Now that summer’s here you may be getting ready for that long awaited European vacation. Have you checked to be sure you have the right travel credit card? Although using credit cards are best when you travel, you need to be sure you’ve selected the best credit card for overseas use.
If you’re getting ready to travel, you need to take care of a few matters regarding your credit card before you leave. You should check with your credit card issuer about fees or charges when using the card outside of the U.S. Many of the financial institutions charge additional fees for foreign transactions, such as three percent when converted to U.S. dollars.
It is recommended that while you have your bank on the line, you advise them of the dates you’ll be traveling and the countries you will be in. If they don’t know you’re out of the country and start getting charges from Paris, they may cancel your account until you contact them.
You should take credit cards from two banks. If there’s a problem and one bank cancels your credit card while you‘re traveling, if the two cards are from the same institution they would cancel both. The second card could just be a back-up. It’s best to use just one credit card as it’s easier to keep track of your spending.
Seasoned travelers recommend when vacationing in Europe, you use a debit card for getting local currency. Cash machines are common throughout Europe and you can go to any ATM machine and get cash back. The drawback with this is that there are quite often limits of the amount of cash you can withdraw at one time. You may also want to set-up with your financial institution in advance, a daily allowance of the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from your debit card just in case it is lost or stolen.
With the debit card, there is a fee for each transaction. So you wouldn’t want to use the debit credit card in place of a credit card as you might do here in the U.S., as each charge would generate an added fee. You can keep the debit card just to replenish your cash. It is suggested you have enough cash on hand, as there are times when a credit card sign is posted at the door at say a restaurant, but when the bill comes they don’t accept that card.
Use caution while traveling of being too liberal when using your credit card number. Keep your travel credit cards and your debit credit card in a safe place. Keep all receipts so that you can verify the charges upon your return. Maintain your pin number in a safe place. Be sure you have the financial institution’s phone numbers just in case you lose your credit card.
Now that you have your travel credit card and debit card information, it’s time to make those final plans and start packing. Oh, ……and don’t forget to take lots of pictures and have fun!