As you make travel plans this summer, be sure to pack the plastic. Credit cards are a convenient tool to finance your trip. To make the most of them, its best to keep a few factors in mind. Heres what you need to know before you go.
As you prepare for the trip, take a look at the credit cards you have. If you plan to travel abroad, consider carrying cards that are widely accepted, such as Visa or MasterCard. Taking along two credit cards is wise; this way, if one of the cards is not accepted, you have a backup.
Most credit card companies and issuers charge fees for international purchases. This expense, which covers the fees incurred for currency conversion, is usually 2-3% of the purchase amount. To find out how much you will be charged, call your credit card company and ask before you leave. In most cases, the fees you will have to pay will be less than what you would spend exchanging dollars or cashing in travelers checks. This is because when you use a credit card, you usually receive the best exchange rate available.
A common problem for those traveling abroad involves purchases being blocked. This occurs because the international...