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The Pros & Cons Of Using A Credit Card On Your Travels

We all travel the world for many different reasons. It could be a family vacations, a business trip or an adventure to go and see the world, discover yourself and plenty of other things too. Not far from all those reasons however is money.

It can easily become a tricky issue when it comes to travelling. It can be as simple as knowing how much local currency to exchange or it can be a little more complex like being broke directly before a big trip you’ve had planned for months.

Most of us turn to credit cards as an alternative, which can bring mixed feelings. However, there are plenty of pros as well as cons for spending on your flexible friend.

Credit cards for travel can be ideal for picking up rewards and aren’t always a thing used for racking up debt. Here are some of the main pros and cons for using a credit card on your travels…

Pros:

You can rack up the air miles: One of the main rewards credit card companies will offer are air miles, so paying for hotels, flights and other larger purchases will help you rack up those miles and potentially fund your next trip.

This is especially true for those who travel for business regularly. Placing your expenses on a credit card with travel rewards is almost a no-brainer.

You’ll have to carry less cash around: Carrying plastic is so much more convenient than holding a ton of notes and coins you don’t even know the worth of.

You’ll be covered if things go wrong: Credit cards provide great fraud protection if your account gets attacked, while in many cases you’ll automatically be covered for insurance should things like travel delays happen or your luggage gets lost. Equally, if you book your trip via credit card, if the company you booked it with go bust, you’ll also be covered.

Cons:

You come unstuck if you have no cash: In some parts of the world you might find it tough to come across a chip and pin machine. For example, you’re not going to be paying contactless in a Vietnamese market or in a Moroccan souk. Cash is king in these cases.

You need to be aware of how the locals generally pay as it can be a good indicator of how frequently you’ll be able to use your card. Of course in major restaurants and hotels you’ll be able to use it, but if you’re wanting to go a little more off the beaten track, it’s cash only.

You could be charged each time you use it: It depends from credit card to credit card but you could have to pay an international finance charge each time you spend with your credit card abroad, which could mount up a little if you’re spending heavily. It’s usually between two and five percent so do beware of how often you’re using it.

You’ll have to consider how you get around: You can’t pay credit card in taxis in most part of the world, while hopping on the bus won’t be easy either. If you’ve no cash it’s going to be plenty of walking for you.

The best thing to do is have a good balance of cash and credit. This way you’ll be able to get around, buy items in cash only stores, and tip waiters! You really don’t want to fall foul of a local tipping culture.

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