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  1. #1
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    Credit card/debit card

    I'm not sure if the 'Living in Thailand Forum' is the correct place for this as what I'm going to raise is probably an international policy but there is no 'Living in the World Forum,' so here goes.

    I have never possessed a credit card. Over a number of years I have used a VISA debit card issued by an Australian bank for a range of services in different countries.

    A couple of years ago I ran into a problem with Hertz at Phuket Airport - they accepted my payment for the rent of a car over the internet for which I used my debit card. At the desk I was asked to present my card for the 20,000 baht (I think) amount for guarantee - the receipt for which is returned to you when you return the car intact. On this occasion, Hertz refused to let me have the car as their card machine would not accept my debit card. After a bit of an argument (as I had already paid the car rental over the internet) I told them to stick it up their arse and I would recover the money after my holiday, which I subsequently did.

    I went next door to Avis and rented a car using the same debit card. Since then I have used Avis.

    I booked a car with Avis the other day and on checking their policies, they no longer accept debit cards. I have been in contact with them and they stated that the policy is correct. I offered to pay cash but again they refused - credit card only.

    I am now in the process of making enquiries of other companies at Phuket Airport about the hire of a car using a debit card but have not had any luck so far.

    Does anyone know the reason for this restriction on use of debit cards? It would seem to me that it's safer using money that's already in an account but maybe there's some hidden agenda between companies and credit institutions.

    I'd welcome any explanation and any recommendations of car hire companies that operate out of Phuket Airport.

    Bobforest

  2. #2
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    adzt1's Avatar
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    its been like that in Spain for abt 5 plus years now . only credit cards no prepaid credit card or debit.
    although the deposit should be a limit if any damage caused ..
    a credit card is needed if you acquire any speeding fines or parking fines etc.

    To charge to a debit card they need the actual card even if they have the card details on file..
    with a CC they can charge at will at a later date
    will not put up wiv the "Nanny state" so don't push it on me.

  3. #3
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    The extensions of credit/debit cards and everyday existence is dangerously merging.

    Today, one can legitimately and officially used a credit card as ID.
    Accepted and understood.

  4. #4
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    I keep one US credit card just for stuff like rental cars and hotels, and Amazon. Keep it active through Amazon purchases; keep balance at zero.

  5. #5
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    I had the same problem at Udon airport. The guy phoned up a friend who had a car hire company and I was sorted out quickly and paid less.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    The same applies in the UK. You can pay for your car hire in advance using your Debit Card, but on collection of your vehicle you have to produce a Credit Card. It's explained in the hirers conditions which should be read before paying.
    Q. What do I need to bring with me to the counter to rent a car?
    A. All drivers of the vehicle will need to be present and provide a valid drivers licence and credit card in their own name. Drivers with an overseas licence must provide their country licence, international licence and passport. Also, if you have any discounts,
    coupons, or corporate/government identification they must be presented upon arrival.
    FAQs - Budget Rent a Car
    Most of the major rental companies require a credit card to initiate the rental, even if a debit card will be used to make payment upon return of the car. And most companies will accept only a co-branded Discover, Visa or MasterCard debit card.
    Those companies that do allow a rental with a debit card often put an authorization hold on the debit card during the rental, usually between $300 and $500. Yes, the unused funds will be returned to your account after you return the car, but it might take up to two weeks for the funds to be released back to your account.
    Credit cards also have authorization or holding fees. When you use a credit card to rent a car, the estimated amount of the rental will be put on the card but the transaction is not put through, thus the term "holding" fee.
    When you return the car and keep the charges on that credit card, the transaction is processed. If you choose to pay with a different card or a debit card, the transaction on the first card is canceled and put on the debit or other credit card. However, it may take time for that hold or authorization on the first credit card to be removed. If you change form of payment, be sure to ask the car rental company to remove the hold.
    http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/..._rental_a1.asp
    Last edited by superman; 16-08-2012 at 06:50 PM.
    Death is natures way of telling you to slow down.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobforest
    Does anyone know the reason for this restriction on use of debit cards?
    Yes.

