More and more people have been using credit cards when they travel abroad, and although there are many benefits to using them, they sometimes come with hidden disadvantages. The key to using a credit card abroad is being smart. Knowing which card to use and when to use it can save money and trouble. More and more people are experiencing problems with their cards, so in order to save you the hassle, we have provided you with the following tips to use while traveling abroad with your credit card.
Call your credit card company: Credit card companies sometimes freeze accounts if they see transactions taking place in a foreign country, so before you go on vacation, make sure to call to inform them of your trip. Giving them this information also serves as extra fraud prevention, as they can see if any transactions have been made from places not included in your itinerary.
Check for foreign transaction fees: Credit cards can be much easier to use than cash when traveling, especially if your destination uses a different currency. Before using your credit cards, check to see if the company has a foreign transaction fee. It’s important to find out about these fees before using your card because they can be as high as 3%. Some credit cards that do not have foreign transaction fees include the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, and the BankAmericard Travel Credit Card. Also, be aware that some companies charge this fee even when you visit countries that use the U.S. dollar.
Look into getting an EMV: EMV’s (Smart Cards) are credit cards that provide extra fraud prevention. These cards have a chip, special magnetic strips, and a pin that make it almost impossible to hack. These types of credit cards are highly used in Europe, and some ATM’s and kiosks only accept EMV’s. Some companies that provide smart cards to the U.S. are Bank of America, Chase, Citi, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Call for local customs: Before going on a trip, it is a smart idea to call a hotel to ask what the customs of the region are. For example, there are some countries in which the taxi drivers and guided tours only accept cash. Calling ahead of time allows you to plan how much cash to bring.
Be Prepared: It is smart to bring other forms of payment as back up. Bringing other credit and debit cards, and bringing extra cash are never a bad idea. Also, write down the credit card company’s information so that you can contact them as soon as possible if something occurs.