Some questions to ask yourself before you leave
- Does your credit card allow you to make transactions abroad? What are the withdrawal and payment fees?
- How much is your withdrawal limit? Is it necessary toincrease it in relation to your projected budget?
- How much is your authorized overdraft? What are the consequences of exceeding? Can you increase it?
- Which partner banks in the countries visited have agreements with your bank and offer you lower fees?
- Are you interested in obtaining a Visa Première, Gold Mastercard, Platinum or other card to enjoy complementary services abroad?
- Can you access and manage your accounts remotely, via the internet or phone
- Is the expiry date of your credit card compatible with the duration of your trip?
Good to know
In Europe, cheques issued from a French bank are subject to a transaction fee of 10%; merchants are free to refuse, and generally refuse this kind of payment.
In the euro zone,payments by credit card are made free of charge. On the other hand, cash withdrawals are charged, generally for a sum close to €1.
Outside the euro zone,all payment transactions by bank cards are taxed from 2% to 3% and any withdrawal at an ATM from 2% to 4%. However, it is possible that your bank has agreements with bank networks.
In general, for the same amount in foreign currency,the costs of a card purchase operation will be lower than the costs of a withdrawal operation in an ATM. For those who often travel outside the euro area, the costs can even be avoided by opting for a very high-end card, as on the World Elite Mastercard. Note that to make a payment by card abroad, you must have an international payment card, such as Mastercard and Visa Classic. International cards with systematic authorization (Visa Electron and Maestro) do not always work at merchants (as in France).
Some additional tips
Try to have two cards on two different accounts,in case of loss, blocking, overrun, fraud…
Take a document on the opposition or on the declaration of loss or theft of your credit card from abroad, with the details of your bank.
Find out about the exchange price of the host country's currency and the cost of withdrawals; possibly take the change for about a week, if your trip lasts a long time.
In local street exchange offices,ask for small denominations to avoid counterfeit notes and only give your money after receiving the change. To negotiate, ask for the rate for a small amount to change, then for a larger sum, then finally change the small amount with the rate of the large sum. Double-check the calculations. Make the competition play by observing the different rates in the tourist areas.
Distribute your cash among several places in your hotel room; ditto when you go out, placing it in your wallet, and a pocket, or between several people. For this prefer small cuts.
If your card is swallowed in an ATM, claim it immediately from the bank in question, which must return it to you immediately upon presentation of an identity document. If this is not possible, oppose immediately.
Be careful, the exchange offices of airports generally practice the rates that will be as unfavourable as possible! Always change your money elsewhere.
As is the case in France, many countries allow you to pay by simply entering your confidential code on the merchant's electronic payment terminal. Just make sure you don't lose sight of your map for a moment.
In addition, it is not uncommon for you to have to sign the invoice for your purchases made by credit card. The merchant, if he is particularly scrupulous, will then take care to compare this signature and the one on the back of your card – hence the usefulness of signing your new credit card when you receive it.
It's easy to determine whether or not a merchant accepts card payments before they start doing business. Most of the time, a "Visa" or "Mastercard" sign is displayed prominently on the door or window and allows you to know if the payment terminal will accept your card.
In less touristic areas or so-called "least developed" countries, points of sale accepting card payments may become scarce. Find out more about this before leaving, and in this case, give preference to a large withdrawal of money at the airport of arrival before starting your stay.
Once there, it is best to limit the number of transactions to reduce the risk of credit card fraud – and the inherent fees. Limit yourself, if possible, to a large withdrawal of money at the airport, without going of course to carry a small fortune on you…
Your vigilance must not stop when you return home! In the days and weeks that follow, take a regular look at your current account to make sure that new suspicious transactions do not arise. This will allow you to react without delay.
Visa & Mastercard
Mastercard applied exchange rate: the rate applied is the rate given by midland bank london. Thus, for transactions outside the euro zone, the exchange rate is that of the day before the transaction.
Visa applied exchange rate: The exchange rate applied is visa international's exchange rate on the date your transaction was processed and not the same as the date of purchase.
You can choose the amount to convert, the input currency, and the output currency, using the drop-down menus. The discount date of the rates is indicated at the bottom right of the converter.