Once your travel plans are made, it’s time to focus on spending money. Are you planning to use a credit card to pay for your day-to-day vacation expenses such as food and entertainment? If so, follow these tips for using plastic while traveling:
1. Avoid fees
Going overseas? Many credit cards charge a fee on purchases made outside the United States. Often those fees can be 2 to 3 percent of your purchase. That can quickly add up. Save money by using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
2. Call your bank
Let your bank or credit card company know about your travel plans. Many banks and credit card companies keep track of spending patterns and may interpret an unexpected purchase as credit card fraud. That could lead to your bank or credit card company locking your account.
3. Make sure your card is accepted
While most countries accept some form of plastic, not all credit cards are accepted. For instance, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted worldwide. But American Express is less common, and Discover Card is the least internationally accepted card network.
4. Still bring some cash
Some restaurants, stores and hotels won't take credit cards, so it’s good to have some cash on hand. However, make sure to keep it separate from your credit cards in case your wallet is stolen. If taken, cash isn’t replaceable or insured.
5. Have a card backup
If your credit card stops working or gets declined, you’ll want to have a second with you just in case.
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