6 Tips for Using Credit Cards When Traveling 

Friday 27th May 2022 |

Is there anything better than a relaxing overseas vacation? After all the hard work you put in at work, it’s well deserved! That is, until, your credit card becomes stolen, frozen, or overcharged. 

However, if you want to ensure that you’re vacation is stress-free, knowing how to navigate using credit cards overseas is crucial.  

If you’re not sure how to keep your credit cards safe when traveling, keep reading for some of the best tips and tricks to ensure you have a relaxing vacation. 

  1. Keep an Eye on Travel Perks

Before you book your trip, you’ll want to do research. Your card may be the key to helping you save money during your travels.  

Many credit card companies offer travel benefits to cardholders. From cashback to discounts, your card can help you save money while on the go! This is great for those traveling on a budget. 

However, many credit cards don’t publicize this information, so it’s up to you to navigate their website. Doing a little digging will pay off in the long run, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see anything about travel perks on the front page. 

You may also want to apply for a travel card before your trip. However, you’ll need to ensure that this is a smart financial decision for your credit score. If you apply, you’ll need to do so far enough in advance to receive your card before you take off. 

  1. Inform Your Bank and Credit Card Company

Picture this – you’ve just arrived at your destination and sat down for a delicious lunch. You pay with your credit card before heading over to your hotel. However, when you arrive, your credit card keeps declining. 

It’s likely that your credit card company put a hold on your account because they suspect suspicious activity. Talk about a headache! This can put a significant damper on your vacation. 

Before you leave, you’ll want to contact your credit card company and inform them of your upcoming trip.  

  1. Pay Attention to Your Payment Dates

While on vacation, you don’t want to worry about your domestic duties. However, if your credit card payment date occurs on your vacation, you may completely forget about this. 

Missing a payment can negatively impact your credit score while racking up interest rates. The last thing you want after a relaxing vacation is to find out your credit has plummeted! 

If possible, you may want to change your payment date. Some companies are more flexible with this, while others have stricter policies. You should change this date as early as possible to help you avoid missing your payment date.  

  1. Bring a Backup

Just as you would pack extra sunscreen or flip-flops to go on vacation, you should always bring a backup credit card. 

Accidents happen. Whether your card is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you don’t want to end up stranded in a foreign country without any form of currency. Packing a secondary credit card can help you stay safe while traveling. 

It’s also crucial to keep your cards separated. Your backup card isn’t helpful if it’s stored next to your primary card in your stolen wallet! 

You may want to try out your smartphone’s wallet feature, as this can store digital copies of your credit card. This is a great choice for those worried about losing their cards! 

  1. Look Into Foreign Transaction Fees

Is there anything better than zero cost credit card processing? Say goodbye to pricey transaction fees and hello to saving money! 

However, it’s crucial to look into any foreign transaction fees you may face while abroad.  

There are two main kinds of fees that occur when your money is converted from US dollars to a foreign country. The first is through your card company, this happens when you choose to pay in foreign currency at checkout. 

The other kind of fee is a merchant fee. In some instances, the seller can determine the conversion rate when you pay in American dollars. This can be much more expensive than paying the rate your credit card company determines. 

In some instances, the best credit cards designed for travelers may waive conversion fees as a travel perk. It can’t hurt to look! 

  1. Avoid Your Debit Card When Possible

It’s no secret that many businesses like hotels or bars put a temporary charge on your credit card account. Often, this is to cover any potential damages to rooms! 

However, if you use your debit card, nefarious businesses may overcharge your card. This can quickly drain your bank account, leaving you with limited options. 

Using a credit card, however, gives you the opportunity to dispute any charges to your card with your card company. This can be a game-changer when traveling! 

Also, you may want to keep cash on hand as a last resort. Avoid carrying large amounts at a time in case you’re a victim of theft, but keeping emergency cash on hand can help you avoid situations where you can only use your debit card. 

Using Credit Cards on Vacation: Your Simple Guide 

If you’re traveling abroad for the first time, this guide to using credit cards on vacation can help keep you financially secure while overseas.  

Also, be sure to keep your wits about you when using foreign ATMs and card readers. Some may place a card copier on the machine to steal your information! 

Did this guide to using credit cards while traveling help you prepare for your trip? If so, you’ll want to check out the rest of our website. There, you can find more great travel tips and tricks to make the most of your vacation. 

Travelling by train this summer