A good time to use your debit card as a credit cardEach Friday, we feature a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip comes from reader Nancy S., who says:

“I went to Iceland last September and rented a car with my husband. All the travel blogs said that their gasoline stations would not take a credit card with chip unless there was a pin # associated with it. Therefore, I would need lots of the local currency (krónur) on hand—plus the other problem is that these gas stations are unmanned once you leave Reykjavik. VISA and American Express said that I could not receive a pin # as they weren’t set up to do so—so I used my Bank of America ATM debit card and pressed ‘credit’ instead of ‘debit’ on the keypad at gas stations, then put in my four-digit ATM pin # and it worked! I had spoken to someone at B of A right before my trip about fraud use on my daughter’s ATM card as she uses it for all her purchases and he told me to always press ‘credit’ instead of ‘debit’ on the keypads to avoid fraudulent use. So, I thought I would try that in Iceland at the gas stations. Did you know you could use your ATM card this way?”

That’s a clever idea. As to selecting credit vs. debit in general, it’s true that the credit option usually means better fraud protection, but it really depends on your bank. Make sure to check with your bank before you leave for a trip. In the meantime, here’s a good read on the topic. Thanks, Nancy!




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