Which card is better to go abroad with

In order not to get lost, take a map of the city. In order not to overpay the commission — a suitable bank card. We understand how to choose a convenient and profitable card for trips abroad. And whether it is worth relying only on plastic.

Which card is better to go abroad with

In order not to get into an awkward situation, it is better to think about how you will pay in buses, hotels and shops before boarding the plane. Sometimes understanding what currency this state has is not enough. It is worth finding out which payment systems work in this country, whether cards are accepted in cafes and gas stations, whether there are many ATMs there.

  •  Study in advance how things are with the payment infrastructure and fraud in the selected country. Search the Internet for Russian-speaking communities: locals and tourists are willing to share tips and experiences. In most popular tourist destinations — European countries, Turkey, Thailand and others — a tourist can easily pay with a card or withdraw money from the nearest ATM. But in many exotic countries, paying with a card or even finding an ATM is a big problem. Sometimes local banks do not work with any of the largest international payment systems. Then it may be easier to change the currency in advance and, just in case, find out where you can find exchangers with the most favorable rate.
  •  Find out if there are many ATMs where you are going and how safe it is to use them. You can use Google Maps or special applications and find out if there are ATMs near your place of residence. It is better to use an ATM at a bank branch or on the secured territory of a hotel, shopping center. This way there is less risk that fraudsters will steal your card data, since it is much more difficult to install illegal equipment on an ATM in such a place.
  •  Specify the commission. Ask what fees your bank charges for withdrawing cash from ATMs abroad and for paying for purchases. This can be done by calling the bank's hotline. Some banks offer to open cards from which you can pay for purchases at a favorable rate or withdraw cash abroad without commission. But it is better to find out in advance whether there are restrictions on the number or amount of operations. International banks may have a wide network of their own ATMs in certain countries, and preferential conditions apply specifically to them.
  •  Get some cards. Better than different banks and, just in case, different international payment systems. Unfortunately, payment systems also have temporary failures, and staying abroad without access to an account even for a few hours can be very unpleasant. Specify in advance which payment systems are most popular in the selected country.
  •  Warn the bank before the trip. When you choose and issue a card, tell the bank when and where you are going. Don't forget to name all the throughpoints, if there are any. Otherwise, the bank may consider your foreign payments suspicious and block the card. Be sure to make sure that the bank has your phone number where you can be contacted during the trip.
  •  Download useful applications to your smartphone. For example, currency converters and interactive cards with ATMs and bank offices.

What should be the card for traveling abroad?

  1.  A reliable bank. It would be unpleasant to find out abroad that your bank has burst. Yes, the money in the bank accounts is insured, but the payment of compensation begins 14 days after the revocation of the license. If just in these two weeks you find yourself on vacation or on a business trip, you will be left without funds. Credit ratings will help you choose the most stable banks.
  2.  Optimal international payment system. Different payment systems are popular in different countries: most ATMs and payment terminals are configured for them. Visa and Mastercard cards are accepted almost everywhere, but there are exceptions. It is better to clarify this before the trip in your bank. In any case, you should bring a couple of cards of different international systems with you.
  3.  Nominal. Your first and last name must be indicated on the card. And it is desirable that they coincide with what is written in your passport. When paying with a card abroad, hotels, rental companies and shops may require a passport for a large purchase. Some meticulous employees check each letter.
  4.  With a chip. In Europe and beyond, most payment terminals are configured only for chip cards. Now Russian banks do not make others. If you suddenly have a valid card with only a magnetic stripe, it is better to order another one with a chip. However, the situation in the USA is the opposite: there are payment devices that work only with magnetic strips, and not with chips. It is worth asking your bank in advance if it allows you to conduct transactions on the magnetic stripe. Not all banks allow this, and some even immediately block the card when trying to use a magnetic stripe, not a chip.
  5.  Allowing you to pay online. Make sure that your card allows you to pay with it online. As a rule, to do this, it must have a CVV or CVC code on the reverse side. For trips abroad, this is a very convenient option. You can rebook a hotel online, book and buy tickets for a local train, theaters and museums, so as not to stand in queues. In many countries, services, such as taxis, are often more convenient to pay through mobile applications, to which you need to link a bank card.

