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Handle your credit cards with care while traveling abroad

January 10th 2013

Frequent travelers often prefer to carry plastics instead of stash of cash in their wallets. After all, it is much easier to handle a few plastics than a huge bundle of cash. You don't have to lose your sleep in the midst of the flight just because someone may steal your money. Moreover, you can make several purchases from the farthest corner of the world through your online credit account.

Although there are several benefits of using credit cards while traveling, yet there are some serious reasons to be watchful while using them. Read along to know about 4 tips which should be followed while traveling with plastics.

Tips to follow while traveling with plastics

Check out the 4 tips which you need to follow while traveling with credit cards in your wallet.

1. Get in touch with the credit card company before taking a flight.

Call the credit card company and explain that you're intending to use the card abroad. You can get the customer care number from the official website of the credit card company. Ask the customer care officer about the rules you need to follow while using the card in a foreign country.

As soon as the credit card company knows about your intention, they will make necessary arrangements so that you can make international financial transaction. Try to call the credit card company in advance. It will give them some time to complete the formalities.

In case you don't call the credit card company in advance, then you may face serious problems in making overseas transactions.

2. Carry the crucial papers in digital form while making a trip.

Have you ever thought what will happen in the event of credit card theft? Even if the credit card does not get stolen, there is every possibility of losing it while hopping from one country to another. In such a situation, you'll need the credit card documents. If you don't feel safe in carrying the documents in your travel bag, then you can encrypt the core information in USB flash drives. If you lose the card in an unfortunate event, then you can at least decrypt the information, and contact the concerned authorities instantly.

3. Find out if you have to pay foreign transaction fee.

There are some credit card companies who will charge fees for the foreign transactions. You may have to pay a fee as high as 3%. Call your credit card company and find out how much they are charging for foreign transactions. Keep in mind that your traveling expenses may increase drastically when you add the foreign transaction fee to the hotel costs and food expenses. Be very careful when you're making purchases with a different currency. Check out the stores which accept payments in dollars. Make some frequent trips to the ATMs, and buy the items through US dollars. This may help you skip the much dreaded foreign transaction fees.

There are some credit card companies who will determine the fee on the basis of the transactions made in a foreign country. They'll overlook the fact that the purchases were made in dollars.

4. Carry multiple credit cards with different banks for additional security

Recently, a consumer was extremely harassed while using a credit card in a foreign country. The consumer had gone to a foreign country for a personal reason. When he tried to use the card for making a financial transaction, he was told that the card was cancelled. The consumer was shocked. He called the credit card company without any delay. The customer care officer told him that several credit cards were cancelled because of security reasons. Some one had hacked the database of the credit card company. To avoid this predicament, always carry credit cards from different companies. If one card does not serve your financial purpose, you can always use the other one.

Finally, it does not harm to keep several payments options in hand while traveling aboard. Credit cards are there for you. You can use them at any time. Carry some cash in your wallet. Store the toll free numbers of the credit card companies in your cell phone. If you lose the card by any chance, you can at least get in touch with the authorities.

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