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Last September, I wrote about how I deal with money when traveling. Last January, while in Boracay, I was finally able to try using a Visa debit card.
It indeed, worked flawlessly like a credit card. After a sumptuous meal at Lemon Cafe in D’mall, I realized that I didn’t have enough cash with me to pay for my meal, so I paid using the card, knowing that this is one of the establishments in Boracay that accepts credit card payments. I was worried that their machines wouldn’t support debit cards, but turns out I didn’t have anything to fret about. The transaction went through without a hitch — I didn’t have to wash the dishes to pay for what I ate, and didn’t have to worry about credit card bills and interest rates.
After dinner, I made sure to stop by the ATM to make sure I have enough cash to last me until Kalibo and Manila. Again, my Visa debit card is out my wallet and fed into the ATM’s card slot. I was able to get my cash, the only charge was for using another bank’s machine — no cash advance fees to add to my bill.
I was already quite satisfied with the card by then, but the biggest surprise came when I came back to Manila. As you know, the Philippine Blog Awards has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build the “Bahay Blogger” to benefit the homeless people of Navotas. Unfortunately, the donation page only accepts credit card payments. I was in a pickle because I wanted to help out, but at the same time, I don’t want to use my credit cards anymore. I took a chance and keyed in my Visa debit card number. Much to my delight, the payment went through!
If I’m able to use the card on one website, I’m guessing I can use it for a handful more. Would it work on online airline bookings? Dundundun! Let’s wait and see, shall we?
Visa believes that one of the most important financial tools is not a product but knowledge. That is why Visa has been developing financial literacy programs that teach individuals how to spend, save and budget responsibly. In 2009 Visa committed to reach 20 million people worldwide with financial education by 2013. For more of Visa’s financial literacy materials visit http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com.