Credit card vs. debit card

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#21
Philadelphia
45 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
When you check in online, you can choose whether to use the same card/account for both guests in the room or set up separate accounts.

Your experience with using your debit card is making you overthink this. Debit cards are problematic. Credit cards simple. Use your credit card to check in (just make sure the pre-authorization/hold is less than $1,500 since that's your limit). Then you can spend up to $1,500 on the ship.

You will never see the hold unless you check your pending charges during your cruise. There is only one transaction. It is initiated when you check in and finalized when your account is settled at the end of the cruise.
#22
Washington, DC
1,304 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Originally posted by jessykaw
So much for spending my time in the casino.

You have to pay a fee (currently 5%) if you want to get cash via your ship account. Much smarter to use cash for casino play. You can also control how much you're spending a lot better that way.
#23
2,425 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by Hlitner
........But there are some things a cruiser/traveler can do to help the situation. If you have a relatively low credit limit on a major credit card, call your credit card company prior to your trip and ask that your credit limit be temporarily increased. Many credit card companies are happy to grant these increases as long as the customer has proven to be reliable.
Great suggestion!
A member of our family did that last year before a trip, requesting an additional $5,000 on his credit card limit. With the higher limit, there was no need for concern about holds.

Even though he requested a temporary increase, they never removed the higher limit, so he still has it on his credit card account and will not need to request it again for future trips.
He does pay his bills in full, on time every month
#24
Virginia
80 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
I think I found the solution to the holds and credit limit problem. I called Celebrity and I can purchase onboard credit as a “gift”. I will just buy $1000 onboard credit and then won’t have to worry about holds tying up my available funds. I’ll still have $500 ($250 holds & $250 final bill) available on my card. Might go ahead a “gift” myself a wine tasting too.


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#25
Sacramento, CA
638 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
If you are traveling, the only use of a debit card should be a cash withdrawal from a surcharge-free ATM or a supermarket. Otherwise, use a credit card.

This doesn't just apply to cruises. I was doing a road trip two years ago crossing across Nevada, went north to Jackpot, Nevada, then Idado. I was filling up at a station in Wells, Nevada. The station had signs up stating that when you use a credit or debit card, the card is "authorized" with a $75 charge prior to fill up, then the actual charge is processed. This "hold" takes 2-3 days to clear. (See Dear ABC News Fixer: My Credit Card Charges Me an Extra $50 Whenever I Buy Gas. What Gives?) However, if you have a debit card, this reduced the cash available. For a credit card, it reduces the credit available.

This hold is not just at fill-up stations. This also applies to car rentals, hotel bookings, and on-board cruises as well.

If you are taking a cruise, you really should bring along two-three credit cards "just-in-case" and inform the appropriate financial institutions beforehand. That way, if one of the cards gets temporarily locked out or stolen, you have a backup. See this article from Cruise Critic: 5 Credit Card Mishaps That Could Ruin Your Cruise
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#26
CO
741 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by Z'Loth
If you are traveling, the only use of a debit card should be a cash withdrawal from a surcharge-free ATM or a supermarket. Otherwise, use a credit card.
I agree and I would never use my regular ATM card that can access my accounts. My bank set me up with a separate travel debit card that I can pre-fund before the trip and, if necessary, add money to during the trip. But that is one way access.
#27
Maple Plain,MN,USA
1,091 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
It sure looks like a lot of people don't understand credit cards. You have little or no liability for charges that are not made by you or another person on the credit card account, if you report it in a timely manner. That timely manner is within 15 days of receiving your monthly statement. More and more people will see unauthorized use long before this by checking their account online. At that time report it, dispute the charges, request a new card for everyone on the account. The most you can be liable for is $50.

Most Visa and Mastercard accounts have the same account number and CVV code for all cards on the account. If one is stolen the whole account is compromised.

Major bank are good at catching fraud on bank issued Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards. If there is a "strange" purchase on your card, i.e. a small .01 purchase followed by a larger one, then the card will be flagged and suspended. They will contact you by email, phone or text or wait for you to contact them. You will contact them when your card is not accepted.

