Do you think about the form of currency you’ll be using when you’re traveling? Exchanging some banknotes for the local currency is of course what most people do, but is cash really the best way to carry around your funds in a completely new country?
While holding and seeing the local currency in your hands is part of the experience of travel, we think it might be better and safer to use a credit card. Why? We’re glad you asked!
Credit Cards Can be Used Anywhere
If you’re going cashless and think it’s better to use a debit card instead, you should know that some merchants might decline foreign-issued debit cards due to security reasons. On the other hand, if you are using credit cards, then you won’t be having this issue.
Most merchants internationally are happy to accept credit cards, foreign-issued or not. Plus, you often automatically get to enjoy attractive conversion rates. Just make sure to instruct the cashier or teller to charge your card in the local currency. Don’t forget to contact your issuer and have them activate the overseas flag, too (if necessary).
Credit Cards Are Easier to Carry and Conceal
No matter what kind of traveller you are, it’s likely you’ll be carrying around quite a few items on you as you walk around. In addition to your keys, wallet, and phone, you probably are also carrying a camera, guidebook, passport or even a mini first aid kit.
With all this stuff on you, it just makes more sense to carry a credit card instead of wads of cash. For one, you can hide it better and still have access to your funds if you get mugged or misplace your wallet.
Carrying a ‘fake’ wallet with some small bills while hiding your card elsewhere is also a great deterrent against robberies. Think of it as just another way to keep your funds safe in a place you’re not familiar with.
Credit Card Charges are Reversible
Another safety factor that credit cards provide you is protection from fraudulent charges. While we’re sure our readers are savvy enough not to give away their credit card details to just anybody, but while travelling, you never know what might happen.
Miscommunication, stolen cards, or misappropriation of your credit card information can still happen. In this case, you can report the fraud and still be okay financially as your credit card provider can activate the chargeback feature and reject the transactions that are not performed by you. Debit cards and cash offer no such protection in this case.
Credit Cards Get You Travel Rewards
One thing about swiping credit cards overseas is that apart from giving you peace of mind, you will also be able to glean all the great travel rewards from doing so. Travel-centric credit cards will not only reward you for expenses made overseas, they also offer travel-related perks and goodies.
Some cards grant you exclusive airport lounge access, travel insurance, special discounts for hotel amenities, and plenty other benefits alongside. None of which you can get just by using your debit card or hard cash.
But Do Remember That…
Just because using credit cards overseas can be advantageous, doesn’t mean there aren’t precautions you have to take. Be wary of foreign merchants or locals double billing you or adding extra charges on the bills you receive.
As long as you’re vigilant with your credit card use you can enjoy the perks and benefits of international spending, cash-free. And if you do not have a credit card that you can use to reap rewards yet, fret not as we have you all sorted out in that matter. All you need to do is to great travel rewards check out our comparison tool for credit cards and pick out the card that ticks all of your boxes in the right way.
Apply and get more value (free flight tickets to 19 attractive destinations etc) from selected credit cards via our Travel Getaway Campaign.
Do you have anything that you would like to add about going on your travels with a credit card? Let us know in the comment section below!