Purchasing a Plane Ticket With a Debit Card
Long gone are the days when you had to purchase an airline ticket in person through a travel agent. You can go online or call an airline representative directly and provide your payment information. The debit card is among the methods accepted when you buy your ticket -- as long as your card has a credit card logo, you can use it to pay for airfare.
To use your debit card to purchase an airline ticket, the card must have a major credit card affiliation. If you have a Visa, MasterCard or Discover logo on the front of your debit card, you can purchase a plane ticket with the card. If your debit card is only associated with your bank and has no credit card logo, the card is probably meant for ATMs alone; these cards cannot be used for major purchases like airline tickets.
As with any purchase you make using a debit card, you must have enough funds in your checking account to cover the cost of the ticket for the sale to go through. If you do not have enough money in the checking account linked to the debit card, either the purchase will be denied or your bank will cover the cost of the ticket but charge you an overdraft fee.
Some debit cards do not have the same refund protection as credit cards. Even if your debit card has a Visa or MasterCard logo, if the airline cancels your flight or goes out of business, you cannot expect the same protections you enjoy with a Visa or MasterCard credit account. With a credit card, you can request a chargeback in the amount of your ticket within 60 days of your purchase. With a debit card, you will lose the amount of your ticket cost unless the airline decides to offer a refund.
Airlines do not charge an additional fee to use a debit card instead of a credit card. You will pay the same amount for your ticket regardless of whether you use a credit or debit card.
You can purchase your plane ticket through any vendor that sells the tickets, such the airline's phone service or a travel website. You must provide the full debit card number -- usually 16 digits long -- and you might also have to provide the three-digit security code on the back of the card. Because of the credit affiliation on your debit card, you won't have to provide your secret PIN. The sale will be processed as credit, even though the funds are pulled from your checking account.