Credit Card Travel Mistakes to Avoid
Traveling with a credit card is, in many ways, safer than traveling with cash. With zero fraud liability, your losses are kept to a minimum if your credit card is lost or stolen. But even though using a credit card, while traveling can be a safer bet, there are still some critical mistakes to watch out for.
Missing your payment due date
You can go on vacation but you are not on vacation from all your regular obligations such as your credit card payment. Check all your payment due dates before you begin your journey. Schedule your payments before the due date that falls one day you’re going to be out of town. Missing a payment will incur a late payment and possibly lead to penalty interest.
Using a card that charges a foreign transaction
Many credit cards charge a fee on transactions made in a foreign currency, driving the cost of traveling with a credit card. If you are going international, use a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee, such as one from Capital One or Discover.
Throwing away credit card receipts
Save all your credit card receipts until well after the transactions have cleared your credit card statement and you have verified that they are accurate. That way you have proof if a transaction is incorrect.
Don’t alert your credit card company before you travel
Most credit card issuers encourage cardholders to let them know before you travel, especially internationally. That way, they will not purchase the flag of your credit card as fraudulent, which could result in all your transactions being declined. Specify the dates of your trip so that your card issuer can flag international purchases that take place after you have arrived home.
Do not use credit card rewards for travel purchases
Many credit cards reward with extra points or miles for travel purchases. Airline tickets and hotel stays are large ticket items that can help you maximize the points you earn. If you have a rewards card, use it for your trip to earn more.
Putting the entire vacation on your credit card with no plans to pay it off. While you maximize the rewards you earn by recharging your trip, it’s a bad idea to recharge your trip without having to recharge the funds.
Do not check your post-travel credit card account statement
Once you get back from your trip, check your credit card statement for any fraudulent purchases or purchases that the amount exceeds on your receipt. If you see something suspicious, let your credit card company know.
Not bringing a backup source of funds
Don’t assume that your credit card will be accepted everywhere you go. In a number of international locations, only chip and pin credit cards are accepted. Your specific credit card is not accepted at all. Or, certain suppliers may only accept cash or local currency. If your credit card is lost or stolen, you must have access to a backup source of financing so that you can still enjoy your vacation.
Cannot be protected against theft. If you leave your credit card in your hotel, put it in a locked safe and never leave your credit card in your car even locked. Many travelers were a belt of money with which credit cards are kept close to the body. Before you travel, research the areas known for theft and be extra careful in those places.
Not having access to credit card customer service numbers
If your credit card is lost or stolen, you should contact your credit card company as soon as possible to reduce your liability for fraud. Copy the customer service number on the back of your credit card and save it separately from your credit card. Allowing you to contact your credit card company quickly and easily if needed.
You want to enjoy your trip – and the days after – without dealing with major credit card issues. Follow these tips to avoid major credit card errors while you are traveling.