You’ve been planning your Croatia yacht charter for months. The skipper has called to report that the weather is fantastic, and the yacht’s chef has provisioned the sailboat with all of your favorite foods. Your bags are packed, and your flight boarding pass is in your coat.
Now, your focus turns to money – how much cash should you carry, and which credit cards should you take on the trip?
Of course, traveling with too much cash can be dangerous if it is lost or stolen.
Learning to travel wisely with your credit cards can save you time and money. This is especially true when traveling abroad due to currency exchange rates and foreign transaction fees.
Here are some helpful tips for traveling with credit cards:
Review Fees – when choosing which credit cards to bring on the trip, take a look at the fees for each card. Select the card or cards with the lowest foreign transaction fees. Find out about any conversion fees – many credit card companies charge currency conversion fees when you use your card in a country that doesn’t normally transact in U.S. dollars.
Reward Yourself – consider any cards that offer travel rewards; you might as well rack up as many flight miles as possible.
Call Your Credit Card Company – let them know you’ll be enjoying a luxury sailing charter in the Mediterranean. The point is not to gloat, but to let them know that your card usage in a foreign place is legit. Otherwise, your card might be denied when you try to purchase something.
Choose the "Local Currency" Option – whether at a shop, taverna, or restaurant, always ask the clerk to process the credit card using the local currency option. If the card gets processed using U.S. Dollars, you may be charged a fee to convert those greenbacks into the local currency. This is in addition to any foreign-currency transaction fees from your credit card company.
With traveler’s checks a relic of the past and cash too risky to carry, credit cards can be a great convenience when abroad. Remember to look through your cards and find the one with the lowest fees, and the best rewards points. A little planning now can save a lot of headaches (and dollars) later…
Note – most mega yacht charter crews do not carry credit card processing equipment onboard, and cannot accept credit cards for the crew’s gratuity. Click to learn more about customary tipping policies HERE.
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