The days of solely relying on cash or checks are behind. Well, they still do exist, but they are not as rampant as before. Nowadays, people are more inclined to use travel credit cards abroad. Not only is it more convenient, but it also far safer than bringing a load of money.
If you are off to somewhere abroad, it is likely for you to go traveling with credit cards. You will be using them for your day-to-day expenses, as well as other things you want to buy. And while you have been used to doing this every now and then, you probably did not know that there are ways to maximize your credit card usage while traveling abroad.
Without further ado, here are tips on how you can do so. Make sure to keep them all in mind!
#1. Bring a Widely Accepted Credit Card
You do not just bring travel credit cards – you must bring the ones that are widely accepted. As expected, both Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted worldwide. And although American Express comes with an international presence, only a handful of merchants tend to accept it. If this is your primary card, it is imperative that you bring either Mastercard or Visa – or even both – as backups. You want to make sure that an establishment can accept the credit card you are bringing; otherwise, you will be in for some serious troubles.
#2. Have Some Cash
Okay, this might seem counter-intuitive, particularly with the aforementioned narrative. However, it actually makes sense. Keep in mind that some places, establishments, and merchants, just to name a few, across the globe do not accept credit cards. And in such cases, you want to make sure that you have a readily available local currency. You do not want your trip to be interrupted, don’t you? So if you will be traveling with credit cards, remember to bring some cash with you. It is better safe than sorry.
#3. Always Say No To Dynamic Conversion
This is perhaps one of the most common mistakes people do when they use travel credit cards. In case you did not know, dynamic conversion enables you to have a transaction performed in U.S. dollars instead of the local currency. By doing so, you will get to have concrete knowledge about what is costing you. You might think it is quite convenient, but you will soon realize that it is a bit expensive. Plus, the exchange rates when it comes to dynamic conversion tend to be much worse than what your credit card issuer will utilize upon converting the purchase for your statement. If the merchant asks you, “Would you like to see your total in dollars?” Always say no.
#4. Tell Your Issuer Where You’re Going
What most people do not know is that some credit cards are, by default, unable to perform international transactions. And there is actually a good reason behind this. As you may have already suspected, doing so allows credit card issuers to protect you from someone getting access to your card. And in most cases, these exploits happen internationally, particularly when someone lost their credit cards.
Your best course of action here is to always inform your travel credit cards issuer where you are going, especially if you plan to travel abroad. You want to make sure that once you travel thousands of miles away, you will be able to utilize your card. Otherwise, your issue might just decline the purchase you are trying to make as it flags the transaction being suspicious. While you are at it, you may also inform your issuer to enable your card for online purchases abroad. You see, some cards will not work when used for international transactions online. So the next time you will be traveling with credit cards, remember to tell your issuer about your travel itinerary in advance.
#5. Bring More Than One Card
This is pretty straightforward actually. You should never travel abroad with a single credit card. As much as possible, bring more than one or two travel credit cards with you. So that when something happens – i.e. your primary card is declined – you have a backup to help you get going. Also, it gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have other options in case your card will not work with other merchants or establishments.
#6. Consider Travel Credit Cards With Extra Rewards
As you will see there are various travel credit cards out there. Some offer you with promos for shopping or discounts in restaurants. The same thing can be said in your case. Basically, you want to go with travel credit cards that offer extra rewards such as discounts on hotels or transportation costs. Of course, you want to ensure that these rewards apply outside your country.
Well, there you have – some of the most important things to keep in mind when you will be traveling with credit cards. Remember them from time to time and enjoy!