People who believe that if they have $25,000 limit and the card is stolen and maxed out, they will have to pay back $25,000 in purchases are believing old myths and "a friend of a friend" stories.

I travel with two high limit Visa cards and an Amex card. We use our main Visa for the cruise account. We use our secondary Visa for purchases off shore.

Also, make a copy of the back of your cards and keep it in the ship's safe. If a card is stolen you have the contact numbers and the account number. It may cost you a ship to shore call. Princess allowed us to use the Guest Services phone for free when our onboard account Visa was hacked. Chase put a hold on our card after recording purchases in Ireland. We were in the Caribbean. They couldn't send a new card so I just used my Amex for the rest of the onboard account. Your card number and CVV could be electronically stolen or cloned by a server in a restaurant, days, weeks or months earlier and then sold on the black market and then the charges hit.

So my advice is: Use a credit card on the ship. Make sure you have a large enough limit to handle your onboard account and purchases. Then have a backup credit card in the event of a problem.

Take care,
Mike
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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” —Mark Twain, 1857

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#28
USA
1,877 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by jessykaw
I was planning on using a credit card with a $1500 limit. It is paid off and the full limit is available at this time for the cruise. I am using cash and available credit on my other cards for everything else on our trip.

What I am worried about is what will happen at the end of the cruise with my onboard account. If I spend $1300, I will have holds in that range. The money is there. However, what happens on the last day when they run my card for another $1300 to pay my final bill? I won’t have $2600 ($1300 for holds + $1300 for actual charges).

Does this mean I actually have only $750 to spend? ($750 for holds and $750 for the final bill)?


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$750 + $750 doesn't equal $1,300.

NO, they won't put a 1 time $1,300 hold on credit card. They may put $300 at a time every few days, depending on how fast and high your spending goes.

IF (I think you mentioned) you were going to start your on board account with $500 cash and ONLY cash (no credit card as backup) the cash is depleted, then once all $500 is spent, again with NO credit card backup, there is no more spending. Period. Account is frozen. You most likely will be notified by guest services to put a credit card on your account for backup.

When you put a credit card on your account for backup, most likely, the cruise line will take a $200 - $300 authorization to cover 'potential' purchases. Once depleted, more authorizations will follow.

You can always call your bank and ask them to explain how the authorizations work on your credit card.
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#29
Vancouver, BC
19,014 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by cb at sea
Credit cards don't place "holds" like debit cards do....you may see a "pending charge", but that drops off as soon and the charge is paid.
A pending charge is a hold of your available credit.
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#30
Vancouver, BC
19,014 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by grandgeezer
I have never seen a hold on my credit card for any aspect of cruising. We use our credit card for everything we do, hence we have a very substantial limit. If you time it right, you'll not have to pay for almost two months from the time of your charge.
Unless you’re logging in to your account everyday and checking your “available credit” you wouldn’t see it, but it’s there.
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Coming next
September 2018...Crete & London land trip
May 2019...Celebrity Constellation Rome - Barcelona
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April 2020 ..Radiance of the Seas - Sydney to Honolulu

