Using Credit Cards Overseas? Here are Some Tips for you
Traveling abroad? Your credit cards can be the most convenient option for carrying out transactions on foreign land. Using credit cards is secure, fast and convenient than carrying a stash of the local currency which you are not familiar with. However, if you are not careful you may end up being fleeced. Mentioned below are some tips that you must keep in mind while using credit cards overseas:
It is Wise to Carry Worldwide Accepted Cards
MasterCard and VISA are two widely accepted cards worldwide. If an establishment where you are visiting accepts credit cards, it is very likely that it will accept VISA or master card. Cards like American express do have an international presence but are accepted by fewer merchants. Therefore, make sure that you carry a card that can be used without any restrictions in the country you are traveling to.
Carry more than one Card
I think you would all agree that sometimes due to technical glitches or slow response from a bank server a transaction may not complete and if you do not have a backup, you are actually stuck. Therefore, even though you may consider using your primary credit card, it would be wise to carry another in case any trouble arises.
Inform your Insurer
Your insurer must be made aware of the fact that you are going abroad and the transactions will be done by you. This is important because seeing the transactions from a foreign land your insurer may think of them as suspicious and freeze your account.
Be wary of being Fleeced
Usually, when you make a transaction overseas from your credit card, the amount is sent to VISA or Master Card in the local currency. Now, the card networks use the wholesale rates to convert the charges incurred into your local currency and send it back to your bank. During this process, a small fee of 0 to 2% may be appended upon the amount depending upon the type of credit card. However, some businesses have programmed their card machines in such a way that they seek the permission of the travelers if they want to pay the charge in local or home currency. The currency conversion may seem a lucrative option at first but, travelers often end up paying 3 to 8 % more than they should have. So, be wary of such schemes and avoid paying extra.
Use Cards to Assess Airport Lounges:-
In case you have credit cards that offer you access to some airport lounges you must use the benefit. Some credit cards offer Priority Pass lounges which can be a respite during a tiring international journey. Some lounge passes may include refreshments and spa treatments.
Know Everything about your Credit Cards
Some credit cards offer more travel benefits than others. You may use the cards that provide more discounts on bookings, protections for delayed flights, trip cancellation, delayed flights, accident insurance and more. If you use the right credit card you can have a lot of perks and enjoy peace of mind.
Carrying Some Cash is Important
Though we know that nothing is better than carrying out a cashless transaction, it is important to have a little cash in your pocket. You will need cash to travel locally or make a transaction with the small vendors. There may also be some places that will not accept debit/credit cards and you will have to pay them in cash.
Credit cards offer the convenience of worldwide payments along with the security of having to pay fraudulent charges. However, at the same time banks impose heavy interests for travelers in foreign countries. Before you start using your credit cards overseas, it is important that you research well and do not spend more than your budget.
After all, a trip to overseas shouldn’t be characterized by worrying about conversion rates and handling foreign money.