You will soon be on vacation, but don’t feel like taking a large sum of cash with you? No problem, because thanks to your credit card you can also request local currency at an ATM. These tips ensure that you will never be confronted with surprises.
1. Which card do you use within the euro zone?
If you stay within the euro zone, you can also withdraw money for free from many ATMs with your Bancontact / Maestro card. If you use your credit card for this, there are costs associated with that transaction.
However, a credit card can sometimes also be interesting here. The sum that you collect with your credit card is not immediately charged, but only with the later settlement.
2. Which card do you use outside the euro zone?
No matter how you approach it: withdrawing money outside the euro zone is always accompanied by extra expenses, both within and outside Europe and with any card. Do you have more than one card? Then it is worthwhile to compare the costs, because they are different for every provider. View which cards are accepted at your destination and use the card that is most economical.
3. Consider the benefits of cash
With your credit card you can pay easily with traders on holiday. But beware: a cost price is also attached to those transactions outside the euro zone. It is therefore best to compare in advance where it is wise to use it and where cash is cheaper. For example, you pay cash for a drink or ice cream, while you pay larger amounts electronically with your credit card. Do you buy expensive products on holiday, such as a camera? Then check whether your credit card offers additional benefits such as insurance for purchased goods. You should also include that argument in your trade-off between withdrawing money or paying electronically.
4. Realize your needs in a realistic way
When you withdraw money abroad with your credit card, the cost price is calculated based on the amount requested. It is important to know that these costs are subject to a minimum and maximum amount. If you need 500 euros for a week, it is therefore cheaper to request this amount in one go than in ten withdrawals of 50 euros. So estimate in advance how much money you think you will need, so that you do not pass too often for small amounts along a machine.
5. Pay attention to the maximums
Each credit card has built-in limits, both for the amount that you can withdraw per day and for the maximum credit opening. With the credit cards from Sophia Western you can collect 1,000 euros per 24 hours (up to 600 € for Visa and Mastercard student and up to 1,100 € for Visa Gold and World Travel Mastercard), so that is usually not a major restriction.
The credit opening can in some cases be a point of attention. After all, all transactions are added together for this: money that you collect from a machine and payments with your card, but also when a deposit is secured by the company where you rent a car on holiday. Do you think that the credit opening will not suffice? Then ask your bank to raise the spending limit (subject to acceptance) or transfer money to your credit card account before you leave.
6. Be wary of scams
Card swallowed by a vending machine or no money received after you have entered your code? If no error message appears on the screen or something else makes you suspect that you are the victim of an attempted fraud, call the local police immediately and stay close to the machine. Also contact Card Stop directly.