Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to Use your travel credit card ?

In general, the credit card is the cheapest payment method and practical abroad... as long as you use it wisely and some small rules of common sense.

Credit cards and not all international credit cards are reserved for those who have a well-stocked bank account. Of course, American Express or Diner's Club cards are designed for those who can prove income of at least €20,000 per year (and for the Gold or Platinum cards) much more. On the other hand, the international credit card Visa and Eurocard Mastercard are obtained with the simple agreement of your banker, without being imposed a minimum income.

The credit card has an advantage compared to traveller's cheques: you do not have to pay the systematic commission of 1% (or more) and the exchange rate is much better.
How to Use your travel credit card ?
How to Use your travel credit card ?
Transaction fees
Since July 1, 2002, all withdrawals and purchases made in the countries of the Euro zone by holders of French banks are free or incur the same costs in France.
Outside the euro area, there are still costs that vary depending on the countries, currencies and banks.

Fill you with the bank issuing your card on charges levied by transaction (from 3 to 12 € per withdrawal) outside the euro area. This will prevent you from unpleasant surprises on your return. According to the Bank, these fees may vary from the simple to the triple.

How can we explain these costs? The bank issuing the species, and your bank, take each of the fixed costs (in general 3 €) and a variable (from 2 to 3%) commission in accordance with the currency. The purchase results in lower costs than liquid withdrawal of money from an ATM.

Good to know: some banks have networks partners in countries outside the euro area. If you withdraw money in one of their branches, costs are considerably reduced, or even zero.

In conclusion, it should be:
-avoid doing too much cash in the distributors outside the euro area,
-avoid small amounts because of commissions,
-preferred card from local merchants.

A know before you go
-The date of validity of your card: If the card expires during your holiday, you'll be short of money.
-The ceiling of expenditure (withdrawals and payments) weekly, in order to not get stuck on your holiday location: in general, 400 to 500 € withdrawal per week and 2 000 to 2 500 € of expenses per month (more for Gold cards). However, you can edit it, even from a distance (for a fee).
-Your account must be sufficient funds.
-The validity of the secret code.
-The acceptance of your international identity card in your country's holiday, as well as the presence of vending machines (ATMs).
The Mastercard ATM addresses
Visa ATM addresses
Amex ATM addresses
-Note the number 16 digits of your card and its expiration date, the telephone number of your bank as well as from the centre of opposition can be reached from abroad. Place it in a safe place or, better, scan and send in your mail box.

-Munissez‐vous the number of assistance your credit card, your Bank and/or the interbank number: for France 0892 705 705, accessible 24 hours a day. If you go abroad, remember the number provided by your bank depending on the country in which you are travelling.

Major cards emergency numbers:
-Eurocard MasterCard card allows its holder and his family (if she accompanied him) to benefit from assistance, medical repatriation. In case of problems, contact tel: 01-45-16-65-65.
More info on the Mastercard France site and list of Mastercard numbers for objection.
-For the Visa card, in case of theft, in France: green number: 0892 705 705. List of Visa numbers if you are abroad.
Where your country of destination does not appear in this list, call collect (Collect Call), the number of Visa in the United States: + 1 410 581 99 94.
-For the American Express card: If something goes wrong, tel: 01-47-77-72-00 (24 hours, 7 days a week).
-For the Diner's Club card: emergency number 0 810 314 159 (cost of a local call) or + 33 1 49 06 17 76 from abroad.

If something goes wrong
-The international card is not only an instrument of withdrawal or payment. It also provides certain guarantees in case of accident or incident to a stay abroad (theft, delay, lost luggage, repatriation etc.) set with this card.

-Loss or theft of your card: put your card in opposition, by phone (see numbers above). Report the loss or theft in a police station on-site. For Gold or Premier card holders, it is often possible to apply for a provisional card on-site that offers all the services of the original map, with the exception of cash withdrawals. According to the banks, you can also request a troubleshooting cash with your center of opposition.

Be vigilant
-Never throw your credit card slips: you might need as evidence.
-At the back, take the time to check your bank statements in order to detect any abnormal amount, purchase online or fraudulent withdrawal... If so, you have 70 days to make a written complaint to your bank, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. The Bank will receive a period of 30 days for refund from the receipt of your file's challenge.
-Never leave eyes your card when you pay to a merchant, in a restaurant, a bar, a hotel...
-In case of payment with an "iron ironing", verify that the amount is correct and well bonded/fastened right into the boxes on the slip to sign (so that it does not zero the amount paid by you to add).

-Attention: in some countries (United States, Mexico...) credit card tickets are presented in the following way: a box at the top to register the price below another box to register the tip, and a third box to register the total. Remember to fill out or scratch the 2nd box and insert yourself the total in the third. Indeed, if you do not, the dishonest merchant will do it for you and will add of office an important tip.