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Credit cards have this magical ability to make some people believe that they can spend money that they don’t have… so it’s not surprising that there are quite a lot of people who get in trouble with their banks or credit card companies by going on extravagant holidays that they can’t possibly pay back…

Still, credit cards can also be the most useful tool for the financially secure traveller…

In fact, credit cards can be so useful, that a lot of travel experts suggest that you get a new card before you go on your vacation. Plus side number one is that you can take advantage of the issuing bank’s reward programs. These aren’t always generous, but they can still help a lot. Plus side number two is one that I’ve already mentioned before: having two credit cards means that you can still put a roof over your head and food in your mouth when one gets stolen. (Hint: Don’t put both of them in the same place).

Speaking of stolen cards, most credit cards have zero-liability policies in case of unauthorized charges. So, if your card does go missing while you’re on vacation, you won’t have to worry too much about some unscrupulous pickpocket trying to use your card. Naturally you should report a missing card as soon as possible, so you should always have your bank’s contact information with you, as well as photocopies of your credit card statements in case you need any info on them when you file your report.

On the other hand, a major purchase outside of your normal spending routine in a foreign country can trigger suspicion of illegal activities. So, letting your bank know about your travel plans might save you an annoying phone call or two as you confirm that yes, it’s you making all those purchases in a remote part of Australia, so yes, you need to have your card unblocked… ^^

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