5 Helpful Overseas Credit Card Spending Tips

10 February of 2015

If you’re currently in the process of preparing for an overseas trip, aside from making sure that you have the right clothes and paperwork, it’s important that you put a financial plan into place as well. Being that it’s actually safer to travel with credit cards than cash, this article is going to share with you some things that you should keep in mind about your credit cards before leaving home. That way, you can be confident that you and your money will be safe until you return from your destination.

Apply for a non-foreign transaction fee card. While your initial plan may be to simply take a couple of the credit cards that you already have along with you, there’s one big reason why you might want to apply for another. According to many studies, over 90 percent of bank cards and close to 60 percent of credit union cards have transaction fees that are specifically connected to foreign purchases; sometimes those fees are rather high. The alternative is to apply for a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees attached to it. That way, you won’t be charged additional fees for using the card at a retailer or an ATM. For a list of some of the best ones on the market, go to Card Hub and put “best non-foreign transaction fee credit cards” in the search field.

Research currency conversion. Being that a lot of people do not make a point to research currency conversion rates before going overseas, sometimes foreign merchants take advantage of that. And so, they end up charging you more money than you actually should be paying. One way to avoid this from happening to you is to refuse to sign a credit card receipt unless the currency is shown as local currency. For the record, there are apps that can assist you in figuring out the currency conversion in any country. Mashable has an article about some of the most reliable ones. Just go to the site and put “smart apps for currency conversion” in the search field.

Call your credit company. A part of your credit card company’s job is to make sure that you are not a victim of fraud or theft. That’s why it’s always a good idea to contact them to let them know about your travel plans. They can also provide you with some additional travel tips. By the way, be sure to tell them the country that you are going to. They can offer you a customer service number that you can dial, free of charge, should you need to reach them while you’re gone.

Keep your passport with you at all times. Say that you went to a website like CreditCardXpo.com to apply for a card and they had an article on their site that provided tips for making credit card purchases abroad. One of the things that it might recommend is that you keep your passport with you at all times. Being that many merchants are going to require identification for your credit card purchases, your passport is the most reliable kind when you’re traveling internationally.

Be cautious in your spending. There’s going to be a temptation to use your card to buy all kinds of things while you’re away. But remember that just like you have to be mindful of how much you spend when you’re at home, you have to do the same when you’re away, especially because you may incur other fees. So, as you’re making purchases, be intentional about keeping track of everything. That way, you’ll know just what you bought and there won’t be any surprises when you return home. Daily Worth is one website that has some apps that can help you to manage your money. Go to the site and put “money management apps” in the search field.

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