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Hope not silly but very important money question


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First I want to tell you all I love this site. It has given me alot of valuable information. This will be my first cruise and I'm so excited. I do have a question which I haven't seen anywhere. I only have a Visa check card, how much do I need to have in the account to check in for use on a 7 day cruise? Do they check what is available at the start or end of the cruise? I don't have any other Credit Cards. Does anyone have experience with this? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

Again great site you all make it sound awesome to cruise.

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You don't want to use a debit/check card on the cruise, nor on your excursions!:( Cash would be your best bet!:)

 

If you can get a 'low interest' credit card, and pay it off monthly, that would be your best bet for a cruise, as you can control it better.. :D (The CC company will actually eliminate/question charges and give you guarantees etc... )

 

RCI Visa thru B of A is an option, or CCL uses Juniper.. Their rates may be higher, but you get double points while cruising... More cruising; more FUN! Be careful of the interest rates tho'....:eek: ;)

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First I want to tell you all I love this site. It has given me alot of valuable information. This will be my first cruise and I'm so excited. I do have a question which I haven't seen anywhere. I only have a Visa check card, how much do I need to have in the account to check in for use on a 7 day cruise? Do they check what is available at the start or end of the cruise? I don't have any other Credit Cards. Does anyone have experience with this? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

Again great site you all make it sound awesome to cruise.

 

 

I too only use a check card for everything, my husband and I got rid of the credit cards a few years ago because we wanted to be debt free.

 

I can say that I have not had any problems using the check card at all. I use it to pay for my cruise, pay for my sea pass account at the end of the cruise and have used it in certain shops in the islands.

 

I don't think they can access your account to see how much money is available, but they probably can run a check on a certain amount, say $200 to see if gets approved. We had that happen one time in Las Vegas, the hotel told us they run a check on the card for $500 to cover any room charges, phone fees, room service etc.

 

You have the option to pay your seapass card in cash at the end of the cruise if you want so if you don't think you will have enough in your account to cover then bring the cash to pay for it. If you have overdraft protection from another account like we do, then it won't matter if you have less in the check card account as long as the overdraft account has enough to cover it, just make sure your bank does not charge overdraft fees, thankfully mine does not.

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First I want to tell you all I love this site. It has given me alot of valuable information. This will be my first cruise and I'm so excited. I do have a question which I haven't seen anywhere. I only have a Visa check card, how much do I need to have in the account to check in for use on a 7 day cruise? Do they check what is available at the start or end of the cruise? I don't have any other Credit Cards. Does anyone have experience with this? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

Again great site you all make it sound awesome to cruise.

 

 

 

They can not check to see your availability. They have no idea how much you will spend so they are not pre-approving any amount. They only run your card to see that the account is in goodstanding. My husband and I have used our DEBIT card on every cruise. We try not to put anything on a credit card. We have never had any problem. Several days after we return home a debit clears our account for the amount we put on our onboard account. example would be paying at the pump for gas. The machine does not know your balance, only that it has been approved for use. Therefore you could pump $40 worth of gas on a $15 balance, resulting in an overdraft of the account. The same would happen when RC runs the debit. If there is non sufficient funds, it will overdraft your account, and then you would need to settle pretty quickly or they will deny you to cruise with them again and send you to Carnival:p

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Several posters have suggested using cash. I do not think that is a good idea. I would HATE to be the position of losing a large amount of cash. Anything can happen, and it usually does. I only carry a few hundred in cash. Everything else goes on the debit card.

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we always use our VISA check card too, and have never had a hold put on the account, just one debit at the end, usually a couple of days after the cruise for the total balance of the sea pass account. the only place we ever had a problem using it was in a port gift shop, it just wouldn't approve, but then it denied the three people before us in line too, so I think it was the clerk's fault...we used our credit card there and all was well....

one thing to remember, let your bank or credit card company know that you will be cruising and that there will be charges from various places on your card. our bank told us that we had to do this when we went to south america and europe in order for them to approve the charges, so we always advise them of our cruise just to be sure we don't have a problem.

 

have a great trip.....

 

Beverly

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If you do plan on using your debit card, you need to call your bank and find out what the maximum daily spending amount is on your card. Most of them have a daily limit that can be spent on it (even if you have more money in your account). Since the cruise charges are put through at the end of the cruise, if you rack up an onboard spending amount over the daily limit you might be in trouble.

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If you do plan on using your debit card, you need to call your bank and find out what the maximum daily spending amount is on your card. Most of them have a daily limit that can be spent on it (even if you have more money in your account). Since the cruise charges are put through at the end of the cruise, if you rack up an onboard spending amount over the daily limit you might be in trouble.

 

Good suggestion. Thanks for the reminder. I forgot about this and "found" out on our last trip. One shopping adventure and I have had my limit for the day. I need to get this changed before we cruise again!;)

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I was worried about this same thing when we took our first cruise. I preferred to use our bank card instead of a credit card. (I didn't want to come home to a credit card bill)

 

We had no problems using the debit card. We didn't use it in port at all because I didn't feel safe using it there, but I figured it would be fine with Royal Caribbean. I check my bank account online while we were on the cruise and there was a small ( a couple hundred dollars) pre-approval amount from Royal Caribbean. I checked again towards the end of the cruise and that "charge" was gone. (pre-approvals only stay a couple days and then they disappear if they aren't completely sent through as a charge) Our total sea pass charge was charged to our bank account about 4 days after we were home.

