Traveling With Your Credit Cards


Summer is the time for relaxing and exploring. If you are headed overseas this summer there are a few things about your credit cards you should know before you leave.

So you are going on vacation. Chances are you have planned out just about every detail - where you will stay, what you want to see, where you want to eat. But what about how you will pay?

Taking a credit card with you when you travel is a smart choice even if you do end up paying cash more often. You never know when an emergency will occur and you don’t want to be left unprepared in a foreign country. Also if you lose your credit card you can get a new one; something cash does not offer.

So what considerations do you need to make before you leave?

Check Fees

If you have more than one card you don’t want to take the one with loads of foreign transaction fees. Before you go check the fine print of the card you want to bring and make sure it has a minimal fee schedule for foreign use. Also check out the ATM fees if you have a card that can withdraw cash - there may be a local bank branch that has a partnership with your credit card company that can help you avoid any fees.

Tell Your Bank

Before you head out make sure you let the bank know where you will be going and for how long. You can usually do this easily online or on your bank’s app. The reason for this is that once a foreign transaction pops up on your card they will freeze it to protect it from fraud. If they know you will be using it abroad you won’t have to deal with a long expensive call to the bank.

Make Sure Your Card Is Universal

If you bring a credit card on vacation make sure it is a widely accepted one. Visa and MasterCard are recognized virtually all over the world so your best bet is taking one of those. American Express is accepted widely as well but may see some restrictions. Even if the card you use most is widely accepted bringing a Visa or MasterCard is smart in case your primary method of payment is declined.

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