The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
In the U.S.A., credit cards are the norm. However, is the same true overseas? Testimonials from travelers have attested that their usually reliable credit cards did not work overseas. By "not working", we mean being flat out rejected. There are a number of reasons for this, and some of them are common: credit cards simply are not prevalent in that certain area or the clerks or business people do not know how to operate the "swipe and sign" type of cards. Another reason is that other countries have replaced the swipe and sign credit cards with an altogether new type of "chip-and-pin" smart cards. In this regard, the American traveler is rather helpless since at this moment, no solution has yet been given by the US banks.
In any case, this should not prevent the American traveler - or any traveler, for that matter - from enjoying a time away from home.
One way of hurdling any inconveniences such as those mentioned above is to verify, if possible, which companies, hotels, or other business establishments are accept the type of credit card you have. Contact your credit card issuer as well and inform them of your plans to go abroad. It is important that you do this, because some credit card companies close your account, preventing you from using it anywhere other than the country.
Next is to inquire of your credit card company what fees will apply to the purchases you plan to make. As an added safety measure, it would be best to carry at least one other credit card with you, in the event that the other gets stolen or does not work.
Be sure to keep receipts of all transactions you made abroad. There are unfortunate cases when you might be victimized or scammed, and you would be able to report this properly to your card company if you have proof of your purchases.
You would also definitely want to bring cash with you. Indeed, this may be the smartest move you could make. You`ll never know when and where your credit card won`t work. There are places where credit cards simply are not accepted. For you to carry cash, you would of course have to convert your currency to the particular currency the country you are travelling to have. Indeed, when all else fails and your credit card does not work, the only thing that will get you by is cash. Contrary to when you are in the country, using cash is perfectly legitimate and normal.