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Re: [at-l]cash on the trail

A word of warning about debit cards...

The money comes right out of your bank account.  If someone steals your
card, you may find yourself bouncing checks, electronic transfers, etc.  You
may not be liable for the illegal charges, but it may take you a LONG time
to get things straitened out.  With a credit card, YOUR money is never used
to pay illegal charges.

Also, you have specific legal rights when you buy things with a credit card.
THIS IS NOT MY AREA OF EXPERTISE, but I seem to recall that they may not
apply when you use a debit card.  Legally, a debit card transaction is (I
think) more like a writing a check.

Finally, if you don't want to deal with credit card bills, there are several

(1) Ask your bank about an automatic payment plan for your credit card.  You
may be able to set up an electronic funds transfer that transfers money from
your checking account to your credit card account automatically.

(2) You can pre-pay your credit card.  You won't have to send the bank any
new checks until your balance goes negative again.

In any case, I plan to make sure that SOMEONE looks at my credit card bills.
It would be awful to have to end or suspend my hike because some creep stole
my credit card or used my credit card number.

I'm pretty sure that there was a Consumer Reports piece on debit cards in
the not too distant past.  That might be a place to start looking for more
information.  Banks make a lot of money on the things, so I would take any
glowing recommendations from that source with a handful of gorp.

Needless to say, I will never use a debit card.

-- Jim Mayer

At 08:11 AM 12/18/96 PST, Jeff Mosenkis wrote:
>I don't know what people did about credit catrd bills on the trail, but
>have people looked into the new "check cards"?  Work like credit cards
>(and are accepted anywhere that the regular Visa/MC are) except the
>balance is deducted from your checking account, like writing a check.  No
>montly bills, all taken care of on the spot. 
>Has anybody tried them? (I have not yet used one, but my old bank tried 
>to get me to)

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