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Thanks BA. I know Cornercard very well, Mrs. LP has one and uses it seamlessly throughout the world. Myself I use the Amex/Visa offering for Senators from M&M for the extra miles. I also have a UK account and the full array of HSBC cards! They all work well and I rarely get security calls from them nowadays.

In fact, and perhaps my posting did not make this clear, I do use credit/debit cards frequently, not only for guarantees for hotels and car hire, but also for all manner of payments online, in shops, restaurants (I always tip in cash though) cabs etc. I refuse to use companies that impose a credit card surcharge though or if I have to, will then pay cash if possible.

It’s just that I feel more secure (I’m sure a physciatrist would have a field day with this) with a small wad for when the plastic does not work or when in a hurry and the machine takes ages to give the authorization.