    If you rent a car from me with a debit card and fuck it up - i'll take it off your debit card. But hold on, I can't, you only have a tenner on it.

    If I have your credit card and you do the same, i am covered -

    That's why.

  8. #8
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    ^ He could have his CC maxed out and you wouldn't even get the tenner.

    Major car rental places have required CCs for 20+ years in the US. I've always had a credit card for this sort of circumstance. You never know when you'll need it.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me why I had to put 100,000 Baht into a separate account when I applied for my Thai Credit Card. Which I still haven't got after nearly 2 months.

  10. #10
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    Requiring a valid credit card is a responsibility filter, having a credit card that still works and has an available balance shows at least some responsibility, but anyone can get a debit card.

  11. #11
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    ^ ^
    I know some thai that have moaned about the same thing.
    I was told it was money to guarantee your cc spending.
    Either I have been misinformed or the thai banks don't really understand the meaning of credit

  12. #12

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    ^Or maybe the Thai banks have a better understanding of loaning Thais money and thats why they need the guarantee, just a thought on the way Thais seem to consider loans

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    Can anyone tell me why I had to put 100,000 Baht into a separate account when I applied for my Thai Credit Card. Which I still haven't got after nearly 2 months.
    I think it started when Asia had the financial meltdown and lots of non Thais left without paying there credit card bill
    Thais with credit cards will not leave the country and avoid paying there credit card bill
    When we bought the house last year the previous owner left the country without paying his credit card of, i know this because we took over the home phone and the bank rang several times requesting payment
    He got his credit card through a Thai company which previously owned the house
    We did not take over the company so the bank had no claim against us

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    ^Or maybe the Thai banks have a better understanding of loaning Thais money and thats why they need the guarantee, just a thought on the way Thais seem to consider loans
    Like anywhere, the banks will have the win/win card in their hands at all times.

    What has been instilled into the Thai mentality, is the reasonably easy task of obtaining a loan - where a great percentage don't have the wherewithall or resources to provide any such guarantee. Yet, find themselves obsessed with the idea of borrowing towards the most ridiculous items in life.

  15. #15
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    sunsetter's Avatar
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    get one of these if you want a credit card, they are prepaid but do the same job

    Travel Money on a Currency Card | Alternative to Cash & Traveler's Cheques | Caxton FX

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    But can you hire a car with it ?

  17. #17
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    prepaid CC 's are rubbish.. might aswell have a debit card.
    an as Superman says , car rental companys don't accept them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    Can anyone tell me why I had to put 100,000 Baht into a separate account when I applied for my Thai Credit Card. Which I still haven't got after nearly 2 months.
    Some banks require that your cc be secured, so they set up an untouchable deposit of twice your cc limit (for my first Thai cc, I had to agree that my savings account balance couldn't drop below twice my limit- I didn't have to open a second account). If you have a business relationship with a bank, they will usually give you an unsecured card- you can even get an unsecured card from a bank with which you've one no previous business if you have a good banking history with another Thai bank- all they will need to see is six months of banking records and proof of salary level.
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
    HST

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FailSafe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    Can anyone tell me why I had to put 100,000 Baht into a separate account when I applied for my Thai Credit Card. Which I still haven't got after nearly 2 months.
    Some banks require that your cc be secured, so they set up an untouchable deposit of twice your cc limit (for my first Thai cc, I had to agree that my savings account balance couldn't drop below twice my limit- I didn't have to open a second account). If you have a business relationship with a bank, they will usually give you an unsecured card- you can even get an unsecured card from a bank with which you've one no previous business if you have a good banking history with another Thai bank- all they will need to see is six months of banking records and proof of salary level.
    Yup. For foreigners here it is a bloody song and dance to get a credit card. I do have an unsecured card with my main bank. The credit limit is crap and they won't increase it. Took out a Citibank one (I had a stay in japan for a week, and the hotel bill alone was more than my bank issued credit limit!), for foreigners its an 80,000 per month minimum income or they won't issue. In contrast, they gave one to my secretary on her 20K salary.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FailSafe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    Can anyone tell me why I had to put 100,000 Baht into a separate account when I applied for my Thai Credit Card. Which I still haven't got after nearly 2 months.
    Some banks require that your cc be secured, so they set up an untouchable deposit of twice your cc limit (for my first Thai cc, I had to agree that my savings account balance couldn't drop below twice my limit- I didn't have to open a second account). If you have a business relationship with a bank, they will usually give you an unsecured card- you can even get an unsecured card from a bank with which you've one no previous business if you have a good banking history with another Thai bank- all they will need to see is six months of banking records and proof of salary level.
    Yes and no.

