Things to Consider When Using Credit Cards on Vacation

Published by August 21, 2012

It is a good idea to travel with credit cards when vacationing.  Credit cards may help cover unexpected costs and provide protection from fraud. However, there are a couple of things that travelers should note before embarking with plastic.

First, it’s a good idea to notify credit card companies before leaving for vacation. Because most companies have excellent fraud detection abilities, purchases made while on vacation may be flagged as fraudulent. For example, if a traveler lives in Chicago and all of their charges are recorded in the city, it may appear suspicious if charges from another location suddenly begin to appear. For travelers relying entirely on credit cards, this could be particularly detrimental.

In addition to fraud protection, credit cards can also provide added baggage loss and delay benefits, which may be good supplement for travel insurance policies.

Another important thing to be aware of are foreign transaction fees.  These fees are less common today, as most credit card companies have dropped them. However, some companies still charge the fees, which can amount to approximately 3% for foreign transactions.