Ok, so here’s the scoop on traveling with credit cards abroad. First, bring 2 to 3 cards. Why? Well, one could get lost, stolen, gobbled up by an ATM or more importantly; certain cards can only be used in certain stores. Also, heads up. The credit card chip that most everyone else on the globe uses, is not embedded in American credit cards. Why you ask? Good question. It’s a budget issue. Apparently to change from swipe machines to chip and pin technology, is just plain ol’ too expensive for America. So here we are, in the back of the retail convenience line. Who knew! Also, that little “universal” global ATM Alliance logo that is on the back of your credit card and claims it’s excepted all over the world? Not the case in some countries. I was stuck in Holland with no money for an entire 2 weeks because my logo was not accepted in their banking system anywhere.
Also, bring cash and lots of it! On that note, Visa offers a Travel Money Card that you can load up and use anywhere a debit card is accepted; the bonus is you also get support like emergency card replacement and emergency cash. Cash Passport from Travelex also offers Visa and MasterCard pre-paid currency cards.
Another tid bit; I was told by the credit card company that I can go into any cashier in any bank and they will advance me cash from my credit card. Once again, not the case. I bought into that little diddy and attempted to get cash on a tiny island. The poor cashiers just looked at me with a blank look on their face. Needless to say, I spent the weekend laying on the beach as it was the only free thing I could do (not so bad after all). Finally, call all your credit card companies before you go. There is a fee for all international charges and the percentage rate varies depending on the company. I now own a global credit card that offers no charges on international expenditures by Citicards.com. That took a couple days of research to find. Good luck with your travels and don’t forget, a purse with a strap for women across the chest and for men, keep that wallet out of your back pocket, or you won’t need to worry about any advice I just shared. Someone else will enjoy your money!