 

As for how much money you should have in the bank. That depends on how much you plan on spending while on the cruise. We budgeted about $200 a day for the two of us. We ended up just about doubling that but we kept track of our account on the tv in the room the whole time we were on the cruise. We were on our honeymoon so we weren't too worried about what we were spending but if we really wanted to watch how much we were spending and not go over a certain amount it would have been very easy to do.

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If you do plan on using your debit card, you need to call your bank and find out what the maximum daily spending amount is on your card. Most of them have a daily limit that can be spent on it (even if you have more money in your account). Since the cruise charges are put through at the end of the cruise, if you rack up an onboard spending amount over the daily limit you might be in trouble.

 

Check with your bank on this, but we don't have a limit as long as it is run as a credit and not debit so we didn't have to worry about that. It is a smart idea though to let them know you will be on vacation so there aren't any red flags thrown up and they put a freeze on your card.

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back in oct we went on a cruise using our visa/mac card they put it thru mon(for the balance on the cards at that time), wed (for the amount over the previous bal.)and sat morning at check out(for the rest of the balance) hth and have a great time

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Check with your bank on this, but we don't have a limit as long as it is run as a credit and not debit so we didn't have to worry about that. It is a smart idea though to let them know you will be on vacation so there aren't any red flags thrown up and they put a freeze on your card.

 

 

That's why I recommend calling your banks. Mine has a set daily limit no matter how it's used. BUT, if I call and ask them to, they can raise the limit (either temporarily or permanently).

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You could use a preloaded VISA card too.... kinda the same of having traveler checks.

 

Very good idea.. and you know exactly how much you have..

 

I have used all methods, although I agree with the others on having large ammounts of cash around even if they are smalls bills.

The only problem I had was a double charge on one of my cards while in st. thomas. The charge was around $30-40, so it was not a huge deal.

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I'd like to chime in here and say that on our last cruise my daughter and her husband were using their check card and evidently the amount on the last day of the cruise to clear their account was over the daily limit. Had 'Mom' not been cruising with her to supply her with cash, I guess they would have been doing dishes for the turnaround cruise!

 

My husband and I have only taken two cruises but have used cash both times. The last family cruise was last March (16 of us!) and RCI had an instance of their database information possibly hacked into. My husband received a year's worth of credit tracking because of it. I'm glad we didn't have either a credit card or debit card information in that database! I know some folks have posted that RCI doesn't save that info but I really think they do.....why else would they know what card to refund things like the fuel surcharge back to!

 

We're off to Alaska in June for 12 days......and will take cash once again!

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Here is a suggestion:

 

My sister's friend took a honeymoon cruise last year and did not want the spending to get out of hand so he placed $1,000 (one thousand) in cash on his ship board account. He asked the front desk to notify him when his balance got to a certain amount (i.e. $175.00). That way when or if he reached that amount he knew he had to stop spending (drinks, souvenirs, photos, etc) and just go with the free stuff. He also told them that he wanted that $1,000 balance to include the required tips.

 

You can probably do the same thing. Tell the purser how much your card is for and to let you know when you are starting to get below a certain set limit.

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May I PLEASE suggest that those of you who use debit cards (directly linked to your checking account) put those things away!:eek: One swipe of that card through a cloning machine and you could be wiped out in a matter of minutes. Or worse yet, if it's stolen. There are magnetic stripe readers that will reveal your PIN and if your max ATM withdrawel is $350.00 per day, the crooks can get $700.00 CASH in five minutes. They just use an ATM at 11:58 PM and again at 12:01 AM. Yes, the banks say they will replace the stolen funds, but they are not real quick about it. Meantime what do you do?

 

All it takes is for that thing to get out of your sight one time, at a restaurant for example, and BANG, you're hurting.

 

This is not just me talking, this is published information.

 

Using a credit card affords you protection. If it's stolen most CC companies limit you to a $50.00 liability. All you have to do is contact them IN WRITING and dispute the fraudelent charge(s).

 

If you are concerned about being in debt with a CC, don't be. Use it for EVERYTHING except cash advances. That's what the debit card is for.

 

Then make a payment to them for the outstanding balance every payday. It's money you are spending anyway.

 

An additional benefit is this: if you get a CC with some sort of rewards program, like the GM mastercard that gives you a rebate toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle, or the discover card with it's rebate program, or the RCCL VISA with cruise points, then you are getting something extra for the money you spend.

 

Chose your CC wisely. No annual fee is the only way to go. Interest rate be damned, you're paying it off twice a month, remember?

 

Some more points to consider:

 

For this to work you MUST exercise restraint in your daily spending. Treat the CC like a debit card. If you don't have it in your checking account don't spend it.

 

If you can, keep a cash buffer in your checking account, at least $1000, that you don't show in your register.

 

Track your accounts online (if you can), get a money management program like Quicken or MS Money. USE it. Pay your bills on line (with BOA it's free).

 

Obviously, if you live paycheck to paycheck, then this is not for you. But, I don't know of too many people that frequent these boards who do.

 

Just some info...now back to our regularly scheduled program

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If you do plan on using your debit card, you need to call your bank and find out what the maximum daily spending amount is on your card. Most of them have a daily limit that can be spent on it (even if you have more money in your account). Since the cruise charges are put through at the end of the cruise, if you rack up an onboard spending amount over the daily limit you might be in trouble.

 

 

RCI will not charge you daily...It is done at the end of your cruise...There would only be a limit if it were cash daily

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