Tips for Travelling with Credit Cards Overseas
Posted by Michael Martin Leaño
When travelling overseas, it's important for travellers to be aware of the dos and don'ts of voyaging overseas with their credit cards. The last thing you want to happen is to become another sad statistic or traveller horror story; you should be aware of what you need to do in order to ensure your financial stability in a foreign land outside of pocket money. Many of the stories involving the nightmares of travellers and their credit cards can be solved with minor disruption, if there's any disruption at all. In light of that, here are some tips you can follow in order to ensure the success of your trip while having your credit card or cards with you.
Photocopies and Individual Credit Cards
Every time you travel, don't forget to make photocopies of all your documents, airline tickets, and credit cards from the front and back in case you do lose them. You should also entrust these copies with your travelling companion, a family, or a friend. Having copies of these Xeroxes in your luggage is also a great idea. This is a great method to help cancel your credit card immediately in case it gets stolen. You can easily work out which credit card was stolen by looking through your photocopies and comparing them to the credit cards you have on hand, especially if you own multiple cards.
Instead of wasting time calling back home in order to figure out which company or bank the credit card came from, the photocopies themselves will take care of that dilemma. If you have a travelling companion going with you on your overseas trip, then make sure you both travel with separate credit cards (e.g. avoid travelling with one card where your companion is named a co-holder or one account with multiple cards issued to it). This is because a vast majority of families share only one credit card, they run the risk of losing their one source of international spending money by having that card stolen. Or if you share one account instead, cancelling the account will result in the cancellation of the entire family account. Play it safe and get individual credit cards using separate accounts instead.
Automatic Credit Card Deactivation and Conversion Fees
Don't spoil your vacation by having your credit card automatically deactivated! Some credit unions and financial institutions cut off credit cards that are used six or more times daily in order to hinder thieves from taking advantage of stolen cards. Sadly, this precaution that's meant to protect you and your hard-earned cash has the drawback of limiting your spending. Ignorance of this fact while vacationing internationally can lead to a credit card emergency of sorts as well. Imagine getting carried away and using your card for more than six times to buy souvenirs for your trip, only to find out that it's been deactivated. It can be really hard to reactivate it while abroad. You should inform your bank beforehand that you'll be going on an out-of-the-country trip in case worse comes to worst.
Conversion fees can be quite tricky as well. To be more specific, you should watch out for this fee, because your bank may be one of those banks that charge money for the privilege of converting your local dollars to foreign currencies. It depends on the bank, really; some of the banks charge you for this service, while others offer it as a complimentary feature of sorts. It's typically 1% the amount of purchase. If you have several cards on hand, it's a good idea to research the rates each bank charges you for every transaction. While it may seem like you're only saving a few dollars, mutiple coversions fees can add up to a large sum and a unnecessary expenditure in your travelling budget.
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