Tips for paying abroad: by card or in cash?

Tips for paying abroad: by card or in cash?

Travel abroad increases every year for both families and travelers traveling alone or in a group. All those who plan to visit other countries face the same dilemma: which is better to pay in cash or by card? Here are some tips.

Watch out for currency exchange if you travel with cash

Cash payment means carrying the currency of the country you are traveling to. If it is within the EU you will not have currency exchange problems, as you will pay in euros, but if the travel destination has a different currency you should check the fees that apply for currency exchange. In this case, you have the option to make the change before starting the trip or do it in the country of destination. In any case, you have to consult the official exchange rate and you have to do it in the banks or in the authorized exchange houses. Avoid if it is possible to change the currency at the airport because it usually applies more expensive exchange rates.

It is always useful to carry some cash for minor expenses or for payment of transport when you arrive in your destination country. It is also convenient to have cash in case shops do not accept payment by card, depending on the country or area to which you travel. The amount of money will depend on the needs of each traveler but carrying a lot implies a greater risk in case of loss or theft. You must take extreme precautions to keep the money, both in the accommodation using the hotel safe, and when carrying the money distributed in different places to not lose everything if you are a victim of theft.

Check the commissions if you travel with the card

In favor of using the card when you travel abroad, security and convenience stand out because you don’t have to change currencies, although that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay commissions for paying with the card. In fact, if the country has a currency other than the euro there may be a fee for currency exchange, although cheaper than if you exchange with cash.

Also, sometimes you have to pay fees for withdrawing money from an ATM. Sometimes the commission coincides with what the banks that own the ATM apply and charge, and in other cases, it is not charged. What you will see when you make the withdrawal is the amount to be charged so that you can decide whether or not you want to make the withdrawal. Remember that there may also be a commission payable in establishments where the currency is different from the euro.

Generally, in this type of commission, if any, debit cards tend to have a lower commission than credit cards. However, there are cards that do not charge fees, which makes it more profitable to use them abroad. A precaution that you should have before starting the trip is to confirm the limit of the card in case you have a credit card so that you do not remain without being able to use it. If it is a debit card, make sure you have enough balance in the account associated with that card.

If you are concerned about security, use the card

However, security is the main argument in favor of using the card when you travel abroad because in case of loss or theft you do not run out of anything like cash. The card has an anti-fraud protection system, just by making a phone call the card is blocked, which prevents them from making fraudulent use of it and even recover the money if it has been used. And even in some banks, you can have a virtual card or a card that you can enroll in your mobile devices or smartwatch. This way, if you buy in an establishment where contactless payments and “payments” are accepted, you will be able to use it right away.

Keep in mind that both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. The convenience of using the card or paying in cash depends largely on the destination of the trip, the amount of money we need according to the budget we have planned and the commissions we can apply for the currency exchange.

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