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 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...
Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...