show up online.
 

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We don't use CC's to travel. We have 3 bank accounts - one for main, one for savings, one for travel.

When we know we are going on a trip, we put what we know we will need in to the travel account for food, lodging (with attached Visa debit card) and twice what we think we will need for gas, just in case.

If the hotel messes up, or if the card is stolen from us, our "real" money isn't touched and worse case scenario is we can use the main acct to get us home.
 
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Could you get a pre-paid credit card that you could load with the correct amount of money before you leave home, so you don't have to involve your bank account? Don't know if that would help or not.
 

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We use our bank debit card, which will process as a credit card. There is a transaction limit, however, so when we end up in a hotel and they try to add some kind of huge hold to the amount charged I get to speak to the clerk about it. When I explain that there is a limit, to prevent fraud they usually back down on the amount so that the transaction will go through.

I also travel with a 2nd debit card (different account) just in case. And we get an amount of cash appropriate to the trip, in case of emergencies.

I have found that when we pre-pay the hotel room (advance internet booking) there is usually no additional amount 'held' for the deposit.

If I were in your shoes I would write a nice polite complaint letter to corporate, explaining how unhelpful their staff was. How they misinformed you about the hold amount, and then double charged you at check-in, and then blamed others for the error.
 

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we dont use CC....we are already seasoned and know that they wil HOLD more than they say and not release it for longer than most tell you..for example..dh was travelling for business 2 wks ago..rental car was only $89...they held $300 for 7, yes, you heard me, seven days...but we knew this and prepared in advance for it...it is easy to do if you do your research and plan for at least double what they tell you they hold...jmho....

we do use a bank debit that has a mastercard logo but it is just that...a debit..not a credit card.

we travel often and only use the debit bbank card. but, we always have plenty of cash when we travel or at least access to it through another account that i have where we can withdraw larger amounts of cash if need be.

hotels, resorts, car rental places are leary and some wont even take ya if thats all you have is a debit card...
but, that being said, we do just fine on all of our getaways and dh's work/travel.
 

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DH & I just came back from travel down in the US. We did buy our plane tix from home & online using the credit card and made a car reservation in which they DID NOT place a hold. In fact they only wanted to know which type of card we were going to use to pay.

We did bring enough cash for all things anticipated. Our only spending was shopping & food be it eating out or groceries. Our lodging was provided by family regardless of where we were. HOWEVER we each had our credit cards for 'just in case' / Murphy type situations. Thank goodness we didn't need them!

I agree, write a letter to corporate and explain about your calls to each level of management type including 'corporate'. The fact that not one person stuck up for you and provided customer service for you so you'd only have to deal with ONE person vs the entire company directory speaks volumes. If no one is going to be accountable, why are they still employed?
 

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It's more than inconvenient to travel without a credit card. Even the pay-at-pump gas stations charge a $250 hold, hotels and rental cars 20%+ and your insurance deductible in cash. Any error on the part of the staff is really your problem immediately. This is sad, but only millionaire Dave Ramsey travels with only a debt card because he 'is a millionaire' $250 here and there + auto deductibles + 20% hotel holds are chump change.

I have always had a credit card since my last year of college when I traveled to Europe with a friend. I NEVER paid interest on the thing until I suffered a health problem and ended up on disability owning an old home and car. While I could cover the basic bills on my disability check, there was NOTHING left over. Giving up the car is out of the question in my suburb as there is no bus service. I would also be forced to rely upon my family who are irrationally abusive sometimes.

If you can get a credit card to use as a trial and you are successful, you charge all your day to day expenses keeping a balance on a little notepad. Know the maximum amount you can pay in full monthly. You pay off the card in full at the end of each month. If you had an emergency and spent over your limit (the amount you can pay off at the end of the billing cycle), you take this amount out of savings to cover it. THIS ONLY WORKS IF YOU CAN FUND AN EMERGENCY FUND EACH MONTH CONSISTENTLY WITH A DIRECT DEPOSIT FROM EMPLOYER OR AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL FROM BANK AND YOUR INCOME IS STABLE. You need to save up for all trips and big purchases so you NEVER carry a balance. It's doable but it does take some self control. Maybe being out of financial trouble for a while will motivate you ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think we are going to have to get one. We travel a lot for our kids activities and cannot always choose the hotels. We cannot have this happen again. It is way too much of a pain. It happened once last year too. Usually we are ok, but when it happens like this it is awful. We don't have consistent income- my husband is self-employed. BUT we do have a good income. So, we should be ok getting a credit card to just use for travel and paying it off. We always have enough cash and we do have a small emergency fund so we were able to get our balance positive, but we had to write a check to get the money into the account and it needed to clear. We need to move banks so our accounts are all in the same spot so we can transfer money too I guess. Thanks!
 

