There’s a week-long vacation from work coming up and still haven’t decided yet what to do? This opportunity might be the best time to go and travel to your dream country. You don’t want to be one of the people who end up regretting not taking the chance to travel and sadly spend the most of their entire life sitting in front of their computers working. Budget won’t be problem if you are informed about the plenty of ways to save money using your credit card during your international vacation. There are credit card companies that offer various benefits and deals especially for travel enthusiasts.
Here are 6 tips that you must know and could help you save money before travelling.
1. Secure a credit card which specializes on traveling overseas.
The type of credit card you use during your international trip is a big factor that will affect your spending. A lot of generic credit cards would cost you fees if used outside the country. So it is best to get a specialist credit card intended for traveling, or if not, get a credit card that offers travel benefits and insurance. Research and compare the rates. Some cards’ travel benefits are enjoyed in certain specified countries while some can’t be used in certain countries. It pays to asks the company about the limitations also when it comes to this. These cards also offer travel reward points that you can use on your next travel. Take note also if the company offers signup bonuses.
Also, do not forget to call your credit card company before leaving. This way you can maximize the use of your card and prevent them from suspending it when you start shopping abroad. See to it that you contact them if you have questions about the use of the credit card during the span of travel.
2. Check if there is flight or car rental costs andinsurance that will be covered.
Some credit cards offer free checked baggage fees, airport lounge access, in-flight meals and other upgrades. You did not only save up but it made your travel more comfortable and stress-free. There are certain rules that these credit cards have put forward to gain these benefits. Some requires you to use the credit card if you book your flight tickets. Certain airline and credit card agreements allow you to experience these benefits just by showing and verifying that you are a frequent card user and need not to do the aforementioned. If you use the credit card during booking, your companions might also be able to enjoy waived checked baggage provided by the company. Using credit card when booking can also be beneficial when you happened to be in an emergency and have to cancel the flight. You can get a refund of your nonrefundable airfare if this happens. Some even enjoy priority lanes during boarding if they have booked using their credit card.
One of the perks of using the credit card is having a rental card protection. But there are rules that has to be followed in order to be covered by the insurance. Some of the rules: you should not avail of the rental company’s damage waiver, you should be the primary driver (licensed), it should be a licenses rental agency, and you pay the car rental using the credit card. If traveling in Singapore, it is advisable to avail of Bizlink’s Car services for they are versed about the usage of credit card for rental insurance. They also have variety of cars that are honored by most credit card claims.
3. Be mindful of the foreign transaction fees and conversion fees.
The best option would be to get a no Foreign Transaction Fee credit card. Check your existing credit card if they have the perks of not paying foreign fees. Foreign transaction fees usually cost you 2-3% of what you have purchased. Call your credit card company and ask how to avoid these fees if your card has.
Many tourists also are not informed about the currency conversion that happens during shopping abroad. It is best to pay in the
destination’s foreign currency rather than converting the price to US dollars or your own local currency. Refuse to sign receipt if it is expressed in any none other than the foreign currency. If still in doubt, it is best to download an application to make your conversions easy to do and compare.
4. Take note of credit card’s brand-exclusive deals.
The best example is the credit card’s exclusive partnership with known airlines giving you in-flight benefits. Credit cards also partner with international hotels and foreign merchants at your benefit. Spending and purchasing with their exclusive brands would also gain you card travel rewards for some. You might get a free hotel night stay or a 20% discount from your favorite foreign retail store just by using your credit card that earn airline miles. Some malls also offer discount days for certain card users.
5. Avoid doing ATM withdrawals in a foreign country.
You pay the interest and the international ATM transaction fee every time you withdraw in a foreign country. These applies to both credit and debit cards. These might seem convenient but it is better to avoid it to prevent the incurrence of the fees. And besides, paperless transactions is way safer especially if you want to be safe and not get victimized by pickpockets in a foreign country.
6. Be updated about the card travel rewards.
You can use your accumulated travel rewards to book flights and hotels to get discounts. They also offer discounts when you shop with their partner foreign merchants. Card travel rewards add up every time you travel. So it is best to use the credit card mostly during the vacation so you could just redeem points for the next trip you are planning. Besides being efficient and not dealing with bills and coins when paying up at the counter, you also earn points and save up at the same time for the next one.
For you to get travel rewards, you have to spend a certain amount of purchases in a given time. So it is also best consider the dates of your travel. It is best to also run your spending through one card as much as possible to get great rewards. Pay your card payments on time and be updated on the changes on terms of the credit card to ensure the accumulation of your travel rewards.
If you are trying to redeem or use the travel rewards, it is best to ask also the company if they have preferred partners you could transact with (i.e. booking flights and hotels) to get the most benefit out of it. It is also important to take note of the expiry of these travel rewards.