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Eight tips for using your credit card while travelling

Many people don’t think twice about using their credit card, and it’s a common way for travellers to pay for goods and services when they are abroad. Credit cards are widely accepted worldwide, they can be easier to use than cash and they often let you collect rewards points.

If you are planning a trip and will use a credit card as your main method of payment, here are some tips that will help you ensure you don’t run into any issues while you are travelling:

  1. Notify your credit card company that you will be travelling
    Even if you are taking a weekend road trip up north or are planning a cross-border shopping trip, it’s always a good idea to notify your credit card company of your plans. With credit card fraud being a huge issue, many credit card companies will flag cards and suspend their use if they are used in an unfamiliar location – not something you want to deal with when you’re on vacation.
  2. Clarify account balances, credit limits and terms of use
    It’s important to understand the implications of using a particular credit card before you leave. Be clear about your account balance, how much credit remains on your card and how certain features, such as cash advances, work.
  3. Keep contact information handy
    You never know when you may need to call your credit card company. Having their contact information easily accessible will be handy if your card is lost or stolen, if it gets flagged or if you need to contact your credit card provider about an emergency credit increase if you run into travel issues.
  4. Take advantage of travel perks
    Many credit cards offer perks for people who use their card while they travel. Things like discounts at hotels and restaurants, upgrades and preferential treatment can enhance your travel experience. Know the perks and benefits of your card before you travel.
  5. Check your account regularly
    It’s smart to keep an eye on your account to make sure everything is correct. Unfortunately, there are those who look for credit card users they can easily take advantage of. Check your account regularly to make sure that all charges are accurate. If you see an issue, call your card provider immediately.
  6. Be clear on due dates
    Before you leave, make sure that you are clear on your billing due date. No one wants to accrue interest charges unknowingly. Depending on when you are travelling, you may also be able to adjust your due date to accommodate your timeline. Talk with your credit card provider.
  7. Download the app
    Most credit card providers have an app. Download the app before you travel to make it easier to manage your credit card. Information will be accessible at the click of an icon.
  8. Ask questions
    Have a question about your card? Not sure if you can use it in certain locations? Get all your credit card-related questions answered before you leave for your trip.

A final thing to get in order before you travel is travel insurance. While limited coverage is offered by credit card companies, you are better off getting comprehensive travel insurance coverage from a company that is known worldwide. Get a free travel insurance quote, and travel worry free with Blue Cross.