5 Tips to Get the Most of Your Credit Card when Traveling

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Spring is here and most of us are already making plans for a well-deserved vacation.

Traveling is one the most attractive excuses to use your credit card. You don’t have to carry cash or worry about exchange rates, you can easily repay your balance, and you earn rewards.

The question is, are you sure you are taking full advantage of your credit card when you travel? Have you made the right choices when it comes to purchases or your transaction currency?

Here are 5 tips for you to make the most of your credit card and your travels.


1. Know your card inside out

Book with the right credit card and enjoy peace of mind.

First things first, choose a card with flexible repayment options, and understand the details and conditions of its payment plan, so you benefit from the interest-free period.

You should also check whether your credit card gives you access to airport VIP lounges, discounts on flights, hotel bookings, car rentals, or additional travel-related perks. Some credit cards – especially those designed for travel – offer protection for travel inconvenience (delayed flights, lost luggage) and cancellation, accident insurance, etc.

It is also worth checking whether your bank is currently running special promotions (discounted flights, additional reward points, etc.) before making your bookings. And when you get back, make sure you check out how much reward points you’ve accumulated and redeem them. In fact, why don’t you do it now? You may already be eligible for a gift.


2. Travel with more than one card

An extra card is an important backup if your main card is lost, stolen, or declined – especially if you are not carrying enough cash.


3. Always choose to pay in the local currency

When travelling, you should always choose to be charged in the currency of the country you are in. For example, if you are in Europe and your card is in US Dollar currency, you should pay in Euros and not in US Dollars at any point of sale.

This is due to a service called “Dynamic Currency Conversion” (DCC) which is provided by a company that acts as a third party between the merchant and your card provider. Usually, they charge around 3% of the price to convert to your home currency.


4. Stay away from cash advances

Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash from ATMs because these transactions can be very costly when it comes to fees.


5. Track your spending

It’s always a good idea to know where you spent your money during your travels. Most people do this the hard way (check credit card statements and account balances, save receipts) and usually get away with it in varying degrees of success.

But there is a much easier way to do this… that is, IF your bank offers you a really useful mobile app to track your card spending.

The Spendings feature on the Saradar Bank Mobile App does just that, and does it very well. Not only does it track your spending, but it categorizes your payments into categories such as shopping, restaurants, nightlife, etc. to make your life easier. You can even customize your own categories.


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