Traveling can become really expensive if you’re not prepared for it. There are many things you should take into consideration, such as foreign transaction fees and safety. Credit cards are essential travel items you should have. However, you don’t want to be left with a huge bill or without a single penny if your card is not accepted somewhere, especially since you are going to another country. Here are eight must-know credit card tips for traveling abroad:
1) Get a Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees
Many travelers are not aware of the fact that depending on the credit card they own, they might have to pay 3% foreign transaction fees on each transaction. It doesn’t sound like much, but that can add up and become very expensive. If you want to avoid these unnecessary charges and potentially save a lot of money, get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
2) Let Your Card Issuer Know About Your Trip
Credit card issuers have security policies to avoid identity theft and unauthorized purchases. If you travel abroad and start making purchases in another country, they might think someone stole your card and block it. Therefore, check your card app and enable it to travel or call the number written on the back of your card.
3) Verify Where Your Card is Accepted
Visa and Mastercard are the safest choices when it comes to international card acceptance. Other cards like American Express, for example, may not be accepted in some places. For that reason, you should research where yours is accepted before going, and even bring a second or third card with you, even if it’s a debit card.
4) Always Carry Some Cash With You
It’s always good to have some extra cash for emergencies, or in case a store doesn’t accept credit cards. Don’t forget to keep them hidden in other places, like inside your suitcase or in a hidden fanny pack.
5) Bring More Than One Credit Card
No one wants to go through any trouble and not have a way to pay for things, especially in another country. Therefore, you should take more than one credit card with you on your trip. You should always prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
6) See The Traveler Benefits Your Card Offers You
The best part about having credit cards is the benefits they offer you. Did you know that many credit card companies offer travel benefits? You might be entitled to a free airport lounge entry, travel, and car rental insurance, among other things.
7) Set Credit Card Alerts
To prevent fraudulent purchases, or if someone steals or clones your card, you should always have credit card alerts set up at home, and even more internationally, as this type of fraud is more likely to happen.
8) Avoid Using Debit Cards Internationally
When traveling abroad, give preference to using your credit over debit. Credit cards offer more security since you can protest unauthorized charges, and if someone gets your card without your permission, they won’t be able to withdraw all your money and leave your account empty.