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You might also want to check into bank-by-phone options. This way you can transfer money from your EF to your checking immediately, with no wait time on the deposits. At most, you have to wait until the next morning.
 

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We use the credit card for almost everything. I have a double entry accounting system that I use to keep track of our budget. It is basically an electronic envelope system.

I record what we bought at the top part of the column and at the bottom part is my "envelopes". When something is added up above, the money gets taken out of the proper "envelope" down below at the bottom of the column. When the "envelope" reads zero, we are out of money for it for the month. The only time I am allowed to go over is for emergencies or for if I find really really really good deals at the grocery store.
 

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I think we are going to have to get one. We travel a lot for our kids activities and cannot always choose the hotels. We cannot have this happen again. It is way too much of a pain. It happened once last year too. Usually we are ok, but when it happens like this it is awful. We don't have consistent income- my husband is self-employed. BUT we do have a good income. So, we should be ok getting a credit card to just use for travel and paying it off. We always have enough cash and we do have a small emergency fund so we were able to get our balance positive, but we had to write a check to get the money into the account and it needed to clear. We need to move banks so our accounts are all in the same spot so we can transfer money too I guess. Thanks!

Knowing you need to travel for the kids activities - perhaps continue saving up for the hotels in cash to take with you and check in with a credit card but pay with the cash on your way out? But be sure to be overly explicit that they make a note on your account to NOT charge your card, they are only to use it for incidentals :blah: and that you will be paying cash upon check out.

Maybe have a limit of $1K on the card, this way it will cover the unexpected extras that tend to pop up - extra night's stay, medication, gas etc. Not shopping/eating out etc (my gf used to use one card for her 'road trips' - ALL of it and her hubby wasn't happy! :ack:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, from what I've read paying with cash and giving them a credit card can be a nightmare. Lots of stories of them taking your cash AND charging your credit card.
 

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Personally, I never leave the house without a credit card on me. I feel better with DH having one now. He drives out of state for work, limited cash with him, and our car is getting old. Just so many things could happen..ya never know.

Sorry that happened to you.
 

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I travel quite a bit all over the world. I primarily use cash and credit card to pay for things. I have the cash in my bank account to cover the costs of the trip and pay off the credit card when we return.

I just don't feel safe using a debit card or credit card the draws directly out of my checking account. If there's a mistake like what happened with you or identity theft, I'd rather have the credit card's money missing, not mine while things are getting cleared up
 

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When I saw the title of this thread and before I'd read any of the posts, what came to my mind immediately was a trip we took as a family a looong time ago. Texas to the middle of Alberta, Canada and back. My dad owned his own business and had this habit of taking payment in cash. The bills would go into the register but the coins would be tossed into an old ammo box. (Bad business practice, but that's what he did).

Most of the time when we travel, we are able to stay with relatives at various points along the way. Huge, scattered family helps with that.

Anyway, when we got to Canada, around the Edmonton area, our Chevy Suburban had its transmission go out on it. We spent the night in a hotel, checked out, walked to the auto place to find out that it would take another day to get all the parts, went back to the hotel and got our rooms back before they had been cleaned by housekeeping.

Anyway, when we got to my Aunt's house a few days later, we were short on cash for the rest of the trip. My dad had thrown in the ammo boxes with change so we spent quite a bit of time sorting and rolling over $300 in change to take to a bank and have it changed to Canadian dollars. What wasn't changed or what wasn't needed in Canada helped us for the rest of the trip.
 

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Have never tried no credit cards at all....and don't think I would
want to..........CC and cash for me.

With the CC, if an unexpected emergency came up I could cover it.
 

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agreed. had an incident in amsterdam with a bag getting stolen and a few unexpected charges had to be made; we didnt have enough cash so it all got charged on the card and we didnt have to worry about it. made for a much more enjoyable trip (hard to have fun when all your cash is spent).

its good backup....you just never know now adays.

and if you dont use it, good on 'ya! no harm done :)
 
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