When we’re going abroad, there’s universally one thing we all have in common; no matter our nationality, the place we’re about to visit or the nature of our trip. You got it, we all need money – and if you’re working with a tight budget, you may just need more money than you actually have to have a thoroughly enjoyable time.
While we aren’t influencing you to take out credit for something so trivial as a holiday, we’re aiming to inform you of the options out there, if you firmly believe a travel credit card is the best option for you when going abroad.
Specialist travel cards are good when it comes to spending money abroad; mostly because they usually don’t charge fees for using the card overseas. You want to avoid using your usual credit card when overseas as you’ll most likely be charged extortionate fees for the pleasure. Think of it this way, everyday credit card companies are looking for ways to exploit your financial weaknesses, so don’t let them win.
Prepare for your trip in the best way you can; make sure your house is in order and the money you are spending won’t come with those high fees. The only way of truly knowing you’re covered in the financial department is by having a travel credit card and more importantly, knowing its limits and restrictions.
If you’re using your credit card in a country that employs a different currency to your usual one, you may still expect to pay a small currency conversion fee on each transaction. These fees are usually around 3% and are only charged for the convenience of converting from your usual currency into your destination’s currency. Though, most travel credit cards now come with a whole host of offers, sometimes including a reduction in the currency conversion charge or even no currency conversion charge at all.
There are a number of travel credit card companies out there for you to consider when you’re planning your trip abroad. There are no right answers to be quite honest, it all comes down to what works for you, what you want your credit limit to be and more importantly, how quickly you can pay it all off. Protect your credit score at all costs, the only way of ensuring this is by taking out only the credit you know you can pay off – and making sure you’re entirely in-the-know when it comes to any potential fees that may be involved with using your travel card.
Use multiple eligibility calculators to ensure you’re getting the most realistic deal for you. Sure, it’s nice for the credit card company to offer you like $6000 in credit, but would you realistically ever pay that off? Think about the deal, then think again. Always be sure you’re making the most sensible decision and never fall madly in love with the enticing number they’re showing you on screen.
Today, some travel credit card suppliers even offer you cash back when you make purchases from your destination, so providing you can pay your credit card off in full in the agreed upon time, there’s surprisingly a little bit of money to be made from this method. Admittedly, the cash back rates aren’t great (usually around 0.5%) but it’s certainly not to be grumbled at, every little helps!
Companies like Virgin, Natwest and other major banks offer these kind of travel credit cards, so make sure you do plenty of shopping around and a good bit of research before you make any decisions. There are so many options out there that it can easy to get lost in a flood of offers and the sheer quantity of information presented to you on screen. However, at the end of the day, we want you to be comfortable in every purchase you make when abroad. So, use the advice above and get to work, do your research and find the best option for you. The best decisions are those made with a rational mindset. Have a great holiday!