If you're planning a trip abroad, you may want to consider bringing a credit card. While you may think that using your credit card abroad is the same as using it at home, there are a few things to keep in mind before heading to your destination.
Can I use a credit card abroad?
If you're asking yourself, “can I use a credit card abroad?" the answer is, most often, yes. You may also be able to use your credit card to withdraw cash at most ATMs overseas, which may come along with fees.
Depending on your credit card issuer, you may need to notify them that you're traveling abroad. Chase, however, no longer requires cardmembers to set up travel notifications.
Pros and cons of using a credit card for international travel
Credit cards are a convenient payment method, but there are both pros and cons when it comes to using your credit card for international travel.
First, some pros:
As most people would agree, carrying around a credit card is a lot more convenient than carrying large bills, especially while you're traveling. Using your credit card is one of the many ways to make everyday purchases, as well as large purchases like hotels and flights.
Depending on your credit card, you may be able to earn bonuses, cash back or points when using your card to make purchases overseas. What's better than earning rewards for your spending?
Now, some cons:
Some merchants require photo identification when you make a purchase, so you'll likely have to show your photo ID while making most purchases which can become a hassle. Taking it in and out of your wallet can increase the chances of you losing critical documents, so you'll want to be careful.
Not every destination accepts credit cards
Credit cards are convenient, but that doesn't always mean that they're accepted by every retailer. For example, if you're traveling to a small town, the local shops may only accept cash in the local currency.
Not all types of credit cards are accepted
Some merchants only accept credit cards from local banks, or may not accept your type of card. This means that unless you set up a new account in each city you visit, you may not be able to use the credit card.
Do you get charged for using credit cards abroad?
Depending on the credit card you have, you may get charged a foreign transaction fee when using the card abroad. Consider getting a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
Credit cards come in handy when planning a trip abroad but remember to explore your options and do your research before embarking on your travels. Knowing the dos and don'ts of using your credit card for international travel may help avoid potential issues and set you up for an unforgettable trip.