The humble credit card can sometimes be the traveler’s best friend. It’s generally best to carry at least a little cash with which to tip and make small purchases. A credit card can’t be used in every situation but carrying plastic is generally more convenient and safer than traveling with large amounts of cash.
As major credit cards can be used all over the world, it also saves you having to change your cash every time you cross a border if your trip takes in more than one country.
Using a well known brand like the American Express Credit Card can add a number of other benefits. 24/7 customer services can help you out via local operators if your card is lost or stolen or you have any other issues. If your card does go missing, a card replacement service can make sure you’re not without it for long, with your new card being delivered to your accommodation or another convenient location.
Even if you’re backpacking out in the wild, arrangements can be made to have a card waiting at a point along your way.
Most card suppliers offer fraud protection that can cover you if your card is stolen or otherwise fraudulently used by a criminal. You must take reasonable precautions however, such as guarding your PIN and reporting the theft or loss of your card as soon as you realize it is missing.
Using a credit card can even help fund your next trip as you enjoy your current one. If you use a reward card that offers a reward such as Air Miles, you will build up miles every time you make a purchase on the card.
The most cost effective way to do this is to make sure you pay your balance in full. Most credit cards have an interest free period, meaning you won’t be charged any interest as long as you pay back the balance by the due date indicated on your regular monthly statement.
By switching all your regular spending to a rewards card you can quickly build up air miles or other rewards but be aware that, if you don’t pay your balance in full, you will be charged interest on what remains. If you are traveling, it might be a good idea to set up a direct debit to automatically make payments from your bank account to your credit card while you’re away. These are just a few credit card tips for travelers, do you have any more?