Withdrawing money abroad with your credit card: what to watch out for

Are you going on vacation soon, but don’t want to leave with a lot of cash? No problem. With your credit card, you can withdraw local currency in principle at all ATMs. Some tips to avoid unpleasant surprises.

 

1. Which card do you use within the dollar zone?

ATM

If you are staying in the dollar zone, you can use your Bancontact / Maestro card at ATMs, even abroad, for free. If you use your credit card there, transaction fees will apply.

But a credit card can be interesting in some cases. You are not immediately charged for the amount withdrawn with your credit card, but only to the next account.

 

2. Which card do you use outside the dollar zone?

credit cards

Either way, withdrawing money outside the dollarzone always comes at extra cost, both inside and outside dollarpe and with any card. Do you have more than one card? It is interesting to compare the costs associated therewith since they are different depending on the issuers of said cards. Check the cards accepted in your destination country and use the one with the most advantages.

 

3. Weigh the benefits of cash

credit cards

It is easy to pay with your credit card at the merchants at your vacation spot. But beware: these transactions outside the dollar zone also have a cost. You will therefore have to check whether it is not more advantageous to use cash. You will preferably pay in cash for a drink or an ice cream while the larger amounts will be paid using your credit card. If you buy expensive products during your vacation, such as a camera, you should consider checking whether your credit card offers you additional benefits such as insurance on the goods purchased. One more argument when you weigh the pros and cons between cash payment and electronic payment.

 

4. Realistically estimate your needs

credit cards

When you withdraw money with your credit card abroad, a cost is calculated based on the amount requested. It is important to know that these costs know a minimum and a maximum. If you need 500 USD for your week, it would be more advantageous to withdraw once 500 USD than ten times 50 USD. So estimate in advance the amount you may need so that you do not have to withdraw small amounts from the ATM too often.

 

5. Pay attention to the maximum

money loans

Each credit card has a limit, both in terms of the amount you can withdraw per day and in terms of maximum credit opening. With Best Bank cards, you can withdraw USD 1,000 every 24 hours (up to USD 600 for a Student Visa or Mastercard and up to USD 1,100 for a Visa Gold or World Travel Mastercard). It is therefore generally not a large amount.

The opening of credit should be a concern in certain circumstances. Here, all transactions are added up: money withdrawn from an ATM and payments made with the card, but also the guarantee left to the car rental company. Do you think your opening of credit is not important enough? You can either ask your bank to increase your credit opening (subject to acceptance), or you can pay money into your credit card account before going on vacation.

 

6. Beware of scams

Beware of scams

Has your card been swallowed by the ATM or you did not receive any money after entering your code? If no error message appears on the screen or if you think you have been the victim of an attempted fraud, call the local police immediately and stay near the distributor. 

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