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Travelling abroad? 5 handy credit cards tips for you

Last updated on: April 08, 2014 19:14 IST

Travelling abroad? 5 handy credit cards tips for you

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Rajiv Raj

These will save you some money and lots of hassles.

Indians are becoming global nomads. This kind of lifestyle requires people to attune themselves to newer security issues, especially when it comes to credit card usage.

It is very important to be careful, as your credit card usage will have an impact on your CIBIL credit score.

Following are the top five tips to keep in mind while travelling abroad:

Inform the card issuer

If you are travelling abroad, call your card company and inform them about your travel plans and dates.

If there is a transaction in any of the other places other than the ones you have informed, the credit card company will notify you about the transaction and if need be it will block your card.

The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.


Image: An aerial view of the revered 250-tonne, 26-meter tall bronze Buddha statue at the Po Lin Monastery on Hong Kong's Lantau island
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Travelling abroad? 5 handy credit cards tips for you

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Get to know your charges

When you travel abroad, you will be paying in foreign currency.

Some credit card companies charge a transaction fees, conversion charges and corresponding service taxes.

It is important for you to know these charges, because the actual cost of your shopping might go up with these charges.

Sometimes you might find it cheaper to pay cash.


Image: A tourist boat travels near the Merlion statue overlooking the Marina Bay Sands Casino construction site in Singapore
Photographs: Matthew Lee /Reuters
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Travelling abroad? 5 handy credit cards tips for you

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Upgrade your credit card

These days, credit card companies are offering cards with an in built security chip. Ensure your card has this security feature to prevent frauds against your credit card account.


Image: Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Photographs: Moyan Brenn/Creative Commons
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Ask the merchants to charge you locally

When you swipe your card in a foreign location, let the merchant charge you in the local currency (say if you are from India, then ask the merchant to charge you in Indian rupees).

Merchants many a time insist on dollars; this gives them scope to charge forex rates at random.

Carry currency

Avoid credit card usage as much as possible. Instead, carry foreign currency and use it while shopping. This is a safer way to transact.


Image: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Photographs: Creative Commons
Tags: India

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