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If you are planning to go to Southeast Asia, bringing travel credit cards is definitely a great idea. Credit cards offer great convenience to travellers; you can use them for almost anything you’ll need on the road, and at the same time, they can give you peace of mind and a sense of security. Carrying cash going from place to place has oftentimes proved to be more trouble than it’s worth if you are in a strange land.
Along with itinerary, budget, and other important concerns, your overseas travel plans should also include financial management. This ultimate guide on the best travel credit cards discusses some of the ideal options for travellers as well as some simple but important guidelines to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for your trip.
Before You Go
- It is an absolute must for you to call your bank to tell them that you are leaving the country. If you are a VISA credit card holder, you will be required to submit a Traveling Out-of-State Form for your own protection.
- It would also be a good idea to check on the Credit Card Union to get information on daily spending limits, withdrawal restrictions, cash advances, and other relevant information.
- Write down your card account numbers and keep the information secure but within easy access. You can leave it with a friend or family member whom you can call for the information in case of emergencies.
- Save your bank’s customer service hotlines on your phone. It will come useful in case you need to report a lost or stolen card.
- If you are going away for a long time, see if you can set up online access to your credit card. This enables you to transfer payments from other existing savings or checking accounts. At the same time, it is easier to keep up with your credit card bills.
Managing Your Travel Credit Cards on the Go
- When you use credit cards for travel abroad, remember that you will be charged foreign transaction fees. Rates vary with each credit card, usually from 1% to 3%, and are applied on ALL transactions incurred, regardless of currency.
- Foreign transaction fees can easily accumulate. Save up on credit card transaction fees by taking a few extra trips to the ATM.
- ATMs are still the best and easiest way to get cash from your card wherever in the world you may be. Look at the back of your card to see which network you are on (VISA or MasterCard) and simply look for a corresponding ATM in your location. International transaction fees may apply.
Best Travel Credit Cards
VISA credit cards are accepted in more places in Southeast Asia than any other card. If you are a MasterCard carrier, you won’t have much of a problem getting by either, as a lot of banks in Southeast Asia partner with major global financial networks.
Also, note that Southeast Asia is still mostly cash-centered. You can save a lot by resorting to other options like traveler’s cheques, ATM cards, debit cards, and of course, some amount of local currency, on top of your travel credit cards.
Michael Vincent writes for Compare Hero, Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website, allowing you to compare the prices of a broad range of financial products, from credit cards to insurance plans.