There are many horror stories of people getting stranded without being able to use their credit cards. Sometimes there could be a genuine reason, other times it could be a minor problem, which could have been taken care of if a few steps were taken.
At times such as a natural disaster like the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull, cardholders were stranded and were unable to use their credit cards, as some credit cards were not acceptable in the UK. Sometimes these are genuine issues; otherwise these are issues that can be sorted out without much fuss.
- While traveling with credit cards, always ensure you make a photocopy of all the travel documents as well as credit cards, and leave it with a family member or a friend. In the case of a lost credit card, it would be easy to cancel it right away. Most problems occur while on international travel, and this can be avoided by keeping these photocopies handy and would in turn prevent any wastage of time in trying to locate the bank or the institution that had issued the credit card.
- Notify the credit card company before venturing out on a vacation, or the credit card might be deactivated with the automatic card deactivation. This is a preventative measure to stop the usage of the credit card (more than six times) in case of theft.
- Check with the issuers about the conversion fee that would be charged while converting foreign currencies to dollars. Some banks don`t charge a fee on traveler`s checks but some banks do.
- It is always better to have separate credit cards in different names. For example, one in the name of the spouse. This would come in handy in case of the loss of a credit card. If the credit card is in both names and it is lost or misplaced, it could become virtually impossible to survive in a foreign country without a credit card for four to five days. However, if the spouse has a separate credit card then it would be easier to survive on that till the new credit card arrives.
- While traveling with credit cards, never leave photocopies of the credit card in your luggage while traveling. In case the luggage is misplaced then someone else can have access to all the information with regard to the credit card.
- The most important tip of all is to convert the PIN from six digits to four-digit PIN number before leaving, as most of the ATM`s abroad will not respond to six digit numbers.