Using a Credit Card Abroad – NuancesA lot of tourists planning a trip ask the question which is better to use while travelling – Visa or MasterCard. It is often suggested that Visa is better to use in North America, whereas MasterCard is the best option for Europe. In fact, these are two competitive companies that provide pretty much the same services around the world. When choosing on a credit cards (on a site like effectify.com/credit-cards) we strongly advise you to acquire cards of both systems for maximum coverage and flexibility. And so in case of a technical problems on one system, you have another card at hand.
Choosing the Currency & Card ClassAnother important aspect to consider is the choice of currency. Of course, the ideal setup would be to to open an account in the currency of the country you go to, especially if you plan on a longer stay. If you go to stay in Europe, it’s better to open an account in the Euro. For other countries, US dollar accounts will suffice just fine. For trips abroad, it is better to issue a card with a class not lower than the classic (VisaClassic, MasterCardMass). Unfortunately for some low-end cards (VisaElectron, Maestro), a number of services are not available. For example, it is impossible to make hotel reservations, car rental, telephone orders, insurance policies with a “low-class” credit card.
- Call the bank and notify them what country you are going to visit and when you will use the card. This is done in order to prevent the card blockage.
- Ask whether there are any restrictions on card transactions.
- For non-cash payments, it’s best to carry a passport or other document with your photo. The seller may suspect that this is not your card, and he has the right to verify it.
- Put money on the card with a reserve. During some transactions, funds are blocked, so you should have a reserve at hand.
- Connect SMS-banking to control the account and all the transactions.
- If you are going off on long-term trip, check the expiration date of the card so that it does not expire before the end of the trip.