There’s nothing worse than certain credit card brands being problematic while you’re on vacation. Sure it’s a lot worse to get your credit card stolen or not be able to access funds when you’re across the ocean on a whole new continent as opposed to just a couple of towns over, but regardless of where you are, having credit card issues is a pain. Below are a few steps and precautions you should plan to take if you intend on traveling. It’s impossible to eliminate all risk of problems, but if you follow these tips you can greatly cut down on the chance of having your vacation ruined by credit card issues.
Inform credit card brands or issuer of your travel plans
By letting your credit card company know that you plan on traveling-especially if you’re going out of the country-it will prevent them from cancelling your card if they notice any unfamiliar, out-of-state transactions. If this happens it can be easily resolved with a simple phone call, however most credit card brands have a 2-to-3 business day delay before your card will activate again.
Double check your credit limit and card expiration date
This tip is simple enough, but it never hurts to make sure your card isn’t expiring in a couple days right before you head out on a backpacking adventure through the Himalayas. Similarly, it would be very unfortunate to find out you can’t afford something while on vacation due to not knowing your credit limit.
Stick to one credit card
At home, you may have loyalty to several credit card brands. But, by using a single card while on vacation, not only does it minimize the number of cards that could possibly be stolen or be problematic, but it also makes it easier to track your spending when you return home.
Be wary of double-billing with certain credit card brands
Though not common, it does happen. For example if you reserve a rental car online with your credit card, then decide to pay in cash when you get there only to find out you were also billed to your card later on. Make sure to always keep the cash receipt, because if something like this happens but you don’t have that receipt you’ll be out of luck.
Retain the receipts from your vacation spending
Tying in to the previous point, make sure to keep all the receipts your accrue of your spending. This will make it easy to dispute any unusual charges you see when you get your statement. This is especially important when traveling abroad as any complications overseas may take longer to come into light.
Use an EMV card and EMV compatible devices whenever possible
EMV is the latest in card safety technology and has been cutting down on fraud and card theft significantly since its development. EMV cards are better known as the ones you have to insert as opposed to swipe, and offer much safer use thanks to it’s more secure data encryption. EMV technology is quickly being adopted within the U.S. but has been in use in Europe and Asia for some time. By making sure your card is EMV compatible you’ve already decreased the likelihood of card fraud tenfold, and if you go overseas you won’t have to worry about them not being as up to date with the technology.
Following these steps before going on vacation is a great start towards ensuring you don’t run into any issues with certain credit card brands during your travels. Generally speaking, being smart with your purchases and your credit card information goes a long way, but if you’re looking to go the extra mile for your own sake, keeping these tips in mind is a great starting point.