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Family Guide To Using Your Credit Card Overseas

Travelling with your family means that you are assuming not only the responsibility of travelling for yourself, but the added responsibility of making sure that everyone has a safe and fun-filled trip. This is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly and one of the things you can do to make sure that everything runs as smooth as clockwork is to get your credit card in order before you leave. You should also make sure that you use it wisely while you are away.

One of the worst things that could possibly happen while you are away on a trip is running out of money. Your family is counting on you to make sure that everything can be funded and if you do not prepare your card before leaving for your trip there is a chance that your card will be suspended as soon as you make your first purchase. Here are some things you need to do before you leave on your trip to make sure that your credit card is in good order before arriving at your destination.

1. Prep your card

 

Take a look at the expiry date on your card and make sure that it will not expire while you're away so that you can actually use your card while you are gone. If it expires while you're in another country you can run into some difficulty getting a new one. You should also make sure that you have activated your PIN number because some countries require that the PIN be typed in every time you buy something. Even though it is not standard practice in this country to enter a PIN, it may be where you are travelling, especially if you're heading to Europe.

2. Make sure that you can use the card

 

There are certain countries that may not accept your credit card. It only takes a minute or two to check on the Internet to find out whether the country you are travelling to will accept Visa and MasterCard. Most countries do, but you do not want to get stuck if you end up in one of the few countries that will not take your card. You should also ensure that you have enough money left on the card. Get an up-to-date transaction report on your card before you leave to make sure that you have a good credit limit left on the credit card.

 

A family trip can go very sour if you're planning on using your credit card for expenses and then suddenly find out that the card is not usable. You should also let your bank know that you are leaving on a trip and let them know where you are going and for how long. You do not want to get your card cancelled suddenly by a credit card monitor that thinks that your card has been stolen and taken to another country.

Using the credit card in another country

 

The best way to keep your family safe on a trip is to not put them in any harm or danger. Keeping your card safe is a necessary part of your trip. If you're going to be visiting areas that are at all questionable keep your card back at the hotel. Flashing a lot of cash and a credit card around unnecessarily is not a good idea when you are in a foreign land. Only take as much cash as you need when you are on an outing. This will help keep your family safe and will deter thieves from choosing you and your family as a target.

 

Only use the card in well-known stores and try to avoid letting the card out of your sight for any reason. If the waiter wants to take your card after a meal, see if you can follow him up to the cash register to make sure that it is not copied. Use common sense as your guide when you are shopping and if you feel uncomfortable about a store in any way, use cash instead of your credit card to make a purchase.

Avoid cash withdrawals

 

You should have your trip planned well so that cash withdrawals can be avoided when you are abroad. You will have to pay charges and fees for using an overseas ATM and will also be charged for foreign currency exchange, not to mention for the withdrawal itself. These charges can be very high and cash advances on your credit card should only be used on a trip overseas in the case of an emergency.

Don't let family members use your card

 

One of the fastest ways to lose a credit card is by allowing others to use it freely. If a purchase is going to be made using the card you should be the one making it. Some parents tend to allow other co-users to use their card but this should be discouraged especially when you are on vacation.

 

If all of your family members have a credit card then you should make sure that only one or two cards are taken on the trip. The second card should only be taken as an emergency card in case the first one is lost or stolen. It should we tucked away in a safe spot and your family members should know before the trip that it would be a good idea to only use one card only for any travelling expenses. Traveller's checks are a good option for cash or credit cards when travelling.

 

When looking back in life it is always the holidays and special trips that come to memory first. Make sure you take the time to get your credit card organized before leaving for any kind of trip so that you can plant a happy memory in the minds of your family members. If finances are well-planned before heading overseas it will be one less thing to worry about, which will free up your time and energy to have a wonderful holiday.

 

Timothy Ng is an experienced personal finance writer, specialising in credit card comparison. Check out his guide to best credit cards where he will step you through the process of finding the best credit card.

 

 

 

 

 

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