Originally Posted by Papilio
What advantage has a credit card over a debit card? Use my debit card all the time overseas.
I used my debit card when traveling in Canada last year and found out that every time you would buy something, they would encumber some ridiculous amount in your account that was, like, 3 or 4 times what you were spending. This happened both at gas pumps and at hotels. It then takes the companies more than a week to release the hold on your funds, which left me in a position where I was dealing with overdraft charges and being unable to charge anything else. Luckily I had enough cash with me.
It is common for a place where you use your debit card to encumber funds. Around here, if I get gas I will see a charge for about $1.00 usually, then it changes to the actual amount a few days later. When you are traveling out of the country, rather than encumber a small amount just to make sure your card is real they will hit your account for a crazy amount, like $60 or $80 when you get gas for your motorcycle. It doesn't take too many days of filling up 3 or 4 times before you're in big trouble, or at least before I was. I try not to keep too much in my checking account, which is what my debit card hits, in case it gets stolen or compromised.
Hotels are even worse. I found that when I would check in they would hit me for twice the price of the room, then when I would check out they would do the same thing again. Don't forget, it takes over a week for them to release the hold on your funds. A credit card eliminates all that nonsense.
Also, watch your phone. If you have an iPhone, when you enter Canada you are subject to BIG extra charges for automatic data downloads. That can even happen if you're on the US side of the border but hit a Canadian cell tower. Do yourself a favor and buy an add-on plan in advance. Not sure if other phones are like that, but I'll bet they are.
Don't mean to discourage you at all. Canada was great. Knowledge is power.