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Six tips for traveling with credit cards

Traveling with credit cards abroad make trips simpler. You are not having to worry about loose change in your pockets and it saves time at the register. However, credit cards come with a list of reasons to be cautious. Here are six ways to preare your credit cards for travel:

  • Call ahead - Contact your credit card company to give them a heads up about the out-of-country charges. If not, the company could put a hold on your card when you try to use it in a different place. As long as the credit card knows where your head, they will allow international transactions.
  • Know your credit card's fees - Some credit card companies charge a foreign transaction fee, which could run about 3 percent. This could add up quickly with hotel, restaurant  and other expenses.
  • Consider encryption - You can carry credit card information and other important documents in digital form while you travel. Some USB drives let you encrypt data allowing your information to be more protected. If you lose your credit card while traveling, simply decrypt the file on your computer. You will be able to see your card and access important information.
  • Watch out for pins - A type of credit card often called "smart card" or "chip and pin card" is growing in popularity in Europe. These cards are designed with extra layers of security. While many European establishments accept U.S. credit cards and smart cards, there are some exceptions.
  • Carry a backup - You can never be too careful to have a backup card if a credit card was to get stolen or caneled.
  • Diversify - In addition to carrying a credit card and a backup card, carrying a small amount of cash can add extra security when traveling.

For more information about traveling with credit cards, click here.