Parks and Credit Cards

Thursday, August 28, 2008 5:13 PM
Wouldn't you guess, I usually use cash everywhere I spend money. I use my Debt card for bills and online purchases.

Doing this way, I find it much EASIER to keep my funds in control. I put away 20% of whatever I make into savings automatically and pretend that I don't have it. I then let the bank hold enough to cover my bills and whatever I am planning to spend on my Debt card on in the near future, and then I cash the rest for spending money, daily groceries, ect.

A few days before I go to a park, I hit the ATM.

I would go cashless except for the fact that my card wasn't excepted for no apparent reason at the point of sale more than too many times. There was no question as to whether or not the money was in the bank, VISA or Mastercard just wasn't working properly. A quick jog to the ATM to get out some cash always fixes this problem, but what a hassle. When something like this happens, I have to go back and pay with my purchase with cash anyways, so why not just use it in the first place?

And it takes me no time at all for me to whip out cash. I'll already have an idea of the total, so I'll have my money ready. I even have a wallet with a money clip to speed things up at the checkout.

Plus, cash is pretty! Especially the new bills that have been coming out the last few years.

...And all my coins go into my coin jar at the end of the day.

I'll agree with Gonch in that an amount of debt is fine as long as you can handle it. I'd rather pay cash for the expensive thing too though because it's cheaper in the long run.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 5:41 AM
Lost, you and me both. i'm young and trying to stay a debt-free as I can.
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Friday, August 29, 2008 7:27 AM
There are a number of us Enthusiast who got ourselves behind using CREDIT as a convinence and to get what we want now or to keep the cash on hand by using it at the pump.

Check card for chuck only now. I don't like carrying cash. It's spending what I have or what I've saved. Not what I'll have to pay back later. Thankfully putting nose to stone Im paid in full, Got new car ect to never let that happen again.

Cards for emergency only like the 400 dollar breakdown and tow on our trip this year.

As for time? Ever get behind someone who will dig out the 98 cents out of their wallet or purse? Cards more convinient and faster.

Chuck *** Edited 8/29/2008 11:30:07 AM UTC by Charles Nungester***

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Friday, August 29, 2008 8:52 AM
I can't say I support the idea of using a credit card for every small purchase, but a debit card seems like no big deal to me. As Moosh said, being able to walk through a park without cash is a big advantage when you have to worry about getting wet on water rides. Few things are worse than having to sort through a pile of wet bills when making a purchase... or getting your nice leather wallet all soaked.
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Friday, August 29, 2008 10:15 AM
On a related note, has anyone else noticed the number of gas stations either #1 only accepting cash or #2 giving a $0.15-$0.20 discount on cash purchases versus credit / debit. I remember as a kid a lot of the stations in PA doing this, but it generally went away. Now its came back (at least in MI and parts of WI.)
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Friday, August 29, 2008 10:28 AM
Stations out here in Los Angeles have been offering two sets of prices or accepting cash/debit only for well over a decade...since just after the last gas crisis in the late 70s.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 10:33 AM
I haven't seen that at all. I have seen stations give a discount for using either their credit card or using a prepaid card like a gift card (Walmart/Murphy). We also have the grocery store gas stations that give a discount if you scan your membership card. We have some stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex that won't accept cash at all. You have to use either a credit card, or a pre-paid card. These are usually in urban areas.

Pay at the pump has to be one of the greatest things ever invented. I do hope that the guy who came up with the idea, made lots of money from it.

*** Edited 8/29/2008 2:38:26 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

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Friday, August 29, 2008 10:51 AM
You don't get the same protection with a debit card that you get from a credit card. I use my credit card and pay it off as I go.

I personally always check to see if a place takes credit or not, a lot of small businesses don't because of the fees. At this point I expect bigger parks (Cedar Point, Disney) to accept credit even though some still don't.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 11:11 AM
That's not true, you get exactly the same rights when using a Visa/MC debit card. You're not liable for fraud either way.

For a high volume credit card merchant, they should simply build the cost of the transaction into the price. It's likely less than a dime plus a lower percentage, under 2% I would think. Me, because I'm low-volume, I get dinged 40 cents per transaction and %3.49. I think around $1.12 of every CB membership goes to the merchant fees. It's even more for big purchases like Fall Affair at Holiday World registrations (which is why you should mail in your check today! ;)).

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Friday, August 29, 2008 12:17 PM
About you cash getting wet on water rides, I put my wallet into a ziplock bag or if I forget to bring one, a small bag from the park's gift shop works too. It still takes up about the same amount of space in my pocket.

I like to use my Debt card at the pump sometimes. Cash at the gas station is a hassle when you have to run back and forth and sometimes back and forth again from the pump to the clerk just to fill up.

I got in credit trouble when I was younger, like a lot of other people. This has steered my far away from credit cards. I know that I just can't control myself, so I don't temp myself.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 12:19 PM

Jeff said:
That's not true, you get exactly the same rights when using a Visa/MC debit card. You're not liable for fraud either way.

