There was a time when you relied on cash and traveler's checks while traveling abroad. Today, you can use the same credit cards that you use at home, as most of the credit cards available today are international credit cards. These credit cards are handy especially if you go to places like the US and Europe because of its extensive acceptability. However, if you go to a country like Cuba, you might still have to rely on cash. We discuss ten simple but useful tips on how to use a credit card while traveling abroad.
1. Carry a widely-accepted credit card
Use a widely accepted credit card such as Visa or MasterCard. American Express cards are also comfortable to use, but not all merchants accept these cards. Hence, have a MasterCard or Visa Card as a backup if you carry an Amex Credit card.
2. Better to have multiple credit cards
When you travel abroad, have multiple cards in your hands. They serve as a backup if one of them fails. Secondly, travel credit cards that give travel miles or reward points are better to use because you get the benefit of reward points that you can redeem later on. Ensure beforehand that you are eligible to spend these bonus rewards while traveling abroad.
3. Have some cash as a backup while traveling abroad
It is always better to have sufficient money as a backup because you never know when you will need them. Not all merchant establishments in the countryside accept credit cards. Having money can help you deal with such circumstances.
4. Inform your travel plans to your credit card issuer
It is better to inform your credit card issuer about your travel plans. Otherwise, the issuing bank might suspend transactions on your card if its systems sense regular withdrawals and usage abroad. Credit card issuers have such security measures in place to protect the interests of their clients. Informing them in advance about your travel plans can save you the hassle of dealing with frozen accounts while traveling abroad.
5. Use cards that do not have foreign transaction fees
Confirm with your credit card issuer whether they have a product that does not charge foreign transaction fees. Many banks have such credit cards. Apply for one and use it when you go abroad. You save much money by way of waiver of foreign transaction fees.
6. Know how the Chip and PIN system works
Most of the member establishments abroad use the SIM-based chip and PIN system for verifying credit cards. It is advisable to have such a card with you. It would help if you also were comfortable with the usage of such cards. If your credit card issuer sends an OTP for verification, ensure that you carry the registered mobile number with you to receive the OTP.
7. Stay away from dynamic currency conversion
Dynamic Currency Conversion concept allows you to conduct transactions in US Dollars rather than your home currency while traveling abroad. You get a good idea of how much each transaction costs you. It is a convenient mode of transacting but can cost you heavily. Your local credit card issuer would have to convert the currency into foreign currency every time you use it. You could lose a lot because of adverse currency conversion rates.
8. Go through the card’s travel protection features
Be aware of the travel protection features available on your credit card. You might need them to compensate for the loss due to delayed flights, lost luggage, accident insurance, trip cancellation, and so on. Your credit card issuer would have a separate product to cater to such requirements.
9. Use credit cards to access airport lounges
Most of the travel-oriented credit cards allow free access to airport lounges all over the world. You need not have to spend on buying tickets to access airport lounges. Many credit cards come with facilities where you get complimentary refreshments and spa treatments. Check up with your credit card issuer and go through the terms and conditions before you start traveling abroad. You will get an idea about the additional benefits that come with your card. It makes sense to use these benefits to your advantage.
10. Always carry your passport along with you
Remember to have your passport with you whenever you travel abroad. Merchant establishments might seek confirmation whether you are the rightful user of the credit card. You can also carry the scanned copy of your passport on your smartphone, as it serves the identification purpose. Many merchants, especially in Europe do not accept international credit cards without verifying the identity of the user.
The modern-day credit cards are international credit cards. One should know the advantages of such cards and use them appropriately. We have discussed ten tips that can come handy under such circumstances. It can help you and give you peace of mind. You do not have to carry wads of foreign currency and expose yourself to unnecessary risk while traveling abroad. Just like these there are many more benefits of credit card follow the link to know more.