What are the downsides of using your debit card as a credit card?
I assume the HDFC debit card you mention is the Royal Platinum card or its variants. Although it can be used internationally, as pointed out, conversion charges do apply for every transaction you make.
So the better option is a Forex card. It helps in two ways. First, there aren't conversion charges. Second, if your card is of a joint account, you can be transferred money via the other account holder loading the card and you withdrawing it here. It helps save the charges for direct wire transfer or any other methods of transfer (I guess the second point isn't applicable to you, specifically, since you'll be earning in the US) Charges still apply for withdrawing cash from the card - around a buck per transaction. (There is a workaround for that too, not applicable for urgent needs though. Any place you make a purchase, you can ask the person to swipe your card for more than the actual amount due and you get the remaining amount
back in cash)
That said, from my experience in Pittsburgh, the best way to deal with this issue is to get most money in travelers checks / cash (TCs safer), opening an account ASAP after coming here, depositing the money and using the bank's card for transactions. Although the Forex card can be used for in person transactions, they do not work for most online payments (didn't work for electricity bills, laptop purchase or even for online Wal-Mart purchases for me. I'm not sure that is true in general but I was specifically told by these authorities that they do not accept any international card except American Express)
In all likelihood, all this will be handled by the company you shall be working with but mentioned because it might prove helpful for a non-working person
P.S: Thomas Cook had much better exchange rates than HDFC when I got mine. But they were for students and they needed my I20. You might want to check if they have something for you.
13,561 views • Written 154w ago • Not for Reproduction