Financial Tips for Traveling Abroad : GKM Inc – Blog

Financial Tips for Traveling Abroad

Posted by:   |  May 18, 2018  | Post comments

Convert some dollars to local currency before leaving home – by doing this, you will have some cash available to cover your immediate expenses, such as transportation and refreshments, without hunting down an ATM. Your bank or credit union should be able to help you buy local currency.
Check whether ATMs will be available – although there are millions of ATMs all over the globe, they may not be available in every country. Check on the websites of credit card issuers such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express for their global ATM locators.
Use your debit card in ATMs for local currency while traveling – withdrawing cash at ATMs is an easy way to replenish your local currency supply. Please check with your bank beforehand on its fees for using foreign ATMs and the maximum withdrawals allowed per day.
Make copies of your credit & debit cards – make copies of your credit and debit cards or make a list of the account numbers, expiration dates and toll-free phone numbers so that you can quickly contact them in case of loss or theft of cards. Keep these copies / lists in a safe location separate from the cards themselves.
Memorize your cards’ PIN – American credit cards with chips generally work fine without PINs in Europe. However, some self-service payment kiosks, such as in train stations & gas stations, may require entry of a PIN if you use your credit card. Please verify on these aspects with your credit card issuer before traveling abroad.
Be wary of paying in US dollars – when using a credit or debit card overseas, some merchants and ATMs may offer the option to complete the transaction in local currency / US dollars using a service known as dynamic currency conversion. To help you, the payment terminal or ATM should display the transaction amount in the local currency, the transaction amount converted into US dollars, the exchange rate used for the conversion, and any commission / fee added on by the merchant / ATM for handling the conversion. Although paying dollars may seem the simpler option, the exchange rate and commission used by the merchant / ATM may be less favorable than the rate you would receive later on from your card issuer if you pay in the local currency.
Notify your bank and card issuers of your travel plans before leaving home – otherwise, on seeing some foreign transactions popping up, they may lock down your accounts.
Decide on the cards to carry while on the overseas trip – some cards charge a foreign transaction fee every time you use them outside of the US, and some do not. Some cards offer travel perks, such as assistance with medical referrals or locating lost luggage, as well. Familiarize yourself with your cards’ fees and perks before deciding on which one to take along on your trip abroad.
Purchase travel health insurance – not all health insurance plans will cover the medical care you receive while traveling abroad. Medicare, for instance, generally does not cover care received outside of the US and its territories, although some Medigap policies may cover it. To avoid getting stuck with medical bills if you need care when away from home, check with your health insurance provider beforehand to ensure coverage. Else, consider purchasing travel health insurance. Bon Voyage!