The main feature for using a card in other countries is it must be of international payment system. Visa and MasterCard banking products are accepted in most countries of the world. MasterCard is considered to be more common in Europe, Visa – in Latin America, the USA, and Australia. However, such a division is rather conditional, and most often vendors accept plastic of both payment systems.
Such cards facilitate cash withdrawals in ATMs, as well as non-cash transactions in trading units and on the Internet. Nowadays, without a card you will barely book a hotel room, pay a car rental, buy airline tickets or pay at the supermarket.
In addition, for the plastic of premium status like Gold and Platinum holders enjoy various perks such as luggage insurance and the cardholder itself, free access s to airport business hotspots, etc.
How Much Does It Cost?
Choosing a bank plastic, get acquainted with set of fees for services and transactions. As usual a client has to pay, first of all, a commission for the plastic issuing depending on its class. There is also a fee for annual maintenance, which is developed according to the number of services provided. Keep in mind that many banks provide a minimal set of services for free.
But what is more important overseas is a converting rate. Remember that for operations in the trading network, even in other countries, bank commission is not charged, but a client always pays conversion fee. However, for cash withdrawals in ATMs, you will pay a percentage for both your issuer and the bank owning an ATM plus difference due to currency rate.
This is the most painful issue for tourists. If your account is opened in a certain currency different from country of visiting, you have to pay more.
How to make your trip more financially comfortable
It is best to open a card in the local currency of the country you visit if possible, and bank conversion can be avoided. You can also get a multi-currency card, to which several accounts are linked in different currencies. The conversion rates can be found on the official websites of the respective banks.
- Pay by card, and cash
When you use ATM, you get your cash, and pay a fixed commission. In addition, a bank or a company that serves a specific ATM also hold a cash withdrawal fee. In most countries, especially in Western Europe, the card will not be difficult to use on each occasion, since many of them are among the top non-cash countries in the world.
- Consider Internet Banking
Be very attentive studying mobile banking options. This will allow you, firstly, to monitor all card account operations and respond quickly to suspicious transactions. Secondly, SMS notification will help you not to spend more than planned since you see your balance. And incoming mobile messages from the bank are completely free.
It is also a good idea to have a credit card or simply a second card with you in case you lose your first plastic. In such a way, you will be prepared for any unexpected issues.