    When I first applied for a Thai CC with BBL 10 years ago I had a good history with that branch - both with a company account as well as a personal one with a decent income - and yet they declined my application because 'it is too much risk for them to give a CC to a foreigner who can easily disappear....'. They also suggested a deposit as a guarantee for the CC limit which I respectfully declined.

    Went to AMEX, got the 'Thai Platinum' without any problems and can say that I am more than happy with their service and benefits.

    A DC alone just doesn't cut it, you do need a CC for certain transactions. Also don't forget that in case of a DC your account is debited immediately and it is a bitch to get that money back. We found out once with the Apple store who does not accept AMEX so the wife used the BBL Visa DC - first and last time.

  21. #21
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    Some merchants won't accept AMEX as they have the highest fee.

    This is one of my posts from another thread on this subject:

    I got my first unsecured card from Krungsri before I had an account with them- I was building a house and wanted a HomePro Visa card to get a discount on stuff I would need, and Krungsri was issuing them.

    I submitted six months worth of SCB documents (they were the only bank I was using at the time) and gave some salary information, and they approved a card with a 240K limit with no hassle (other than compiling the paperwork)- they approved another card with the same limit (which I didn't ask for- they just offered it) a year later when I switched my business banking over to them.

    SCB gave me a much bigger run-around before giving me a card (even though I had previously paid off a home loan and had perfect credit with them, and had a fairly large savings account) and (as I mentioned earlier) I had to tell them I would close my account unless they gave me an unsecured card (which I didn't need, but the bank manager annoyed me so I went over his head to prove a point). Since then my relationship with SCB has been great, and it's why I'm still with them, but they were less 'friendly' to me (at the time) than a bank that didn't know me at all.

    Different banks have very different guidelines, it seems.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FailSafe View Post
    Some merchants won't accept AMEX as they have the highest fee.

    This is one of my posts from another thread on this subject:

    I got my first unsecured card from Krungsri before I had an account with them- I was building a house and wanted a HomePro Visa card to get a discount on stuff I would need, and Krungsri was issuing them.

    I submitted six months worth of SCB documents (they were the only bank I was using at the time) and gave some salary information, and they approved a card with a 240K limit with no hassle (other than compiling the paperwork)- they approved another card with the same limit (which I didn't ask for- they just offered it) a year later when I switched my business banking over to them.

    SCB gave me a much bigger run-around before giving me a card (even though I had previously paid off a home loan and had perfect credit with them, and had a fairly large savings account) and (as I mentioned earlier) I had to tell them I would close my account unless they gave me an unsecured card (which I didn't need, but the bank manager annoyed me so I went over his head to prove a point). Since then my relationship with SCB has been great, and it's why I'm still with them, but they were less 'friendly' to me (at the time) than a bank that didn't know me at all.

    Different banks have very different guidelines, it seems.
    Absolutely agree, but at that time I couldn't be arsed running from one bank to the next and opted for the easiest way out.

    I also agree with the fact that some don't accept AMEX because of the charges - but honestly I did not have any problem (other than the Apple store) yet. Plus I like that I collect Thai miles for every satang I spend. Always comes down to more than one biz class ticket to Europe every year.

  23. #23
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    Prepaid card

    Hey,

    I'm going to phuket in October as well and own a Mastercard from Tuxedo prepaid. Will my credit card be accepted in Thailand even if it's a prepaid credit card or doesn't that make any difference?

    Thanks very much,

    Jessica

  24. #24
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    I've used pre-paid Mastercards in LOS to pay for accommodation and to withdraw cash without a problem.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for your quick answer

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