There’s nothing worse than traveling abroad and finding out you can’t take out cash or make a purchase.
Depending on the time difference and the day of the week, you may have to wait for hours or days just to be able to enjoy your hard-earned vacation.
Keep reading to learn the top tips to use your credit card while traveling abroad.
1. Call Your Card Company
Banks and credit card companies are more alert than ever when it comes to fraud. They’ll hold up or decline international transactions because they’re suspicious. That’s the case even if you’re just traveling to Mexico City.
You need to notify your bank before you leave for your trip. Let them know where you’re going and the dates you’ll be traveling abroad. Your bank will release the card to be used in the destinations you’re visiting during your stay.
2. Know Your Fees in Advance
Credit unions tend to charge 1% of your transaction in foreign transaction fees. Some credit cards will charge a percentage and a per transaction fee. Then you have to find a bank overseas that doesn’t charge ATM fees.
On top of that, you want to make sure you’re getting the best exchange rate possible. In the end, you could take out 50 EUR only to find that it cost you $65 in fees and exchange rates.
The best situation is to have a card that has no foreign transaction fees. Take a look at these cards at CardGuru to find a CapitalOne card with no foreign transaction fees.
3. Have a Copy of Your Passport
In some situations where you use a credit card, you’ll be asked for your passport for ID. You don’t want to have your passport on you 24/7. That will increase the likelihood of you losing it, which can create a whole host of problems.
Instead, leave your passport in a safe place in your hotel and carry a photocopy with you. This way, you’ll protect your passport and have an acceptable form of ID to use your card.
4. Don’t Accept Dynamic Currency Conversion
When you make a credit card purchase at a shop or restaurant, you’ll see an option to accept the transaction in US dollars or the currency of your location.
That’s called dynamic currency conversion. It may seem like you should accept the US currency, but you really shouldn’t.
The exchange rate is often a bit higher than what you’d get from your bank (especially with no foreign transaction fee card). Your best bet is to accept the transaction with the local currency and have your bank make the conversion from there.
5. Bring Two Cards
You want to have a little bit of insurance just in case. That can be in the form of a second credit card or debit card.
Having two cards on you gives you a lot of flexibility. You want to bring different credit cards, like one Visa and one Mastercard.
Traveling Abroad with Ease
Anytime you’re traveling abroad is an exciting time. You don’t want to run a good thing or create a stressful situation by not being prepared financially.
With a little bit of planning and a couple of phone calls to your bank, your credit cards will be set up to be accepted anywhere in the world.
If you want more traveling inspiration and tips, check out these amazing drives in Ireland.