Should Debit/Credit Card Be Used During International Trips
While planning a trip abroad, the last thing that we think of is how we can spend our travel money. Carrying cash is absolute necessity but there is limit on that everywhere. Also, the possibility of your money being stolen or being misplaced is high. Carrying cash can be quite efficient when it is about money exchange. Taking your cash to a foreign bank and exchanging your home currency for foreign money without extra fees sounds ideal.
However, as mentioned before, cash can easily get stolen. So many people opt for credit, debit, or even travel cards and keep the cash to a minimum. These credit or debit cards may seem like a suitable option, but how efficient are they? Which one should you be using for your international trips?
With using credit or debit cards, people worry about foreign transaction fees, and it is something to worry about. For every transaction one makes, a fee gets added. It may not seem much at first, but if you are not carrying any cash and using your credit or debit card for every expenditure, the fee will soon add up, and you’ll wonder where your money went.
So, keep in mind that you will have to use a credit or debit card that charges you a minimum foreign transaction fee. There are options where you will receive money for using your credit or debit card. This is like earning brownie points, or little bonuses for using your card. Through this option, you can earn while you are traveling. If you are using a credit card, be sure to pay the balance before the interest weighs you down.
Debit cards are much safer. It is difficult to lose your debit card if properly protected. Using debit cards is using your own money, from your bank account. So, there is a limit to how much you will spend. You will know your expenditures and not go out of your budget. That is a pro right there. At the same time, if you spend more than what you had initially planned, you might end up affecting previous commitments, which includes pending transactions, bills, etc. Also, not all restaurants and shops accept debit cards. You can also use your debit card to retrieve cash, just like an ATM card. However, this will come with an ATM fee.
Even if your card gets stolen, you can contact your bank and lock the card. So, you won't have to worry about somebody using your money. However, you will have to worry about how you will spend the rest of your trip. Losing your debit card can leave you with a big headache.
Like debit cards, they are small and allow easy mobility. Unlike debit cards, with credit cards, you get a longer leash in your expenditure. It all depends on your credit limit. The best thing about using a credit card is that you don't have to worry about using your own money. The worst thing is, you might end up spending so much that it will take years to pay off. Credit cards can be used as ATM cards as well. However, an additional charge gets added. As mentioned before, using credit cards can bring you brownie points- you earn while you travel.
So, which one? Credit or Debit?
A combination of both is what we recommend. Credit and debit cards have their pros and cons. Instead of trying to decide which one to bring along with you, just take them both. If your debit card fails you, your credits got you and vice versa. Also, everything depends on how much you want to spend. If you have a budget and want to control your expenditure, use your debit card. If you are treating yourself and have no issues spending a little extra, go with the credit card. In situations of peril, such as losing your debit card, you wouldn’t have to worry about the expenditure for the rest of your trip because you have your credit card. To sum it up, it all boils down to how you choose to spend your money.
At the end of the day, choosing whether to use your debit or credit cards should entirely be a subjective matter. If you're comfortable with the charges that your banks may tie-up with your transactions for the foreign currency rate, then you may gladly opt for them.
However, you should know that using travel cards or forex cards will give you many advantages over your regular cards. Unlike Debit or Credit card the foreign exchanges rates were fixed at the time of purchase and you need have to worry on forex rates applicable at the time of usage. You can budget your expenses and load the forex card for budgeted amount of the desired currency. Top- up of forex card, if required, can be done during the trip. You can even send money for your hotel bookings or tour packages by using our services, so you can travel abroad freely with no worry about the charges you would otherwise need to pay when using your credit or debit cards.