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How to better use credit cards overseas

How to better use credit cards overseas

November 23, 2016
tourism
Source: Shutterstock

Tourism is about money. No matter how you look at it, it is about money. That’s the reason why so many countries invest in tourism. That’s why they fight so hard to host events such as the World Cup, or the Olympics. Tourism boosts the local economy by bringing outside money inside the country. Because of this, before you go on vacation, you have to ask yourself what’s the best way to pay for all of these expenses.

It’s always good to have cash, but a credit card can make spending money in a different land a lot easier. You won’t have to waste time with converting currency, and you won’t have to worry about losing your money or getting robbed. But this doesn’t mean that you should be careless and irresponsible with your credit card. Here are some tips to help you understand how to better use your credit card abroad.

1. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees

Most cards have fees for transactions made abroad. These usually range between 2-3% of each purchase. So, if you don’t want to pay more than the listed price you need to check and see if your credit card also includes these fees. If it does, you can apply for a no foreign transaction fee credit card.

2. Talk to your credit card company before leaving

It’s important that you also let your issuer know of your plans to travel abroad. And also remember to ask for a number that you can call for assistance. This way, you will know what to do in case you lose your credit card or it gets stolen.

3. Stay as far away as possible from dynamic currency conversion

A lot of foreign merchants take advantage of American tourists. They offer the final price in dollars and then make the conversion at an uncompetitive exchange rate. This means you end up paying more. But you can avoid these unnecessary costs. All you need to do is to not sign any check or receipt not expressed in the local currency.

4. Don’t forget your passport

Many European merchants refuse to accept credit cards that use the magnetic stripe system, unless you also present proper identification. You can fix this by taking your passport with you when you go shopping.

Final word

Traveling abroad may be expensive, but it doesn’t mean that you have to throw money away. Follow this four simple rules and you won’t have to spend more than you have to.

Gary Morgan

Gary Morgan is a Britain transplant. Finance background, enjoys tea, politics and soccer (or football for everyone across the pond). Get in touch with him via email

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