Advertisement
credit & debt

Plastic Rules When Traveling Abroad

Is it better to use your credit or debit card overseas?

To keep from being nickel-and-dimed when spending overseas, first use credit cards to get a good deal on local currency. Plastic offers better exchange rates than banks because Visa, MasterCard and American Express use their size to push for the best deal.

Most major credit-card issuers pass on a 1% fee Visa and MasterCard charge for currency conversion, plus they tack on a 2% fee for all foreign purchases. American Express charges a 2% fee on every credit-card purchase made outside the U.S. (Discover doesn't charge for currency conversion, but it is not widely accepted outside the U.S.) Capital One cards don't charge any fees for currency conversion, and the company absorbs the 1% fee that Visa and MasterCard impose.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Debit cards are best if you need cash from an ATM. You'll usually pay $2 to $4 more per transaction. But that's less than you'd pay if you used your credit card to get a cash advance.

Contact your bank and credit-card companies before you depart. To fight identify theft, an increasing number of banks and credit-card issuers will freeze your account if they suspect a card is stolen, especially if it's used in countries outside Western Europe.

Advertisement

Most Popular

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year...and it's never too early to start thinking about next year's return.
June 22, 2020
Find a Great Place to Retire
happy retirement

Find a Great Place to Retire

Our cities provide plenty of space to spread out without skimping on health care or other amenities.
July 2, 2020

Recommended

52 Super Deals and Discounts for 2020
spending

52 Super Deals and Discounts for 2020

With a special nod to those of you spending more time at home, we found dozens of deals and discounts, plus ways to save (or make) money.
June 6, 2020
Banks Canceling Credit Cards, Cutting Limits
credit & debt

Banks Canceling Credit Cards, Cutting Limits

If you haven’t used a card in awhile, make a small purchase with it to keep it open. It’s good for your credit score.
June 4, 2020
Milliennials Face Their Second Recession
credit & debt

Milliennials Face Their Second Recession

Forty percent of millennials say the pandemic will likely cause them to delay payments on their debts. Does that include you? Time to take action.
June 4, 2020
When Savings Bonds Make Sense
credit & debt

When Savings Bonds Make Sense

Series I savings bonds are safe options, but don’t go all in.
June 3, 2020