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How Using a Credit Card While Traveling
Can Save Money

Benefits of using credit cards for travel

Traveling is considered by many to be one of life's greatest pleasures. Whether you are on the road for work or for leisure, traveling allows you to step outside the boundaries of your own life for a few days or weeks at a time.

Visiting a different country and seeing the sights, tasting the food and getting to know a new culture intimately broadens your perspectives and makes it easier to understand the underlying traits that make up the human condition. In this sense, traveling to many different countries around the world is probably one of the most enjoyable ways to exercise self improvement.

Advantages of using credit card for travel
Before you fill in an application for a credit card or a debit card, do your research online,
to find the one that suits you best.  (Image: BigStockPhoto)

Watch the costs

The largest single caveat that comes with travel is the magnitude of the cost. Plane tickets, cab fare, hotel rooms and eating out for every meal quickly adds up to a fairly exorbitant sum, the size of which often makes international travel more or less inaccessible to a large portion of the population. This is a minor tragedy, as getting to see the world is an experience many people have on their list of lifetime goals.

Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to lower travel costs. One unexpected way to save money without cutting corners is to use your credit card. While it is not always possible to pay with a credit card at every business you will patronize during a trip, using a card where you can save your money.

No Exchange Fees

An often overlooked cost associated with international travel is the fee that is incurred when you exchange your native money for the local currency. Aside from whatever amount of damage the exchange rate may do to your funds, most currency exchange businesses also charge a fee that varies based on the value of the exchanged amount. This means that the face value fee may end up being far larger than you would imagine, as most individuals exchange a sizable amount of money at the beginning of their trip to make sure that they have a reserve in case of emergencies.

Using a credit card to make some of your transactions during a trip can often represent some rather significant savings. While some credit cards will charge an international transaction fee, this amount is usually negligible compared to the amount you spend on exchanging currency. Some cards, like the American Express Black Card, even waive the international exchange fee altogether.

Preparing for traveling overseas
Before you fill in an application for a credit card or a debit card, do your research online,
to find the one that suits you best.  (Image: BigStockPhoto)

Safer Transactions

While many individuals are compelled to pay for most of their travel purchases with cash, this is not always a sound decision from a security point of view. It is true that more businesses take cash than they do credit cards, carrying a large amount of money on your body leaves you vulnerable to theft. The language barrier also makes it easier for criminals to scam travelers, which is another cost incurred by cash. Credit cards can lessen the damages associated with pick pocketing and fraud as making a quick phone call to freeze your account is easy and effective in the event of either misfortune.

Earn Points for Your Next Trip

Finally, many credit cards allow cardholders to earn points that can be exchanged for air miles or hotel stays. This means that it is possible to earn credit toward your next international trip just by using your credit card to pay for things.

Travel can be expensive, but smart spending habits can help to ease the load. Using a credit card while on the road is a great way to save money while getting closer to your next big adventure.

About the author

Carol Robson is a retired social worker who believes in living simply, being ecologically friendly, and leaving a small footprint. For more helpful information for others looking to do the same, check out Tiny House Plans.

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