5 Intelligent credit card tips while heading overseas for studies

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By: ruthgibson
on 12th Jul,2013

Amongst all these, financial mess is the last thing you would want to think about.
5 Intelligent credit card tips while heading overseas for studies

Students who consider flying abroad for further education have a lot of difficulties to face, like staying away from home, good grades, peer pressure, etc. Amongst all these, financial mess is the last thing you would want to think about. So, it’s very important to keep a track of the debit and credit cards you carry and use while traveling and studying abroad.

Most of you have a low credit limit and need to maintain a tight budget while going abroad for higher education. Hence, it’s really crucial to understand the foreign banking systems and international transaction rates before swiping your cards. International transaction can affect your bank accounts and credit history immensely.

All around the world people take undue advantage of those who have little knowledge about the customary. It would be a good idea to learn the exchange rate for local currency compared to U.S. dollars to know the difference in price for a purchase made. Although, you are more likely to opt for debit and credit cards as they are convenient, but at the same time, it’s easy to overspend and overlook the foreign currency exchange rates while using them. Monitoring your accounts online is a good idea. There are few more ideas that might help you to minimize fees, fraud and also inconvenience while maximizing your credit benefits overseas.

1. Inform the bank officials about your plans

There is a continuous battle between the card issuers and criminals who steal account numbers and the consumers. Travelers are more likely to become victims of freezing accounts if the credit card security department is not informed about your trip. They might understand it as a matter of theft or fraud. A simple gas purchase outside your location is also noticed and can lead to fraudulent alerts and freezing accounts.

Hence, it’s very important to let your bank officials know about your plans of heading overseas for studies. It’s a good idea to let them know the area you are going to and a few nearby areas where you might go for vacations. You will not face too many problems that way, since it can be a lot of hassle unfreezing a card in an international country.

2. Carry different types of cards and money resources

Many countries in Europe and other nations have taken up a type of credit card that has chip and requires a pin to make a payment, instead of that with magnetic stripe on the back common in United States. There are few booths that only accept the “chip and pin” cards, specially in European train stations, garages, gas stations, etc. If you don’t carry this type of card, you may land up in long queues which can be very frustrating.

It’s safe to carry different ATM cards, debit cards, traveler’s cheque, and credit cards. If you run out of money or service from one source, you’ve the other one filling in.

3. Gain knowledge about foreign transaction fees

Few credit cards charge transaction fees which will matter when you are paying in a different currency. ATM transactions also leads to service fees in addition to the difference in currency exchange rate. You must compare debit and credit transaction fees so as to decide in using the lowest cost option while traveling overseas. It’s a good choice to research for alliances major banks have with international ATM networks.

4. Plan out a budget

Students who do not budget well are more likely to spend a good deal of time concerned about not having enough funds, instead of enjoying all of the opportunities that studying abroad can offer. You will need to consider costs associated with pre-departure, travel expenses, and expenses that you will incur on a daily basis while in the foreign country. Be sure to create a realistic budget. Keep all of your receipts and lists of transactions handy in order to monitor spending.

5. Be prepared for stolen or lost cards

Before departing for further education abroad, make sure you’ve toll-free numbers of your credit card companies, banks, etc. In case your card is stolen or lost, you will need these numbers to contact the issuing company to freeze the card. They’ll also help you giving instructions on how to replace it and stop future transactions. Keep photocopies of all important documents safe in a place where you’re staying so that you have the account numbers and phone numbers in case originals are lost or stolen.

The ideas mentioned above will surely help you when you wish to plan your education abroad. There are definitely few important things that you need to be careful about if you plan on paying with plastic. It is very important to set up on line banking, so that you can monitor your balance at any time. Of course, mode of finance also requires planning along with other things when you wish to go overseas for further education.

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