You’ve probably heard that credit cards are a great way to avoid foreign transaction fees, but are you sure you know everything there is to know? There are several fees that may not be immediately apparent to you, but they will pile up and add up. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in debt for a portion or all of your international travels. Before you get to the point where you’re paying out more than you’re making, it’s important to understand what exactly these fees are and how to keep them under control. Here are some of the major reasons why you need to pay attention.
One of the most common ways that people don’t fully comprehend the significance of this fee is when they travel outside of the United States. They bring along their American credit card with them to pay for services or food at a restaurant abroad. While using a credit card is usually a safe way to pay for what you’re buying, there is always the chance that you will not be able to pay for the entire amount. When this happens, the restaurant, waiter, or other personnel will tack on an extra fee onto the bill in order to make up for their loss.
When traveling abroad, it’s important to have a detailed budget which you can utilize at any time. Since traveling abroad often involves exchanging currency, you also must keep track of how much you are spending in order to stay within your budget. This is another reason why you need to know the different rates that are charged at all foreign fee-free exchange points. If you have a better idea as to how much you should be spending, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate a payment plan or exchange currency with a service provider.
There are times when you’ll want to shop online, but you can only do this if you have the currency in which you are shopping. If you don’t, you will be forced to convert your money prior to completing your purchase – which can result in hefty foreign transaction fees. You can avoid these fees by shopping online with the cash you bring with you or use credit cards that only allow you to buy with a certain amount of currency. If you do carry more than the average amount of currency, however, you may want to find an exchange service so that you can buy things at the right price in your currency.
There are plenty of reasons why you may want to use an ATM while traveling abroad. One of the most common reasons is to save money. When you exchange currency at ATMs, you will get your money back in one way or another – whether through tourism or visiting a friend or family member. While this isn’t always possible, you can usually expect that the exchange rate at most ATMs will be greater than the rate of your home country. In some cases, you might even find that you will make more money back on your purchases at ATMs than you would back at your home country.
There are lots of ways to save money on your purchases as well. For instance, when you use a credit card, you might find that the ATM fee isn’t as high as you were led to believe. Many credit card companies are now offering free ATM fees whenever you make a purchase. This isn’t the case all the time, but when you’re traveling abroad, you will find that the ATM fees are usually waived or greatly reduced at many of the establishments around the world. This is another way how to avoid foreign transaction fees.
You will also find that you can save money by shopping online for your necessities. Rather than driving to a gas station or grabbing groceries from a store, you can shop online for your necessities – and usually get them at a better price than you’ll pay at the local supermarket. You’ll also find that you can often find a better selection of products online than you can at the local mall – especially if you’re traveling abroad and you want to buy particular items that aren’t available in your own country. When you have a vacation budget, like I do, this is an important part of planning your trip, so be sure to keep up with it!
If you follow these methods, you will learn how to avoid foreign transaction fees whenever you do your shopping abroad. If you travel soon enough, you won’t have to worry about paying high fees at all. Then you can enjoy the shopping experience!