Credit Card Travel Tips

Before you head out on your big international trip, there are a few simple measures that you can do to protect yourself while traveling abroad.

Most muggers know that if they steal your card, you are simply going to cancel it – so it is the more sinister “identity theft” that should keep you on guard.

Here are some credit card travel tips:


  • Call your credit card issuer before your trip and tell them which countries you will be visiting. This will keep them from flagging your account for suspicious activity (and shutting your card off) when charges begin popping up in China one day. Make sure you call them to remove the note on the account once you get home.
  • Before leaving home, photocopy or write down the numbers, expire dates, and verification codes for any cards that you will be carrying. Leave them with someone trusted at home.  Also record the international contact numbers in case your card gets stolen – remember, you may not be able to dial toll free (800) numbers from the new country.
  • Some room card keys with powerful magnetic stripes will completely destroy your credit card’s ability to be swiped; keep them separated! Should this occur, online payday loans are available if you need cash quickly.
  • You may be charged an international exchange fee of 1% – 3% for purchases made overseas.
  • Some vendors overseas will try to charge you a 15% or more markup for using credit cards to pay. This is illegal but arguing the case might be impossible.
  • Check your card benefits before booking a ticket. Some cards provide free trip cancellation insurance as well as baggage protection and perks if your bags are delayed by the airline.
  • Most decent travel and business credit cards offer insurance for rental cars – save the money and decline extra coverage at the counter!

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