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Using your credit card abroad

Firstly, if you’re getting a credit card before you go abroad, make sure you get the right one. With so many on the market, it can be easy to get confused by what you need.

Making sure you have enough money while on holiday is hugely important. In fact, half of millennials are now saving for holidays rather than a house. You can even open a current account with a small amount of money these days to help.

However, a credit card is another option. But there are a few things you should know if this is the way you want to go.

Choose the right card
Firstly, if you’re getting a credit card before you go abroad, make sure you get the right one. With so many on the market, it can be easy to get confused by what you need. However, with many cards coming with hidden fees when you use them abroad, make sure you opt for one that’s specifically designed for travel, as this could save you a lot of money while on holiday.

Tell your card provider
Once you have the right card, or if you have a card already, you should alert your provider when you head abroad. By telling them where and when you’re going they’ll be able to monitor your card to ensure you don’t become a victim of fraud. Also, if the provider knows you’re on holiday, they won’t see transactions taking place in a foreign country as suspicious and block your card.

Avoid using ATM machines
You wouldn’t do this at home, so there’s no need to do it while you’re abroad. Every time you make a withdrawal from an ATM on a credit card, it’s known as a cash advance. These are one of the most expensive things you can do with a credit card, and will also bring additional foreign transaction fees too.

Watch out for transaction fees
If you are using your credit card abroad, chances are you’ll get charged a transaction fee. This is why it’s important to shop around before you get a credit card to ensure that, even though you’re getting charged, it is the lowest fee around.

Beware dynamic currency conversion
When you do pay via credit card while abroad, the retailer may or may not give you the option to pay with your own currency, via dynamic currency conversion. While this may seem very helpful and will allow you to see how much you’re spending, it will come at a price. This price is also higher than the usual exchange rate, which means it isn’t worth paying. Therefore, you should check the retailer doesn’t apply it before you pay.

Carry your passport
Sometimes, you may be required to provide identification when paying with a credit card. Therefore, you should always ensure you have your passport with you if you intend on paying this way during the duration of your holiday.

Of course, if you already have a card, or you don’t intend on paying with a credit card, another safe way to go is a prepaid travel card. These will allow you to pay without using your own card, while enjoying your holiday with ease.

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