Summertime is in full swing and many people are going on vacation . For those staying inside the States, paying for expenses is relatively easy, as every store accepts US currency, debit cards, and credit cards. But what about foreign travel? Foreign travel can become a headache if you’re not prepared. I don’t know about you but finding myself stuck in a foreign country with no form of currency does not sound fun to me. When you are overseas, you probably want to keep life simple and limit the types of currency you use. This is where a credit card comes in. I hate trading currency. It’s a pain and adds stress to my travels. So why not just get a credit card? And what about pick pocketing? Some countries are known for this problem. Why risk a big wad of cash when you can carry a concealed credit card instead? Another benefit with a credit card is that if it is stolen, you will never lose money. You just simply have to report it stolen, and your card will be cancelled. Credit cards sound like a great plan, but there are a couple tips you need to be aware of to maximize savings and efficiency during your trip this summer. Check them out: 1. Only open a “No Foreign Transaction Fee” credit card. You need to read the fine print of a credit card to ensure that you won’t be socked with any fees for making purchases out of the country. These fees can be pretty high. You want to avoid them at all costs. Go out of your way to find a card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee. You might also want to open a debit card that gives you the freedom to withdraw money from an ATM minus the fee. 2. Notify your credit card company before you leave! Before you leave the country, make sure you call your credit card company and alert them that you’re headed out of the States. This will ensure that your card won’t get cancelled due to “suspicious activity.” Just let them know that you plan on making purchases in whatever countries you plan on visiting. Also ask for a number you can call to get in contact with your credit card company. If something does go haywire, you want a phone number you can reach your credit card company at during your trip. 3. Avoid dynamic currency conversion at all costs. Dynamic currency conversion sure sounds cool, but it sure isn’t very nice to your wallet. I would assume that most of us are not foreign exchange experts. Unfortunately, stores and restaurants in other countries take advantage of this ignorance of ours. Typically, they will give you a final price in US dollars if they know you are an American. The problem here is that the final price is manipulated to an unfair advantage. In reality, you will be paying more for your product or food by opting out of a final price in the local currency. So, what’s the lesson here? Always ask for the receipt or bill to be in the local currency, then pay the total with your credit card. 4. Keep your passport close by. In foreign countries, many merchants will ask for your identification. Unfortunately, they won’t take your driver’s license! Always have your passport as backup just in case you’re asked for it. They want to sell you something but they also want to be paid on the spot. Your credit card will be useless without a passport, so keep it close by! 5. Preparation is key to a successful trip. Having a successful trip abroad depends on your access to currency. Open a no foreign fee credit card , notify them about your future travels and you’re good to go! Having the right credit card will alleviate a bit of stress and give you a peace of mind during your trip. To the readers, have you had any issues with credit card use abroad? Comment below with your experiences. Photo by Images_of_Money Related Articles: 3 new credit card fees you should know about The Debit Card vs. The Credit Card Information About The New Credit Card Laws | Roundup 6 steps to reducing your credit card interest rates They cancelled my credit card 0% credit cards are not free Credit card use – my thoughts Jon is a Christian personal finance writer at Free Money Wisdom . His mission is to help you succeed in your personal finance life with the Bible as your compass. When Jon is not writing on personal finance, he spends time with his girlfriend, lifts iron at the gym, and plays Scrabble. You can subscribe to his site through EMAIL / RSS or you can also find him on Twitter and Facebook . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
5 Common Sense Overseas Credit Card Tips