Using Your Credit Card While On Vacation

Aiming to save money on our credit cards should be something that we all should be doing.

This can be done by switching your credit card to one that has a 0% interest free offer on balance transfers and purchases, or simply playing a credit card game such as “stoozing”.

The term stoozing is used to describe the practice of using the credit limit you receive on a credit card to make money by transferring the balance to high interest savings account.

It can be so much simpler to save money without having to go through all of these games and switching from one credit card issuer to the next. Many people while on holiday use their credit card to either make purchases or to withdraw cash from an ATM. This is one credit card usage you should always avoid.

Your credit card will incur a load of different charges when it is used abroad, which will be adding up on the bill when you return from your trip. Many of these charges you will not even be aware of, as many of us do not even realise that the charges exist.

Every purchase incurs a foreign usage fee…

Did you know that you could be charged by up to £2.00 a transaction on your credit card for every transaction that you make or £1.50 if it’s a debit card? This is bad enough, but you could also be getting charged interest from the moment that you have made the purchase, even though when you are back home you will not be charged interest from anything up to59 days. So if you have purchased goods or paid for your meals using your credit card when you first arrived, then depending on how long you are away the interest has already built up by the time that you return home.

Every cash withdrawal from an ATM is charged interest immediately…

If you use the card in an ATM, you could be facing further charges, as we already know we are charged for using our credit cards in a hole-in-the-wall here. So it is going to be much more expensive to use the card in an ATM on your vacation in a foreign country and are charged at a higher level than a credit card transaction in a store or restaurant.

The best thing to do is contact your credit card issuer and find out where they stand regarding the charges that they make when using your credit card abroad. When you add up the details, you may very well find that travellers cheques or changing the your cash to the currency of where you are travelling to will be a whole lot cheaper and easier on the finances.

Remember…

1) Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM (you are charged interest immediately)
2) Every you make with your credit card incurs a foreign usage fee (there are some exceptions)
3) Some credit card issuers charge interest on foreign purchases as soon as they are made