Credit card vs debit card for bookings, plus where can I fly from Gatwick?
Wednesday 11 July 2012
Q. Which is the best way to pay for a holiday? Does a debit card offer as much protection as a credit card, which always carries a surcharge? Jeremy White, Kettering
A. It depends what sort of holiday you are buying. If it is a bona-fide package, covered by an ATOL (for which you pay a £2.50 per-person fee), then the method of payment is immaterial; the first call to recover your cash in the event of the tour operator going bust will be the CAA's Air Travel Trust Fund.
For "DIY" holidays, the dependable back-stop remains a credit card. For any purchase of £100 or more, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act makes your financial institution jointly liable with the travel provider to deliver what you have bought. So, if your airline or accommodation provider goes bust, you can claim back via the credit-card company. But, as you say, most travel providers surcharge credit-card payments.
Debit cards do not carry legal protection, but Visa and MasterCard now require issuers of these cards to offer a similar level of protection under the "chargeback" rules.
There is, though, one scenario in which paying with a credit card could prove wise. Suppose, on a DIY holiday, your airline goes bust before or during your trip. The extent of contingent spending – notably for new, short-notice flights – is likely to be several times higher than the original tickets. You may be able to claim the full amount from a credit-card company, but not from a debit-card provider.
Having said all that, the cover that comes with buying a proper package holiday comprises by far the best consumer protection in travel. The Package Travel Regulations require the tour operator to deliver the safe, good-quality holiday you were expecting – and reduce the risk that your dream trip will turn into a nightmare.
Q. Where can I fly from Gatwick, our local airport? There must be a website, but I can't find it. Geraldine Blake
A. Here is a short link: bit.ly/Gatlinks. When you reach it and scroll down, it should reveal all 200-plus destinations plus the airlines that fly there. Based on price/city interest/beaches/food, Portugal's second city, Porto, looks like an excellent choice.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...
28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...
18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...
£20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...