Clark County Credit Union Tips for Smart Credit Card Usage when Traveling Abroad

Whether you’re getting ready for your first trip across the ocean or embarking on a journey to fill the last page of your passport, it’s important to pay attention to how you use your credit and debit cards and how often. Here is a quick guide with some smart card usage tips from Clark County Credit Union for those traveling abroad.

Credit Union Tips for Bank Card Usage when Abroad

Tell Your Bank, Credit Union or Card Issuer You’re Traveling To prevent your cards from being used criminally, your financial institution will likely decline and lock a debit or credit card if it’s used suspiciously. Make sure you inform the card issuers of where you're going and when for each card you plan to bring. This ensures you have access to your funds and can fully enjoy your trip.

Don’t Bring All of Your Credit Cards Although many individuals like to spread their purchases out over many different cards to grow their credit report and earn more points, you should never travel with all your cards on-hand. If your wallet is stolen or lost, you may have a difficult time accessing any money for the remainder of your trip.

Use a Card that Doesn’t Charge Foreign Transaction Fees Although these cards may not offer the rewards you desire from your everyday purchases, a card that waives foreign transaction fees will save you quite a bit of money. Even if these fees are only 2% or 3% of the total purchase, those savings will quickly add up!

Always Pay in Local Currency Keep in mind, many places you visit will allow you to choose which currency you pay your bill in. We suggest all our credit union members always choose to pay in local currency so you can avoid any additional conversion fees merchants may enforce.

Keep Cash on You, in Both Currencies In the event that the location you’re going to does not accept bank cards you’ll need to have cash on-hand to pay for your travels. Bring enough emergency money in local currency and keep a few U.S. dollars just in case you need to exchange it for more currency.

Locate ATMs in a Safe Area If you need a cash advance from your credit card, we always suggest choosing an ATM that’s inside of a bank or hotel before choosing an ATM outside. These outdoor machines may have been tampered with and using them out in the open could make you a target for theft.

Determine Whether or not Your Card Has Travel Protection There are some credit cards that offer additional protection should something problematic occur during your trip, such as delayed flights or lost luggage. If you do not have such a card, it might be worth looking into before you embark on your travels.

Find out if Your Card Has Other Travel Rewards Did you know that some credit cards can offer you rewards or other perks when you use them in certain establishments? For instance, some cards will give you access to various airport lounges around the world where you can relax before your flight.

Ready to travel the world with confidence? Stop in to Clark County Credit Union and discover how we can help you budget your travels, or contact us at 702-228-2228 to speak to a financial expert today!