Are you planning to go on vacation abroad? Here’s what you need to know about using credit cards abroad
Have you been planning this trip for a long time to oversee that winter vacation? No matter where you go, your payment method is essential apart from your passport and your luggage. You don’t want to carry around a lot of cash because it’s bulky and dangerous. There is also the headache of converting the exact amount you need into foreign currency. This is where a credit card comes in: it’s convenient, secure, increases your purchasing power, and offers cash back and cash back on purchases. While a credit card simplifies your transactions in more than one way, it is safe to know the difference between using it overseas and using it in India. Let’s take a look at a few things you need to keep in mind to get the most out of it if you are traveling internationally.
Not all cards are accepted everywhere
Your card can be accepted by most merchants in India, but it may not be in another country. So check with your credit card company to see if your card is valid in the country you are traveling to. You don’t want to be stuck in an alien country with a very useful card otherwise but not accepted in that part of the world. If you are unsure of the acceptance of your card, it is better to apply for a more widely accepted card or to carry multiple cards. Also speak to your card provider and inform them about your trip so that using your card abroad is not considered suspicious, which will result in the card being blocked.
International transaction fees
Swiping your card abroad may incur additional charges. The three main types of fees are foreign currency conversion fees, foreign transaction fees, and cash advance fees. The Foreign Currency Conversion Fee involves a charge of around 1-2% to convert your Indian Rupee card balance to the relevant currency. Foreign transaction fees represent 2.5 to 3.5% of the transaction amount, charged by your credit card issuer. Plus, you have to pay a cash withdrawal fee of almost 1-4% on top of the standard fee you pay every time you withdraw money with your credit card.
Know your spending limit
You should know your credit card limit before you go on a trip. Travel abroad is expensive, and if you don’t have a sufficient credit limit, your transactions could be declined if your credit limit is exhausted. Increase your card credit limit or carry multiple credit cards for a smooth trip.
Get a card protection plan
You can protect your card against the risk of fraudulent transactions, theft, loss, etc., by opting for a card protection plan from your credit card provider. Not only can your credit card, debit card and other documents be protected with a card protection plan. If you lose a credit card while traveling, CPP would help you get emergency travel and hotel assistance worth the amount guaranteed in the plan.
Keep the card’s customer service number handy
Your credit card issuer has a dedicated customer service number to help you with any issues with your credit card, including misplacement, loss or damage. Keep this number handy so that you can block your card or report immediately if the card is lost. This will help protect you from any fraudulent activity.
(The writer is CEO of BankBazaar.com)