Why Never To Use A Credit Card On Vacation

Nothing seems more convenient, nothing seems more obvious than taking a credit card with you on your vacation: Credit cards are by far the most widely accepted payment tool on the planet, crossing currency borders with astounding ease and even allowing you to withdraw money from ATMs.

And yet, relying on credit cards for your holiday may well the biggest mistake you could possibly commit.

Here’s why.

Credit cards are a safety risk

It is true that credit cards are attractive. Unfortunately, criminals tend to see them the same way. After all, a credit card potentially gives them access to a lot more money than the cash in your wallet ever could. Which means that you will need to be extremely cautious at all times when you’re taking one with you on your vacation.

What’s more, the risk of your card being illegally duplicated has also increased significanly over the past few years, since the technology required for credit card fraud has become a lot cheaper. All of this doesn’t devalue the credit card as a useful payment option. But it does mean you need to be on guard – and that things can always go wrong nonetheless.

Credit cards are not suited for withdrawing money

You have t hand it to them: The credit card industry has always been one step ahead of their customers.

Towards the end of the 80s, they anticipated the gradual transformation of their vertical from a purely business-driven one towards a mass-market and have subtly changed their product accordingly.

If, today, many people consider the credit card as something of a more powerful debit card, then that is because the companies issuing these cards wanted them to.

In reality, however, credit cards should only be used in case you intend to buy something expensive but do not have the cash required for it at hand.

On your vacation, this facility may obviously also come in handy. But you should never confuse your credit card for a debit card and use it to withdraw money at an ATM with it – or you may come to regret it.

Credit cards are expensive

It seems almost silly to put it this blandly, but it’s true: Credit cards are expensive. At least, compared to some of the more sensible payment tools at your disposal.

This is, because you’re not just taking money from your account and transferring it to someone else’s with a credit card, you’re always taking out a loan as well, which means you’ll have to pay interest on the amount in question.

When you’re using a credit card to withdraw money from an ATM, you’ll need to pay interest. And when you’re using a credit card to buy products and services, you’ll need to pay interest as well.

And when you’re paying with it abroad, you’ll also find that it rarely offers you the best exchange rate. Again, this doesn’t mean that one couldn’t think of instances, when a credit card could come in handy.

What it does mean, however, is that you should always think twice before using one.

What all of this clearly demonstrates is that the usefulness of a credit card on vacation is attached to a lot of conditions.

So why not apply for a currency card instead?

It freezes the exchange rate on the card, thereby protecting you from currency swings, works like a debit card, allows you to withdraw money from ATMs at decent fees and is a lot safer to boot. And should you require a credit card after all, it can offer you these facilities, too.

Sure, credit cards are convenient – but are they as convenient as the credit card?

This article was written by Gavin Whittaker, financial blogger and banking Expert from the United Kingdom, in association with .

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