Credit card tips for international travelers.

Credit Card Tips for International Travelers

  • Travel Team
Aug 22, 2012

Using credit cards internationally can make travel easier than ever, but there are several things tourists should be cautious about when using cards abroad.

The first thing travelers need to do is call the credit card or bank and alert them of the travel plans. Let the credit card provider know the itinerary of the trip, including which borders you’ll be crossing and the exact dates of travel. Without this, the company is liable to freeze the account due to suspicious activity.

Another important step is checking to see if your credit card will charge a foreign transaction fee. This is often overlooked by travelers, but the costs can add up quickly if you are not careful. Ask the company what their policy is and prepare accordingly. Frequent travelers should look into cards with no transaction fees to avoid the hassle and extra costs.

In Europe, a new type of credit card is becoming more popular. Called a “chip and PIN card” or a “smart card,” these have extra layers of security encrypted in them. While most places will still gladly accept foreign plastic without this technology, be prepared to pay through other means just in case.

Even if you just carry them as a backup for cash or travelers cheques, it is important to understand the terms that go along with the use of credit cards abroad. Simple actions like carrying a second card and keeping the contact numbers of the bank could save time, money and aggravation in the long run.

Even if you take safety precautions, investing in the best travel insurance is a good decision. The safest way to prepare for using credit cards abroad is to insure yourself against potential damages.

Do you have additional tips?

We'd love to hear from you! Use the comment section below to share your experience with handling credit cards while traveling internationally.

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