9 Things You Should Do With Your Credit Card Before Traveling Abroad

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9 Things You Should Do With Your Credit Card Before Traveling Abroad
Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Traveling is an amazing experience through which you can see the world and expand your experiences. Unfortunately, there can be some stressful elements to travel, most of all the impact it can have on your finances. While it is highly recommended that you travel with plenty of cash on you, using a credit card can sometimes be unavoidable in today’s fast-paced world.

There are 9 things you should do with your credit card before traveling abroad:

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1. Be Aware of Transaction Fees

Make sure your card doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees. These pesky little fees add up quickly, which causes unnecessary strain on your travel budget. On the other hand, there are certain cards that actually have travel benefits. Call your card issuer to learn all the details about your card and its restrictions and benefits.

2. Call Your Bank Before Traveling

Let your bank know you’ll be traveling. You’d hate to get your card declined in a foreign country, only to find out that your bank put a hold on your card because it was suspicious of identity theft. Keep the bank’s contact information with you while you travel, in case you need to contact them in the event, your card gets lost or stolen.

credit card payment
Photo credit: Anne Worner

3. Be Prepared for an Emergency

The likelihood of something bad happening is slim, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Carry your passport with you at all times, stored in a secure location on your person, like a zippered pocket in your jacket. Also, be sure you know the numbers for the local emergency services of whatever country you are in.

4. Learn about Exchange Rates

Avoid dynamic currency conversion. This is something that happens when a cardholder makes a purchase in a foreign country, and the resulting amount is shown in the currency of the cardholder’s home country. While this seems like a useful tool, the companies that provide the service charge an exchange rate, one that is often more expensive that the actual exchange rate between the two currencies.

5. Expiration Date

Check your card’s expiration date before you travel, just to make sure it won’t expire while you’re out seeing the world.

6. Know Your Credit Card Details

Take a photograph or scan, your card so you have a copy of it. This way, you will have all the essential details of the card handy in the event of an emergency.

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7. Follow Safety Precautions

If you have multiple cards, bring them. Store them in different places. This way, if something happens to one of them, you’ll have another option. Make sure you follow the same safety precautions for each card you bring.

8. Make Sure Your Credit Card is Accepted

Make sure your card is accepted overseas. Certain countries have different policies on credit cards. You will have to do your own research on your card to find this information.

9. Learn Your Credit Card Limits

Be aware of any holds or limits on your card. For example, some cards only allow up to $5000 dollars to be spent each month. Budget yourself and keep track of what you spend.


These are just a few ideas of ways you can protect your finances when traveling overseas. There are many more, and you should take all the precautions you feel are necessary, so you can travel in comfort. From everyone at TakeTours.com, have a safe and happy summer vacation!