Monday, January 21, 2013

Safety Tips of Using Your Credit Card When Traveling

There's a joke that has been going around now. Let me share this picture:

Women plan for the travel days before the actual departure day. Women have problems of sleeping, thinking of the plans and worrying for things to come. Women think of a million what-ifs related to the trip. They shop for clothes to achieve desirable outfits for the vacation. They prepare the itinerary and ask friends for suggestion. They pack for their bags and luggage several days before D-day of the travel.

In contrast...

Men don't care and pack only a few minutes before going out of the house to prepare for the trip.

If you're smiling right now, you know it's true.

However, what we are not sure of is that if women and men are prepared in using their credit card on their travel SAFELY.

There will be instances where they will be shopping in malls. What if they are short in cash? For example, the women wants to buy a diamond ring, but their combined money in cash form won't suffice. They are forced then to use their credit card.

Yup, in trying times like this, your credit card (that can be used anywhere either locally or internationally) is your savior!

Instead of big bundles of cash to carry, you will only bring a single thin card to buy all things you want and need. Whew! Take note though that safeness should be ensured along the trip.

Safety Tips of Using Your Credit Card When Traveling

1. Check if your card if valid.

There are credit cards that can be used only locally, either Visa or MasterCard. These are ones that are issued by your local banks mostly. Some credit cards like HSBC, Citibank, American Express and Standard Chartered are valid and acceptable for use in many countries. Consider applying for at least two to still enjoy the perks even when one fails!

2. Check the spending limit.

If you have a credit card that can be used internationally, the next thing you have to verify is your spending limit on that account. If you already have spent half of your credit limit for the month, you won't be able to extend expenditures on that same credit card for more.

Don't put yourself to embarrassment when that time comes and the cashier is not the only one waiting for your form of purchase but also the long queue of people behind you at the counter. To know your spending limit, you just have to make a single phone call or check your limit on paper records.

3. Plan for your expenses.

Related to the second point, don't always aim to reach your spending limit each month. Draft a plan of your expenses and refer to it whenever you make a purchase. Know what to spare and what you really need.

Don't think that just because you are traveling with a friend, your spouse or family member, you can ask for their help anyway.

4. Know the currency rate and conversion.

Different countries have different currency rates. For example, 1 US dollar is not equivalent to 1 Euro. Especially if you are converting to a higher conversion rate, you must make sure that you know the rates. Else when credit card billing comes, you might be surprised and suspect fraud out of the transactions done.

Another tip is to use the credit card with the lowest conversion fee before paying.

5. Call your credit card company and get them informed about your trip (departure and arrival dates).

This is for the credit company to not force accusations on large transactions of payment being made. Also, in case of theft or loss of your credit card, it will be easier for them to track and backup your card number. And the credit card can be blocked and terminated quickly.

End Notes

To ensure a holiday free from tension, bringing extra cash won't hurt. This is to keep yourself insured also of money when you lose your credit card in a different land or when it just won't work regardless of the reason.

As an end note, remember to save the receipts of your credit card payments. Not only does this practice enable you to have the taxes reimbursed at the airport, but this will also help you to prove the discrepancy of any purchase made if there are. Duplicate charges can be levied and the problem can be solved without much hassle.