The liability for fraud is pretty much the same, but only if you notify the bank within 48 hours of the card missing. Even then, the money is taken out of your account and it could take up to ten days to get it back. In the meantime you could be bouncing checks without knowing it.

You also have more rights with a credit card should you ever need to contest a charge, like if a mail order item arrives damaged. With a credit card, they can simply charge back the merchant, and you can withhold payment while the transaction is contested. With a debit card, that money is already out of your account and you have to fight to have get your funds put back into your account. *** Edited 8/29/2008 4:21:46 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

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Friday, August 29, 2008 12:24 PM
If it takes ten days to get the money back in your account, you should consider a new bank. Ditto on charge disputes. I happen to have Chase and I've had no problem disputing a charge. They even refunded the fee for my overdraft protection.
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Friday, August 29, 2008 12:36 PM
I'm just going but what I've read, personally I never use debit cards. I use credit cards for everything, and just pay them off every month.

I agree that a ten day wait would be cause to switch banks, but how do you know until you have a problem? Banks in general are masters at screwing their customers at every opportunity.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 1:09 PM

(Don't some money people have a saying not to charge any item that you'll no longer have when your statement arrives?)

It depends on how you use your card. I pay off all my cards in full, every month. In that situation, it's actually to my benefit to use it. I retain the use of my money for the billing cycle, and get 1-2% of my purchases back in various incentives.


That's not true, you get exactly the same rights when using a Visa/MC debit card. You're not liable for fraud either way.

There are some important differences. The most important: a disputed charge with a credit card is the card issuer's problem until resolution. With a debit card, it's your problem until resolution.

Some banks will err on the side of their debit-card customer in the event of a disputed charge, but they are not legally obligated to do so. A credit card issuer is.

Me, I'd rather depend on a legal requirement than my card issuer's goodwill.
*** Edited 8/29/2008 5:10:33 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

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Friday, August 29, 2008 1:12 PM
Back to the original question:

I think parks that are slow to warm up to credit card purchases are missing the boat. There is plenty of evidence to suggests that customers using some form of payment other than actual cash are much more willing to spend. If it's not hard cash money it doesn't "feel like" an expenditure.

Despite the merchant fees, I'm pretty sure guest spending goes up if it's made as easy as possible.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 4:08 PM

Jeff said:
If it takes ten days to get the money back in your account, you should consider a new bank. Ditto on charge disputes. I happen to have Chase and I've had no problem disputing a charge. They even refunded the fee for my overdraft protection.

Chase is pretty good. They are allowed to refund an overdraft fee/multiple overdraft fees once per year.

A debit card is just as safe as a credit card when it comes to fraud protection. A few years ago I was in Florida and had my debit card stolen and someone used it as a credit card to buy a bunch of stuff. I reported it to the bank immediately and I was refunded for everything within a few days, maybe a week at the most.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008 8:38 AM
I just wanted to offer what we do and why we do it that way.

At Lakemont Park, we accept credit cards for the purchase of all day ride passes, in our gift shops and at three (3) of our concessions stands.

We would accept credit cards at other locations, however, our phone company tells us that we have no "available pairs" on our phone system and the cost of wireless technology exceeds our budget constraints.

Barry Kumpf

General Manager

Lakemont Park

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Saturday, August 30, 2008 10:09 AM

A debit card is just as safe as a credit card when it comes to fraud protection.

No, it's not. Legally, the protections are not the same. What's more, with a credit card, you wouldn't need to have had anything refunded, because you never would have had to pay for it in the first place.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008 10:13 AM
Here's an article that describes the differences clearly. When it comes to fraud protection---if you report a loss within two days, the protection is the same. Beyond that:


Credit users' obligation is capped at $50. Debit users can be on the hook for $500 if they don't report fraud within two days of learning about it and face unlimited liability if they wait more than 60 days. In practice, both debit and credit users generally enjoy zero liability guarantees from their banks, but those generous debit policies can be changed at any time. Consumer protection under the law is a safer bet.

Edited to add: here's another article from Consumer Reports on the same subject (with the same conclusions).

*** Edited 8/30/2008 2:16:47 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

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Sunday, September 7, 2008 1:32 AM

I don't understand the fuss over carrying cash. The odds of losing a wallet or getting mugged are much less than racking up overdraft or NSF fees with a credit or debit card. Most people won't have more than $50 on them, and an average NSF fee is in the mid $30's for the first transaction. Surely it can't be that some of us are too lazy to thumb through a few bills, can it?

It's a shame those (Visa?) commercials that show everything humming along until someone decides to use cash made such an impression on some people. Those same people look pretty pathetic when they're throwing fits demanding a fee reversal.

Last edited by BullGuy, Sunday, September 7, 2008 1:34 AM
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