This blog post was updated on October 11, 2018.
When you are preparing for travels abroad, there are a million little details you must tie up before leaving. One of those little details comes with calling your credit card company to tell them that you will be in foreign lands for a while. However, as you make that call, you shouldn’t just be telling your credit card company where you will be, but you also need to turn the tables and ask some questions. Before you take off, be sure to ask your credit card company these four questions to avoid trouble down the road abroad.
What Type of ATMs Can I Use?: When you travel abroad, you will probably notice all of the different logos featured on each machine, indicating credit card systems that it accepts. You need to know what system your card will work on before you start traveling abroad and using ATMs. You don’t want the machine you use to eat your card because it doesn’t support your credit card. It is also beneficial to know the system your credit card will require so you know what ATMs to look for at your destination. This could be problematic if you need cash on the fly and yet no ATMs near you run on your credit card company’s system.
Will You Mail a Replacement Card To Me if Something Happens?: Traveling with a credit card abroad doesn’t always go smoothly. If your card is lost, stolen or the ATM munches on your plastic, you need to know how you will get a replacement card. Some companies will only mail a replacement card to a U.S. address. It then becomes about how you will get the card, which can cost time and money as a result. While you might not think anything will happen to your card abroad, if it does, you need to know how your credit card company will handle a replacement card if you do need it.
What Are Your Foreign Transaction Fees?: This is easily the most important question to ask your credit card company before going abroad. Most credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees. You need to know what this amount will be on each purchase along with the fees for taking out cash. This information will give you a better idea of how much each transaction will cost you. Also if you know one credit card charges more than the other, you can save your dollars and cents and use the one with fewer fees while abroad.
What Is Your International Contact Number?: When my credit card wouldn’t work in Budapest, I frantically searched for an international phone number to call to make sure everything was alright with the card. Before you go abroad, you should make certain that you have your credit card company’s international contact number readily available at all times. This number is key if the card is lost and you need to be in touch with your company. You can’t be searching for this number when time is of the essence.
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