When you travel, carrying a wallet bulging with cash can be cumbersome. Slotting in a few credit cards would be simpler, wouldn't it? But before you take off, let GoBear remind you that with great plastic, comes greater responsibilities.
1. Credit Card Hotline
In a previous post, we talked about free travel insurance plans offered by credit cards that could cover your medical costs and car rental loss or damage. But who do you call when things go awry? Make sure you know the hotline number – a tiny detail we often forget that is right there at the back of your credit card.
2. Card or Cash?
Never travel without checking the if the card would be accepted in the country you're visiting. This is not something you throw against the wall and see if it sticks. Wait till you arrive at a place where cash is king – say, Cuba. It might be too late by then to check the acceptance level and country network of your card.
3. Foreign Transaction Fees
Final credit card bill and receipts don't tally? Don't get too shocked, that’s because the banks charge a foreign transaction fee for purchases made overseas, which comprises the bank’s administrative fee and a currency conversion charge imposed by the card association, which adds up to an extra 3% in total.
4. To Convert or Not?
When making your purchases overseas, beware of dynamic currency conversion. When a merchant asks if you would like to pay in the local or your home currency, choose the local currency. Conversion rates are likely to be less favourable when converting to your home currency. That’s not all – you’ll still need to pay an additional card administrative fee for the service.
5. Cash Advance
You would want to avoid treating a credit card like your ATM card because withdrawing cash this way is a cash advance that would require you to pay:
- Cash advance fee ($15 or 6% of the transacted amount)
- Cash advance interest calculated daily until full repayment
Your best bet is to bring just the right amount of cash and save the cash advance for emergencies.
Thinking of signing up a new card for your next trip? Compare over 100 credit cards in Singapore on GoBear!