It's hard to imagine traveling without a credit card these days as credit cards have so many advantages over debit cards, and there are also quite a few things you can't quite do without having one.
A credit card lets you draw a line of credit from the card issuer so that you can spend more than what is currently in your checking account. When you are traveling, that might be necessary for the purchase of travel tickets or for emergencies.
Here are 12 credit card tips you should know before you travel:
- Whenever you travel, you should always take your debit and credit card with you. It is also very important to bring a backup credit card from a different credit card issuer in case your main credit card is not accepted or if it gets lost or stolen. If you have an American Express card, you should also bring along a Visa card or Mastercard, as American Express cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.
- If you travel often, you might want to consider getting a credit card which gives you travel rewards such as airline miles or gas rewards. If you don't have one already, you should consider applying for a credit card with some of these advantages for traveling.
- Do you find yourself flying often on a particular airline? If so, you might want to get the airline's credit card.
- Pay for your travel tickets with your credit card so that you get premium travel benefits if your credit card has that feature. Some credit cards come with free travel accident insurance when you pay for your plane/train/bus/ship tickets with that credit card, thus giving you peace of mind when you travel.
- Before you travel, check with your credit card company to see if you need to pay any additional transaction fees or other fees when you withdraw your money from an ATM. Most credit cards charge a cash advance fee, so when withdrawing money from an ATM, you should use your debit card instead.
- Do you find yourself staying at Marriott hotels and resorts when you travel? If so, you may consider the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card (read our Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card review).
- If you plan to travel abroad, especially to an exotic locale, you might want to call your credit card company and let them know where you are going, so that they don't see it being used on the other side of the world and think someone has stolen it.
- Before you go on a trip, make sure to check the expiration date of your credit cards, to make sure that none of your credit cards will expire while you are on your trip.
- Always keep all your credit card receipts so that if you spot an inaccurate charge on your credit card bill later on, you will have the proof you need for settling the dispute.
- Make sure to always have enough cash on you in case you have trouble with your credit card or any other problem that might occur.
- Keep an eye on duplicate charges. This could happen when they put a hold on your credit card when you make reservations for a hotel or when you rent a car, and you later decide to pay in cash. Make sure that they do not charge your credit card as well, otherwise, you would be paying twice, therefore you should always keep your receipts so you will have proof in case of a dispute.
- Use GET.com's list of Best Rated Credit Cards to help you compare and decide which card is best for you. Once you decide to apply for a card, click 'Apply Now' and we will send you off to the card issuer's official site where you can apply on the spot.