Kauai Land Trip 2018/Queensland, Australia Land Trip - Celebrity Solstice Vancouver to Honolulu - Crete Land Trip 2017/Australia Land Trip - Celebrity Constellation - Greek Isles 2016/Hawaii Land Trip 2015/Christmas and New Years in Hawaii/European Christmas Markets - Land Trip/Hawaii - VCR Celebrity Solstice 2014/Paris Land Trip/Hawaii Land Trip X 2 - 2013/Grand Med. - Ruby Princess/South of France 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip - 2011/Panama Canal and Florida Keys - Coral Princess - 2011/Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - 2010/France 3 Week Land Trip - Burgundy/Loire/Normandy/French Riviera/Provence 2010/Mexican Riviera - Sapphire Princess 2009/Coastal - Sapphire Princess 2009/Alaska - Voyage of the Glaciers - Zuiderdam - 2009/Greek Islands cruise + Monaco and Paris by land - Grand Princess - 2008/Land Trip - Maui - 2008/3 Week Land - Paris to Rome - 2007/Hawaii - Pride of America - 2007/14 Day Caribbean - Sea Princess - 2006/Coastal - Dawn Princess - 2006/Barcelona to Venice - Millennium - 2005/UK & Ireland - Land Trip - 2004/AI Mexican Riviera -2003/Coastal - Island Princess - 2002/Maui - Land Trip x 2/Alaska - Dawn Princess - 2001/UK Land Trip x 3/11 Day Circle the Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas - 2000/Mexican Riviera - Rhapsody of the Seas - 1999/2 Week Land Bermuda - Girls Trip - 1997/Married - Maui - 1997
#31
Boston, MA
70 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Originally posted by jessykaw
I think I found the solution to the holds and credit limit problem. I called Celebrity and I can purchase onboard credit as a “gift”. I will just buy $1000 onboard credit and then won’t have to worry about holds tying up my available funds. I’ll still have $500 ($250 holds & $250 final bill) available on my card. Might go ahead a “gift” myself a wine tasting too.


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And remember you can always ask for a copy of your bill at any time to see what charges have been added and when. That way you can keep track of what has been spent. I also agree that if you purchased a drink package ahead of time your worry of "how much did I charge to my account" will go down because you are not thinking of all of the drink purchases.
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#32
Philadelphia
45 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by jessykaw
I think I found the solution to the holds and credit limit problem. I called Celebrity and I can purchase onboard credit as a “gift”. I will just buy $1000 onboard credit and then won’t have to worry about holds tying up my available funds. I’ll still have $500 ($250 holds & $250 final bill) available on my card. Might go ahead a “gift” myself a wine tasting too.


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You don't need to make it this complicated. Just use your credit card. You'll be able to spend up to $1,500 --- NOT half of that.
#33
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,174 Posts
Joined May 2000
Interesting thread. But many of us with high credit limits fail to understand the problems faced by many younger cruisers and even some older folks who have very low credit limits. These folks also want to travel and they have to be concerned about credit holds and related issues. For those of us with high limits or AMEX cards these are just not issues and most of us give it little thought. I guess even though I am an old f&^%, I still remember what it was like when I was a young traveler.

So for those of you with low credit limits, please try my simple no lose suggestion. Rather then getting out of joint, trying to use debit cards, etc....simply call your credit card company, be very polite, explain that you are going on a cruise, and ask for a temporary increase in your credit limit. The worst that happens is they say no....which is unlikely unless you have awful credit. And for those with really bad credit problems, perhaps you should be using your money to deal with credit obligations rather then going deeper into the hole with an expensive vacation.

Hank
#34
2,425 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
For younger people who have low credit limits because they are just starting out in their careers and have not yet had enough time to establish a good credit rating, another solution could be getting a parent (or other trusted person who has good credit) to cosign for you.

Lots of us have done this for our own children when they were first getting started.

It should work in reverse as well, (i.e., an older retired person on a low fixed income could get an adult child who is financially secure to cosign for the credit card).

The goal is to have your credit limit set high enough so that holds (or pending charges) are never anything you need to be concerned about.

#35
Maple Plain,MN,USA
1,091 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by varoo
For younger people who have low credit limits because they are just starting out in their careers and have not yet had enough time to establish a good credit rating, another solution could be getting a parent (or other trusted person who has good credit) to cosign for you.

Lots of us have done this for our own children when they were first getting started.

It should work in reverse as well, (i.e., an older retired person on a low fixed income could get an adult child who is financially secure to cosign for the credit card).

The goal is to have your credit limit set high enough so that holds (or pending charges) are never anything you need to be concerned about.

Very good advice about older parents. We added my Mom onto the Visa account we didn't use. This helped her credit rating and allowed her to make purchases and do a bit of travel. She never abused it and always paid us the money when due. (Once in a while I may have told her an amount lower than what the actual bill was.)

Take care,
Mike
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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” —Mark Twain, 1857

"Fear is the assassin of dreams." -Me