Credit cards: What you need to know when travelling abroad

Posted on 17. Sep, 2012 by in Wealth Essentials

 Credit cards abroad

The following is a guest post

If you’ve recently booked a trip abroad, there are a few things you need to do – other than buying a suitcase and finding your passport. Organising your finances should be one of the things on your list, so take a look at these five useful tips:

Check the expiry date of your credit card

First and foremost, it’s essential to check the expiry date of your credit card. If it’s in date, great, but if it’s not, you’ll need to apply for a new one before you go away. Failing to do so could mean you’re left with little to no money in a foreign country and this could prove disastrous.

Inform your credit card provider

As most credit cards are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week for unusual activity, you must inform your credit card company that you’re going away. This will prevent banking groups such as MBNA, from suspending your account if they see any international card purchases taking place.

Set up direct debits to cover payments

Are payments due while you’re away? If so, it’s a good idea to set up a direct debit or standing order before you leave, to ensure that the right amount of money leaves your account. If you don’t do this, you could receive final notice bills and unwanted interest charges, so make sure everything is well-organised.

Beware of extra fees

Even the best credit card companies will charge you a fee whenever you use your card for non-sterling transactions – so be aware. This fee will usually be applied when making purchases, withdrawing cash from an ATM or over the counter and when buying foreign currency. If you’re not sure what charges apply, contact your credit card provider before you leave.

Note where you can use your card

While credit cards are available to use in most countries, some will not work in certain parts of the world, so check before you travel. To avoid being stranded, keep cash to hand and rely on traveller’s cheques instead.

Jot down your card company’s helpline

Accident and emergencies do happen, so jot down your card company’s helpline and make sure they have your up-to-date mobile number in case they need to contact you.

Travelling abroad is an exciting experience, but it’s important to manage your finances carefully.

Do you have any good credit card tips?

Image by mroach

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3 Responses to “Credit cards: What you need to know when travelling abroad”

  1. Jon

    20. Sep, 2012

    Credit cards are very convenient especially when travelling. As you do not have to carry a lot of cash with you. As the author mention in the article about handling a credit card, in short we just have to be responsible in owning a credit card to payments and other things that comes with it. Thank you in sharing this article to everyone.

  2. Money Cactus

    20. Sep, 2012

    Hey Jon, completely agree with you there. Personally I think they can be handy but the best thing to do is treat them as a debit card and always have the cash available to pay it off.

  3. Amy @ JobCred CV Builder

    24. Sep, 2012

    Great info. Didn’t know about the threat of suspension for reflected spending abroad. Thanks. From what I learned, this practice is also significant for security reasons because credit card frauds mostly happen to cards with international transactions.