Which card is better for traveling: credit or debit?

Each option has advantages and disadvantages. If possible, it is better to have both types of cards and use them for different purposes. For example, it is usually more profitable to withdraw cash from a debit card, and to block money as collateral when renting a car — on a credit card. In case of blocking, the amount is not debited, you do not pay interest to the bank for it, and your money on the debit card remains free at the same time.

Credit card

  •  If a hotel, car rental or other organization locks money in the account as collateral, then the amount within the credit limit will be frozen on the card, and not your personal savings. The money is not debited and you do not pay interest.
  •  Loyalty program bonuses are usually higher when paying by credit card.
  •  You can make a large unplanned purchase at the expense of the credit limit — for example, buy a fur coat, electronics or a ticket to the opera.
  •  If fraudsters gain access to the card, you do not risk your own money. These are loan funds and it is in the interests of the bank to clarify the situation as soon as possible and return the stolen money.

  •  Most often, credit cards are opened only in rubles.- There is a temptation to go beyond the planned budget for the trip.
  •  Card maintenance can cost a certain annual amount.
  •  Most often there is an additional fee for withdrawing cash from a credit card.

Debit card

  •  You can use your salary card, and then you don't have to pay for its maintenance.
  •  You definitely won't have to pay the interest that drips on credit card debt.
  •  Most often, banks open debit cards in different currencies or allow you to link several currency accounts to an existing debit card.

  •  If fraudsters manage to use your debit card, you will lose your own money.
  •  Debit cards are usually credited with less points, miles or rubles for loyalty programs.
  •  If the money was blocked as collateral, then you will have to wait up to 30 days to unlock it.

What currency should the card be in?

If you are faced with the question of which card is better to pay in Europe, make a choice in favor of the Euro card. If you are going to the USA, it is better to open a card in dollars. Similarly, if you often have to visit Japan or China, it makes sense to have a card in yen or yuan. Then you will not pay extra fees when converting your currency. But there are nuances and exceptions.

Bank card of your country

  •  The easiest option for those who have income in the national currency.
  •  your currency is automatically converted to the local currency when you pay.
  •  You do not need to make anything extra — just use the card you use to pay in your country. Of course, if the card of this system is accepted in the country where you are going.

  •  When buying, several conversions may occur, and commissions are charged for them. As a result, you have to overpay for each purchase from 1 to 7-8%.

Currency card

  •  You can issue a card in the desired currency: a euro card for the eurozone countries, a dollar card for the USA, in yuan for China, and so on.
  •  There are no unnecessary conversions from the currency of your country to the desired currency: you buy shoes for $ 20 with a dollar card — exactly $ 20 will be withdrawn from the card.
  •  You can top up your card from your country's bank account via online banking at the bank's internal exchange rate or transfer currency from an account with a brokerage company after currency exchange on the stock exchange.

  •  Not all banks issue currency cards.
  •  Card maintenance can cost a certain annual amount. It can be free, but under certain conditions: for example, an irreducible balance must be stored on the card or operations for a certain amount per month must be carried out on it.

Multi-currency card

  •  You can link different currency accounts to this card (first, of course, you need to open them). Usually banks offer accounts in three major currencies — dollars, euros and the national currency. Sometimes you can find other options — in British pounds or, for example, Swiss francs. You need to connect a suitable account to the card manually. For example, before traveling to the eurozone — euro, before traveling to America — dollar.
  •  There are no unnecessary currency conversions.
  •  Through online banking, you can transfer money from account to account, guessing a favorable rate.
  •  If fraudsters get hold of the card data or the card itself, you risk only the money that you have on an active account connected to the card.

