Credit card or cash overseas? The answer is clear. Picture it: You are traveling with your partner in a foreign country. You’ve been out at night having a great time in a local pub, when suddenly you reach into your back pocket or purse to pay the latest bar tab only to find that your wallet is gone. Of course, in your wallet was all your money and credit cards. Now, you are stranded in a foreign land, without a penny to your name, and nowhere to turn. Except your credit card company.
Lost cash can never be recovered. There is no system to track your cash, find out who stole it and return it to you. Whether your green bills drop out of your pocket when you aren’t paying attention, get spent on something you later regret, or are taken by a thief, they are gone just the same.
When it comes to credit card or cash overseas, credit cards offer you protection. If you are traveling and lose your card most companies can get you a new card within 24 hours. Call your credit card company the moment you notice your card is gone. They may be able to help get you some cash to get by, but at the least they should be able to send a replacement card to your hotel fast.
While traveler’s checks can also be replaced it doesn’t usually happen so quickly. Besides, this is the new Millennium – when was the last time you saw a traveler’s check? Like the $2 bill, many clerks don’t even know how to accept them.
Use credit card or cash overseas – choose credit card. Again, losing your cash or having it stolen leaves you with no options. It’s gone, that’s it. But if your card is stolen and the thief uses that card to buy things you will not be held responsible. The key here is to report the card missing immediately.
When it comes to security the credit card even beats out the debit card. The main reason is that if someone steals your debit card and charges on it before you have a chance to report it stolen that money is removed from your account. Most likely you can file a claim and get it back, but that usually takes a few weeks. What if you had only $500 in your account and they charged $499? You could be stuck, just $1 to your name, for weeks. With a credit card the money in the bank is safe and usually you can get the erroneous charge removed before your next payment is due.
In short, when it comes to credit card or cash overseas, credit cards offer security over cash, traveler’s checks and debit cards. Should you use a credit card or cash abroad? Card. Easy.
One last bonus tip… losing your wallet happens, near home and in faraway lands. Protect yourself before it happens by tracking everything that is in your wallet. You can either make photo copies of every card and ID, front and back, or use a smart phone app that does it for you. This way, when your wallet is lost you will have easy access to the phone number of your credit card issuers, your account numbers and everything else.
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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on CreditCardIdeas.com is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.