Important tips for using credit cards while travelling overseas

Travelling overseas can be very expensive and fun.

Most of these travel expenses are spent with transactions from merchants in our destinations. This occurs when we book hotels, travels before the departure, or dining and shopping. Especially with those who are yet to start travelling, you may ask the best method to pay these merchants: cash, or traveler’s checks, or credit card?

credit cards for travel overseas

image from: Mozo

While cash is a handy aid but using a credit card for all our spending needs is a very convenient method. Equipped with a credit card, we do not need to deal with converting currency and this means that we do not have to worry about conversion rates since we will get one of the lowest conversion rates.

Another plus is that pickpockets will be our less threat since credit cards can easily be hidden and kept secured. And even if credit cards are stolen, we  would not be losing our money. We just have to report our missing credit card.

And of course, the important thing is that using a credit card can make our travel expenses cheaper and simpler. Follow the following tips to make our overseas trips convenient, fun, and memorable!

Pre-departure preparations

#Make sure to get a “No Foreign Transaction Fee” credit card.

A study that was conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit whose advocacy is to provide the general public with important information, showed that 91 percent of bank cards and 57 percent of credit union cards incurred fees for transactions made overseas. These fees range between 2% and 3% for each purchase that we make. This may lead to paying more than the listed price of items  that we bought overseas.

Hence, before departing, it is wise to check our credit and debit card agreements if they include these types of fees. If none, apply for “No Foreign Transaction Fee” credit card and a debit card that does not bill you with additional for ATM withdrawals in other countries. Capital One is a top issuer of credit cards without foreign transaction fees. For more information, you may read “How to Read Loan and Credit Card Agreements.”

#Make sure to call your credit card issuer before departure

When you have the needed cards, call your card issuer that you will be travelling overseas and make sure that you ask for the number that you can call collect for help while you are outside your country. This is to avoid your cards being suspended because of suspicious transactions and will provide you a way to contact your card issuer free of charges, in case something happens.

While Travelling Overseas

#Avoid “Dynamic Currency Conversion”

We may have difficulty in relating with foreign currencies to American collar especially when doing our shopping. Most of the time, foreign merchants take advantage of this at the checkout counter by offering to pay the final price in U.S. dollars. Unknowingly, tourists make conversion at uncompetitive exchange rates.

To avoid these additional costs and inconvenience, refuse to sign any check or receipt that are not expressed in the local currency. If you are hesitant about interpreting the costs of meals and items during your travel, just browse on conversion rates before departure, or get an App for your smartphone.

#Carry your passport all time time

It is known that European credit cards have benchmarked its method of protection from fraud security. U.S. cards are still using the less-sophisticated magnetic stripe method, which sad to say, is no longer reliable. Many foreign merchants, especially in Europe, will not recognize your credit card if you do not have proper identification. Always carry your passport. Generally, merchants want to verify that the person using the credit card is actually the person who is authorized to use it.

It is also recommended to know how to stay safe and your money secure.

As a summary,

Travelling abroad can be very expensive and complicated. However, find ways to minimize expenses. But with your credit card with “No Foreign Transaction Fee,” you will be able to pay for items expressed in terms of the local currency and prevent those post-trip credit statements. But be sure also to notify your card issuer that you will be traveling overseas. Most importantly, always to bring your passport wherever and whenever you go around, as well as your debit card that can be used outside the country at no additional charges.

Travel overseas should be worry-free and fun! Take time to go around and visit places, make friends, dine, and shop! A happy person, a better life!


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