  •  There are very few banks that issue multicurrency cards.
  •  Maintenance will cost the same certain annual amount. But it can also be free under certain conditions or if currency accounts are linked to an already open bank card of your country.
  •  If there is not enough money, for example, in a dollar account, it is possible that the amount will be debited from the main account, the bank account of your country — then conversions cannot be avoided. Whether the account will change automatically, it is better to check with the bank in advance.

How does the card payment take place abroad?

Payment systems have a base currency in which they settle accounts with banks. Each bank chooses this base currency for itself. Most often, these are dollars or euros.

Example. You buy a Visa magnet in Tokyo with your country's bank card. The price of the product is indicated in Japanese yen. You choose to pay in yen.
  1.  The payment system (Visa) compares the purchase currency (yen) and its base currency (dollars). They did not match, which means that the yen is converted to the dollar. yen -> dollar (at the rate of the payment system). For the exchange, you will be charged a commission of up to 3% of the purchase amount
  2.  Then the payment system (Visa) sends information about the purchase amount in dollars to your bank. The bank must deduct this amount from your account. Your account is in the currency of your country, which means there will be another conversion. dollars -> the currency of your country (according to the internal exchange rate of the bank). For a cross-border transaction, your bank can charge a commission of up to 1.5%
  3.  The amount is blocked on the account. The final payment may take up to three business days. That is, when buying on your card, one amount is blocked, and another can already be debited — due to the difference in exchange rates these days. Sometimes payment terminals offer a choice: to pay in local currency, dollars or euros, or in the currency of the card. Always choose the local currency — this way you will avoid unnecessary conversions and commissions.

What should I consider when paying with a card abroad?

  •  Commissions
Check with your bank in advance what fees you will pay when paying for purchases with your country's bank card abroad. If you travel frequently or plan to spend a lot, it may be more profitable to open a currency card.

It would be useful to find out how much the bank charges for cash withdrawals at ATMs in other countries.

  •  Payment currency
Sometimes a payment terminal abroad offers a choice — in which currency to pay. It is always better to choose the local currency. Instant conversion to your country's currency only at first glance seems like a good idea. In fact, this only means extra fees.

  •  Deadlines
Money is not debited from the card immediately. At first, they are blocked on the card — and only after a day or two (sometimes after a week) they are debited. The money has been debited or has only been blocked so far, you can understand from the account statement — for example, through the personal account on the bank's website.

This is especially important if the exchange rates fluctuate greatly, and you pay with a ruble card. The amount in your country's currency may change significantly in a few days.

If you have a multi-currency card, do not rush to connect your country's bank account to it immediately after returning. Wait until all the blocked amounts are debited, otherwise you will have to pay conversion fees. The payment status can be checked through the personal account in the online bank.

Is it worth withdrawing cash from a card abroad?

This will most likely cost you a pretty penny. You will be charged a commission by the local bank that owns the ATM, and the bank of your country — for cashing in someone else's ATM. If the card is a bank of your country, there will also be a commission for currency conversion. In total, these commissions will eat from 1.5 to 10% of the amount of money issued.
ATMs abroad charge a commission of 1.5–3%, but not less than a fixed amount - usually 3-5 dollars for each operation. There may be a limit on withdrawals — for example, $ 100. Some ATMs will charge a commission even for viewing the account balance.

And yet it is worth stocking up on some amount of foreign cash back at home. They will be useful to you in an emergency: small shops, cafes and taxis can only accept cash or something may happen to the card. At home, you can safely evaluate everything and choose a method of exchange with minimal losses.

If you still have to withdraw bills abroad, do not be petty. Cashing out small amounts, about 20-50 euros or dollars, is monstrously unprofitable — the commission will be up to 25%. If the ATM allows, withdraw immediately the entire amount that you will need for the duration of the trip.

Do not forget about the security rules when using an ATM abroad.