The most common financial advice people traveling abroad get is that it is much safer to use a credit card than to carry cash. This, in a way, makes much sense. It is very easy to get pickpocketed when carrying around a wad of cash. On the other hand, using a credit card means more security because even if stolen, the card cannot be used without a PIN. Additionally, you have the recourse of blocking a credit card in case it is lost. But this is not the whole story; there are certain precautions that you must observe while using your credit card when you are traveling.
Tips for using a credit card when traveling
There is no doubt that using a credit card is much safer and rewarding when you are on a holiday or a business trip abroad. However, in order to maximize the benefits of your credit card while traveling, you must follow the tips mentioned below: –
Pay attention to the foreign exchange fees
A big problem with credit card usage while traveling abroad is Foreign exchange fees. This is the surcharge added when making purchases in currency that isn’t AED. Most credit card providers generally charge around 3% on every purchase made abroad, which means when you use a credit card abroad, you are paying extra for the safety and convenience. In order to minimize this charge, make sure that you use your credit card for major purchases only. Also, make it a point to pay for the miscellaneous expenses in local currency only.
Carry some cash
While using your credit card while traveling is an ideal approach but carrying some cash along with is always handy. For instance, many vendors in street markets accept only cash payments. So, before embarking on your journey, make it a point to carry some local currency along with.
Stay on top of your credit card limit
One of the most common problems of using credit cards is that keeping track of the money spent becomes tough. This problem is exacerbated in a foreign country when it is impossible to keep track of the exchange rates and the exchange rate surcharges. So, frequently, people tend to max out their credit cards, incurring hefty charges. Know your limit and make sure to stick to it, when making purchases abroad. A convenient way to ensure this is to call your credit card provider and set a spending limit on your credit card before traveling abroad.
Do not hand your credit card to a stranger
There are chances that when you hand over your card to someone for making a payment, they might steal your information and misuse it. So, make it a point to not handover your credit card to anyone and if possible either ask the vendor to bring the POS machine to you or go yourself to the cash register for completing the transaction.
Inform your credit card company
It is important that you intimate your bank regarding your travel plans; otherwise, they might block your credit card when it is used at an unusual location suspecting fraud or theft. This can cause you a lot of inconvenience, so make it a point to intimate your credit card company regarding the same.
Access Airport Lounges
Most credit cards offer your free access to airport lounges across the world. With this facility, you can relax and refresh yourself in the comforts of the lounge rather than sitting uncomfortably on the Airport chairs. So, you must check out the airport lounges you can access with your credit card for a comfortable traveling experience.
Your credit card offers you various benefits and privileges while you are traveling, you just need to observe certain precautions while using it to maximize these benefits and enjoy your traveling experience.