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Booking Air Travel With Credit, Not Debit

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Flight cancellations, either due to inclement weather or a labor strike, have many thinking about the best way to pay to protect yourself when you travel.

So which is better: credit or debit?

For two days this week, British Airways had to cancel their flights. Travelers going to the UK knew a planned pilot strike was going to cancel their trips.

But weather interruptions can be harder to forecast, as was the case with Hurricane Dorian.

With those sorts of situations in mind, we spoke to online site Nerd Wallet’s personal finance expert Kimberly Palmer to learn why you should consider using a credit card to book your travel.

“Credit cards do offer built-in protections for these kinds of situations,” said Palmer. “They offer more protection than debit cards, for example, because a lot of the card issuers will work with you to help you if your trip is suddenly canceled.”

Palmer added some credit cards come with travel insurance as an additional safeguard.

She suggested always using a card with travel insurance when booking travel-related items.

It also doesn’t hurt to reach out to an airline, hotel, or travel company for a refund.

But if that’s not available because the companies are going through trouble financially, credit cards offer the protections because you deal with them directly.

If you pay out of your bank account to a company that’s no longer doing business, it’s harder to get your money back.

In the last year, two airlines offering travel from the U.S. to Europe called it quits in bankruptcy court.

Now there are, of course, drawbacks to paying with a credit card.

Nerd Wallet says while they offer benefits and protections, if you don’t pay off your bill in full, you end up paying more on interest than what those benefits and protections are worth.

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