If you are travelling beyond the borders of your country, it is a good idea to gather as much information as possible about using your credit card wherever you go. It is essential to have currency to spend on your accommodation, food and transport but you may also need an extra amount in case of emergencies. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, you must be prepared for any eventuality. A credit card will provide you with the money you need for your daily expenses as well as extra for spending, entertainment or any emergency.
Why take a credit card with you when you travel?
Using a card is the easiest way to pay for expenses in the currency of the country you are visiting. This is because a credit card will automatically exchange the currency from your country to the currency of the country you are visiting and pay in it. You can also draw money from almost any ATM using your credit card and it will give you cash in the currency of the country. Carrying a large amount of cash with you when you travel is never a good idea.
What to remember when travelling with a credit card
- Banks charge for exchanging currency
Most financial service providers charge you between one and three percent per transaction when you buy something in a different currency. You should always factor this into your calculation of the price of something when you shop in a different country.
- Different banks have different conditions
It is always a good idea to shop around at a few different financial service providers to make sure that you have the very best credit card for use in a different country. Different banks charge different amounts per transaction.
- Inform your bank before you travel
It might be a good idea to let your financial service provider know that you will be using your credit card in a different country before you go. This is because most banks are very alert when it comes to fraud and if your card is suddenly used in a different country, they may want to cut it off to protect you from what they think is fraud.
- Pay off as much of your credit as possible before you leave
It is also a good idea to pay off as much of the credit on your card as possible before you leave. This will free up credit for you to use when you are travelling. Even if you have calculated how much you need and the amount of credit you have left is equal to that, it is still a good idea to free up more credit in case of emergencies as you do not know how much you will need.
- Rather swipe your card than draw out cash
Although you can get cash from your credit card, any cash that you draw out will start accumulating interest from the moment you draw it. Purchases that you make by swiping your card will only accrue interest after a month. Check with your financial service provider what their interest terms and conditions are as every bank operates differently.
- Only take one credit card with you
If you have more than one credit card it is a good idea to only take one with you when you travel. Credit card theft is a common occurrence, especially amongst travellers. Leave the others at home for safe keeping.
- Make copies of your credit card details
In case of theft or loss, make two copies of your credit card details and leave one copy at home in a safe place and keep the other with you. Do not keep it in the same place as your credit card, of course, to avoid both the copy of the details and the card being stolen together.
- Keep your credit card safe
For long aeroplane or bus journeys, or for simply walking around, it may be a good idea to buy a safety travel bag. There are many different types of bags that you can wear underneath your clothes and fasten to your body. This way, you can keep your credit card and other valuables in a safe place and not have to worry about being pickpocketed.