When the summer is here and most of you are preparing your trips to hills, beach or museum. You won’t ever want to worry about your credit card at this point!
At one point or the other, every one of you struggles with credit card security especially while traveling abroad. Good news for you is that most of them are preventable and you can enjoy while traveling with your credit card. We shall walk you through some strategies to make your trip worry-free. In a nutshell we would cover all aspects including security features, worst case scenarios, types if travel cards and others.
Preparations before Travelling With Your Credit Card
Before you leave for your journey, add these tasks to your to-do list.
- Inform your card issuer about your travel plans so that is doesn’t get shut down as you are out of your routine purchase pattern. Save yourself from embarrassment of card denial.
- Research about any differences between the fees for foreign transactions. Select the card which suits you the most.
- Get your card issuer’s contact number because toll-free number won’t work abroad. In case of any problem you must be able to contact them.
- While travelling with your credit card, it’s preferred if you keep copies of the card’s back as well as front side. If you lose the card, the copies can help you out.
- Getting a chip-and-pin card is advised for traveling abroad. All cards cannot be used for traveling so make sure you have the right one.
While Travelling With Your Credit Card, Chip-And-Pin Cards Are Preferred
Chip-and-pin cards are also referred to as smart cards. They have microchips in them so they can easily hold large amount of data. You need a pin to complete your transaction if in case of a theft; the thief cannot use the card without that pin!
These are just emerging in US. They are preferred because traditional American cards can often be rejected at Gas station, retailers, parking meters etc. various credit card users such as American express, Citi, Bank of America and others have jumped to chip-and-pin cards. While traveling with your credit card, use the safest one available.
Carefully Handle Your Card While Abroad
When you are abroad, several mishaps can occur such as theft or fraud. Here are few tips on how can be careful:
- Try not to use the credit card in less secure places
- Keep using a single card but have a backup card in another bag
- Keep your card in your sight when you hand it over for transaction
- ATMs are not very secure and sometimes ATMs can charge very high fees for international transaction
- Carry enough cash so that you have an alternative method of payment in case of emergencies. BUT, keep them in luggage as it is safer then wallet.
- Stay on budget by keeping all the receipts safe for checking for any mysterious charges later while traveling with credit card.
Factors to Consider While Choosing a Credit Card
- High security and fraud prevention
- Chip-and-pin cards
- Availability of International customer service
- reasonable foreign transaction fees
- additional rewards from international tours
Types of Credit Cards
You can consider the following credit cards while traveling:
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card
- fixed microchip for increased security
- zero foreign transaction fees
- added purchase-based rewards
- Capital One Venture Card
- reimbursement insurance for lost-luggage
- Free from foreign transaction fees
- Visa Signature benefits( e.g. concierge service)
- Rewards based on purchases
- The $59 annual fee is lower than that of American Express Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Up to 20% off if booked through their rewards program for cruises airfare and hotels
- No foreign transaction fees
- sign-up bonuses
- Additional purchase-based rewards
- $95 annual fee is only in the first year
- American Express Platinum (suitable only if you travel A LOT)
- zero foreign transaction fees
- around $200 refund for luggage fees or in-flight meals
- access for 600 airport lounges worldwide
While traveling with your credit cards, you must take into consideration all these factors. You feel uneasy you have already taken the first step by gaining knowledge. Don’t think of credit cards as a problem. They are actually very useful if handled properly.
A credit card makes your transactions very easy and simple. No handling of cash is required all the time. Most credit cards are accepted at majority of the places you just have to make sure you buy the right card. While travelling with your credit card, you can easily avoid minor disruptions and make your life simpler. Always be prepared for unfavorable circumstances. All these precautions are for your benefit so that you can have an amazing, tension-free trip overseas.