While it is generally recognized that credit cards facilitate the buying and selling process any time and any place you are used to shopping at here, in your country, they are also becoming an effect paying tool abroad.
Now, what credit card is there in your pocket? If it is Visa, MasterCard or American Express, lucky you are! These credit card brands are known to be accepted at million locations worldwide, and, offering you enticing foreign exchange fees and additional programs, make your traveling fascinating.
Let’s see why your credit card wins against the traditional check paying thing. Remember your last vacation or business trip abroad. How much did you pay to cash your check or how big currency exchange rates were you imposed? Very likely, it didn’t bring you any satisfaction whatsoever.
Today you can forget about such sort of inconvenience. Credit cards are designed to bring you convenience any time and anywhere and now they allow you to carry out financial transactions at a lower cost. It’s exactly for the reason of the favorable exchange rates and other benefits typical of credit cards that most people prefer to take them abroad.
Why do credit card companies offer you better currency exchange rates than you find with checks? The reason rests at the number of daily credit card transactions which reaches a million. It allows such credit card giants as Visa, MasterCard and American Express to preserve such enticing exchange rates, saving you a good sum of money.
Security is one more reason people opt for credit cards. Imagine you go with a check. You cash it and then, suddenly get your money stolen. It is gone forever and no one will compensate for the loss. But if you lose your credit card, or it happens to be stolen, you will be returned the money and sent a replacement for the card if you report about it before an unauthorized purchase is effected.
If unauthorized use does take place, the cardholder is liable for $50 only and not in all cases even.
Or imagine you failed to be provided with a service you were promised or there is some problem with the quality of the product you buy. Your credit card company is going to settle it up! American express, for example, offers its customers Purchase Protection Plan which binds the merchant to return the money or give a substitute.
So, attractive currency exchange rates zero liability and Purchase Protection Plan are the main reasons you choose credit cards as the major money management tool when abroad. Along with them, let’s not forget about the common convenience of not carrying this annoying cash around each time you go out or shop.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? And you are very probably starting to search for a proper credit card to take to Europe on vacations or business… Not so fast though. There are some points to clear up to ensure you use you card with full benefits and gain with it rather than lose.
Mind it that all credit card companies, except Capital One, charge you foreign transaction fees which are a part of the currency conversion rate, the latter amounting to 1% for Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions converting foreign currency into US dollars.
When choosing a credit card to take abroad, compare credit card companies to find the one with the lowest foreign transactions fees.
Also note that you may find yourself in a place where your credit card is not accepted, thus it is recommended that you still carry some amount of checks with you.
A check is really helpful in a pinch while credit card is a good financial tool to make a serious purchase abroad like a hotel room or furniture.
Are you going abroad? Make a close credit card search to make it a real pleasure for you without thinking about how much money there is in your purse and saving on every little thing and service you want.