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When you travel abroad, you need your credit card as a means of payment and to make cash withdrawals. We summarize everything you need to know about it.

Check your bank cards before you leave

First, before the departure date, you need to do some basic checks. So, make sure your credit card is an international card and check its validity date to prevent it from expiring before your return.

Then, it is necessary to verify his bank account. In effect, make sure that it is sufficiently provisioned. That you have the necessary withdrawal capacities, that your payment limit is sufficient…

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If necessary, you can notify your advisor of your trip and ask him for a temporary increase. Then find out about bank charges for payments and cash withdrawals made with your card.

Bank card
Young person using credit cards to pay for vacation or trip – Photo credits: iStock

Bank charges in Europe or outside the Euro zone

In this regard, there are two scenarios depending on whether you are traveling in Europe or outside the Euro zone. In the first case, your bank card will work everywhere. All you have to do is respect the operating conditions of your card and you will not have to pay any fees.

However, if you are traveling outside the Euro zone, you can pay extra fee of two kinds. It depends on the banks and your card type. This can be a flat fee on the amount of withdrawals and purchases made with the card. Or a proportional fee in % of the withdrawal or payment amount.

Thus, your withdrawal fees may be between 3 and 3.50 euros, to which may be added 2.50% of the amount withdrawn. Payment by card may be subject to an average flat-rate tax of 0 to 1.20 euro +2.50% of the amount paid.

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As to whether to pay in cash or by bank card abroad, the second option is to be preferred. It is inexpensive. However, if you need to withdraw cash, make a large withdrawal. For example, instead of making three withdrawals of 500 euros, rather withdraw 1,500 euros at once.

Be aware that your payments and withdrawals made in foreign currencies with your bank card involve a foreign exchange transaction. The latter translates to a commission for the benefit of the foreign bank. Not being included, this will be added to the fees that your bank collects.

Change the necessary amount before your departure

Before going to travel, first change currency at an exchange office. So, you can have peace of mind once you arrive at your destination and you will no longer have to search for an exchange office in the airport.

This will also allow you to meet the first costs (taxi, bus ticket, etc.) without having to waste time. Moreover, it also allows you to save a little money. Indeed, in terms of exchange rates, exchange offices in airports rarely practice the best rate.

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So when you change before departure, only change the amount you need to cover your first days of travel. This is to prevent the loss or theft of a large sum. If you change your money in France, choose a currency exchange office in the city center if you want the best terms.

Indeed, in banks, it can take you several days and often it is not to your advantage. However, You should compare exchange rates carefully.. You can do this online via sites like bureau-change or cochange. You will find the best offers there, which will allow you to choose better.

Bank card
Percentage with interest increase arrow – Photo credits: iStock

Bank card: change money abroad

Abroad, also remember to compare the exchange rates offered by banks and exchange offices before converting. In general, the establishment indicates the exchange rate of the day. It is also possible to withdraw money from an ATM.

However, this may cost you fees levied by the bank who owns the distributor. Fees in addition to bank charges and exchange fees. In general, online banks do not charge credit card payments abroad.

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They also do not charge reduced fees on withdrawals. For those who often travel outside the Euro zone, it may be useful to have a second bank card from one of these online banks:

  • Revolut
  • wise
  • Fortuneo
  • Etc.

This will allow you to reduce or eliminate fees.