Friday, December 20, 2013

Tip of the Day: Suggestions on the Use of Financial Instruments While Abroad

"Financial instruments" are credit or debit cards or devices that can enable you to obtain cash or credit while abroad.

I strongly recommend that all foreign travelers carry at LEAST the following:

One CREDIT card;

One DEBIT card; and

One CREDIT card that you NEVER actually use while traveling abroad.

The use of credit cards can often result in your being charged an international % by the card issuer, which is why I always urge travelers to carry a DEBIT or ATM card as well, to avoid unnecessary charges.

Call your card issuers BEFORE DEPARTURE and ensure that you will be able to access cash or credit inside of interior banking institution at all of your destinations. Generally the card issuer can provide you a website(s) to determine that the cards you carry will be accessible to you while abroad.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND against using ATMs on public streets, as this renders you vulnerable to ATM abduction or armed robbery.

One reason I urge all travelers to carry a CREDIT card they don't use abroad is so that you can pay for your expenses while abroad in the event your primary DEBIT and CREDIT cards are declined due to fraud. 

Leave ALL other credit cards, gas cards, department store credit cards, "big box" store credit cards and similar financial instruments at HOME.

Leave all jewelry at home, including wedding rings and wedding bands.