NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (7/7/10)--Travel can be tricky, particularly when it's overseas. Don't leave home without taking measures to prepare and protect plastic cards--and your ability to use them (Bankrate.com June 29).
These simple tips could save you hours of frustration and hundreds of dollars or more:
- Give card issuer your itinerary. If the company knows you're traveling overseas, it won't place a hold on the card when you try to use it outside the U.S. And if someone uses your credit card number in a country that's not on your itinerary, you'll be notified of possible fraud.
- Call ahead. Contact the hotel before you leave home to make sure your credit card will be accepted there. When shopping, ask a salesperson before you get to the cash register if your card will be accepted. And consider printing your train tickets at home, before departure, to avoid kiosks that require chip-and-PIN cards.
- Ask about transaction fees. Some cards assess a foreign transaction fee, which can run around 3% and add up quickly if you charge hotel, restaurant, and other expenses paid for in a different currency. If your card charges a foreign transaction fee, take a little extra cash with you and take precautions to keep the cash safe.
- Clean out your wallet. Only take the plastic you'll need, but make sure you have a backup in case your primary card is lost, stolen, or cancelled. And, keep toll-free numbers of your card issuer in a separate place so you immediately can cancel plastic that's been compromised.
For more ways to protect and prepare yourself for overseas travel, read the full article
in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.