Going on vacation can be one of the most exciting outlets from mundane work life. These days, travel typically requires that you keep credit cards handy to pay for transactions and expenses. While credit cards are convenient ways to fund travel expenses for your trip, it is also important to plan ahead to avoid pitfalls with credit card transactions that can really add up. Take advantage of these important tips as you plan to use credit cards during your travels.
Contact Credit Card Companies Ahead of Time
Your credit card represents plenty of personal finance credit and capital. It only makes sense that you would plan ahead and protect your asset. Your credit card company also has a vested interest in protecting your card from identity theft and unlawful transactions as well. As a result, most companies will welcome a phone call or customer service inquiry to let them know your plans to travel ahead of time. In this way, the comapny will know to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. The company can also let you know of any discounts or sister companies that can assist you in your travel destination.
Another reason to contact credit card companies ahead of time is to prepare for any foreign transaction fees. These foreign transaction fees can add up to between 3 or 5 percent per purchase. Companies may offer cards that do not have transaction fees, special waivers if you have a good credit history with the company, or advice on countries without fees if you are flexible. During your customer service inquiry, you can also confirm credit card limits, balances, and expiration dates. You will also need to make sure that the card you bring along is widely accepted at businesses throughout your travel destination.
Keep Back Up of All Vital Information
It is natural that you have plenty to worry about, including lodging, food, and daily travel. But it is also critical that you have a backup system in case your credit card is lost or stolen. Your backup documents should be located in a storage location separate from your credit cards, such as locked storage or a hotel safe. In this way, you can take action to proect yourself against fraud in other locations. These backup documents should include photocopies of each side of the credit card, information for the card, and the direct phone lines of your credit card company. You should also make copies of your passport and other important documents to protect yourself in countries where passport theft is high.
Keep Track of All Transactions and Charges
In addition to budgeting in general, it is very important to keep track of all transactions and charges. In the bustle of traveling, it is all too common to experience accidental duplicate charges or double bookings. It is a good idea to review transactions daily to note any unusual charges. Keep track of the businesess storing your credit card information, and read the terms and conditions to make sure your card will not be billed for additional fees at a future date. Keep receipts from all transactions so that you can have proof in the event of a dispute. Since many people also budget better with cash than credit cards, it is a good idea to keep cash on hand to balance your purchases.
Vacation travel can be one of the best ways to unwind and enjoy new experiences. Because credit card problems are the last issues you want to worry about on vacation, it is essential to plan ahead so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
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Derek the author of this article is an active blogger. The follwing article is for the Jersey City Credit Union.