How to Use Credit Cards Wisely While Travelling Abroad

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Round up | 2 comments

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Travelling is fun but it can also be expensive. Whether you only go for as simple as enjoying a dinner and a day tour or as intricate as booking flights and hotels, you would see yourself caught in a dilemma of how to pay all the expenses you incur. Would it be cash, a check, or a credit card?

 

While, in fact, a traveler always needs cash, you can take advantage of using a credit card to make your travel abroad easier and simpler.  Prepared with a card, you would get rid the hassle of having to find a currency converter center. Also, you will be safe of losing money from pickpockets. But you must remember that using a credit card while travelling overseas does not, in itself, cause you to spend cheaper. Here are tips and advices that you can follow to maximize and wisely use your credit cards while on travel.

Check if your Credit Card has NO Foreign Transaction Fee

Most of the bank cards usually carry additional fees for overseas transactions. Typically, 2-3% of the original price is added as an extra charge, resulting to you paying more for every purchase while travelling abroad. Hence, it would be wise if you check your credit cards before you depart for your trip. See if there are agreements in your cards that include transaction fees. If they do, better apply for a credit card that does not charge a fee for foreign transactions.

Inform Your Credit Card Issuer of Your Travel

Just like how you let your mom and dad know, when you were younger, that you were going out, you should also call your credit card companies that you are travelling abroad. Ring them over and give them essential information about your travel plans. There are credit card issuers that use a security software to their cards to avoid fraud. Consequently, when you use your card overseas, without informing them, chances are you would experience decline or worst card suspension. And you don’t want this to happen to you. So, make sure to ask your card issuer a phone number that you can easily contact when something comes up while you are on travel.

Ask Questions Before You Go

Before you leave, ask your travel agent, if you have any; or your card issuer if your credit card would properly work in the country where you are going. You can even check with your booked hotel if your card is acceptable. There are still countries, especially in Europe, that use magnetic stripe cards. However, small stores, restaurants and transportation mostly use chip-and-PIN. You may also contact your banks perhaps they issue a chip-and-PIN card. 

Be Mindful of Dynamic Currency Conversion

Dynamic Currency Conversion means that for every transaction that you do, merchants charge you in dollars rather than in their local currency. This could lead to an exchange rate unfavorable to you. To avoid these costs, you should not sign any receipt or check that is not expressed in their local currency. Check the conversion rates as well.

See Credit Card Rewards and Benefits

It is true that not all credit cards offer similar benefits. So, there would be no harm in checking if your card also have travel perks. See if your cards offer car rental discounts, booking flight incentives, free breakfasts at hotels, medical travel insurance and other probable benefits. Pick a card that gives you rewards and points while travelling abroad.

Being knowledgeable in using your credit cards gives you a great advantage while travelling across the globe. You don’t need to stress yourself out as you go travel the world. At the end of the day, life is meant to be enjoyed wisely.

Do you have other advice in using credit cards abroad? Feel free to share in your comment!

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2 Responses to “How to Use Credit Cards Wisely While Travelling Abroad”

  1. Great tips – thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for including me in your ‘Amazing Reads of the Week’ too 🙂

  2. Lots of useful tips, thanks for sharing! Those foreign transaction fees could end your trip early if you aren’t careful.

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