Finances (US)

Travel cards or debit cards: main differences between them

Want to know more about Travel cards or debit cards? You've come to the right place! Check out our post, where we'll go over the main differences!

by Victória Lourenço

Published on 06/24/2022

A debit card is very different from travel cards: we will tell you how

Learn the difference between travel cards or debit cards! Source: Unsplash
Learn the difference between travel cards or debit cards! Source: Unsplash

Do they have any similarities? Sure, as most cards do, travel cards and debit cards share similar features and perks. But as their name gives away, they can be very different from each other in their particularities and specifications. That’s why we’ll go over what makes Travel cards or debit cards what they really are.

image of an airplane window

101 Guide for the best travel cards

If you love traveling and want to enjoy benefits and perks, you should learn about the best travel credit cards available on the market.

Travel cards are, in fact, a variety of card that focuses in one main convenience: travel benefits. On the other hand, debit cards are a format of prepaid cards that handle the balance in your account for you to make purchases in your day-to-day life, besides some other functionalities.

What is a debit card?

Learn all about what a debit card is! Source: Unsplash
Learn all about what a debit card is! Source: Unsplash

Debit cards are known to be very versatile solutions that are also simple to use in everyday life. They are tied to their users’ savings accounts, and with them, you can make purchases and withdraw and deposit money.

Their application process is known to be simpler than that of the more convoluted and complex credit cards, which include travel cards. Furthermore, debit cards also set a balance limit that won’t go over what you actually can spend.

With accessible rates and fees, the debit card is great for the day-to-day consumer and for those that want the best and more simple solutions for their needs. In conclusion, a great option for a more relaxed and peaceful financial lifestyle!

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of the debit card format is that it’s a very user-friendly card. It has very few risks attached to use and can handle most, if not all, needs the average consumer might have.

It’s great for people who are just starting out their economic life and for people to grow financial awareness responsibly before undertaking the more complex credit card formats.

Worthy of note, though, they are not only for those who are just starting out in their financial independence. Debit cards have so many convenient functionalities that even those who are already experienced in the world of credit cards choose to keep one for everyday use.

This way, credit cards can be risky to carry around, so a debit card might be safer and do the job for you and your daily needs.

What is the difference between travel and debit cards? We help you choose the best for you

Learn how to choose the best option for you: travel cards or debit cards! Source: Unsplash
Learn how to choose the best option for you: travel cards or debit cards! Source: Unsplash

Travel cards are a category of card solutions that work specifically well for travel-related purposes. They offer special benefits, whether reduced fees or even reward plans in the form of cashback and miles.

Also, you can book trips and make dinner reservations easier, among other things. In conclusion, a label that’s independent of the debit/credit card categories.

There are debit travel cards that offer different currency solutions, making it easier and more convenient to carry around different types of coins for multi-country travels.

Then, there are the travel credit cards that offer cashback and mile points for purchases made with the card. Frequently the credit version also offers other travel-related benefits for travel booking and other services.

Can I use a travel card as a debit card?

Yes, there are travel debit cards available in the market with benefits that make traveling easier and more convenient. You can then count all the perks of using a debit card, plus the convenience that travel cards have to offer. In conclusion, a good and safe solution for a very worry-free trip.

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Can I use travel card for online purchases?

Assuming the travel card you have is a credit travel card, then yes! Use it for purchases online and for making transactions at any retailer or purchase center where the card brand, like Visa and MasterCard, is accepted.

Moreover, that is true for international purchases as well. Just remember to mind the transaction fees for international purchases, as they differ from those made within your country. In conclusion, travel cards are great for online purchases as well, even if these are not travel-related.

Is it cheaper to use a travel card?

There are multiple travel cards in the market today. This said, it’s hard to determine if using them is cheaper. With the variety of brands and products in circulation today, this is very arbitrary.

If you are planning a trip, then a travel card might be good for you. Check the available offers and see if you could apply for the best one you find that is suitable for your financial profile.

Let’s also not forget that if you want a travel credit card, you will be subject to a credit analysis that will influence your credit score. Be sure to know what your credit score is beforehand so you can have an idea if you would be approved or not before applying.

Are travel cards really worth it?

A very natural question, and the answer is sometimes. It depends heavily on the card’s aspects, the benefits attached to it, and how you choose to use the card. Let’s not also forget your needs will tell if the card’s really worth it or not.

This way, sometimes a card will have a very good reward plan for you, but your needs won’t necessarily bring you to reaping those rewards.

In conclusion, you make the card a good choice based on your necessity for it. Check different offers to become familiar with what you can get in return. Also, take the time to understand what you need and match that with a good card.

Now that we’ve covered some of the key aspects of travel cards, why not check our post about ATM cards? Here we’ll go over the main differences and misconceptions around this topic. Don’t miss out on this precious information we’re offering. Just follow the link below!

Outdoor sign with the word ATM

ATM is a debit or a credit card?

Want to know if an atm is a debit or credit card? Or if they are worth it as a financial tool? Check our post and learn all the key differences between these card types!

About the author

Victória Lourenço

Victória Lourenço is part of the finance writer team for The Mister Finance website. She is a translator and copywriter, having worked on finance topics for over four years. She has a goal to keep studying finances to help people learn more about how to use their credit cards, make loans, and use other money-related products in a way that they can find a more meaningful and healthy financial life!

Reviewed by

Aline Barbosa

Senior Editor

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