(NC)-For many people, winter is synonymous with travel. Travelling abroad requires sound planning, including planning how you will pay for purchases you make while outside the country. Choosing the payment options that fit your needs can help you reduce banking costs while travelling.
Start by evaluating your financial requirements. How much money will you need while you're away? Do you plan to make several transactions a day, or only a few transactions a week? How will you carry money? Will you be able to take money out of your account from a financial institution abroad? Knowing how many banking transactions you will need will help you choose the best payment options for you.
Remember to weigh the pros and cons of the different methods of paying travel expenses. These methods include:
Credit cards are accepted by most businesses around the world. If your card is lost or stolen, you can have it deactivated and quickly replaced. However, it's important to remember that credit card issuers charge for currency conversion when you use your credit card outside the country, and also for cash advances.
Using a debit card to pay for travel expenses can result in several types of transaction costs, including currency conversion charges. You can reduce these costs if your financial institution has an agreement with foreign banks, or if your banking package includes a certain number of foreign transactions. Ask you financial institution about the costs of using your debit card abroad.
Traveller's cheques can be exchanged for local currency in many exchange offices and banks. If they are lost or stolen, they can usually be replaced free of charge within 24 hours anywhere in the world, provided you've kept the serial numbers. However, only certain large businesses accept them as payment and commissions on exchange transactions are sometimes quite high.
Cash is a practical and widely accepted means of paying for travel expenses and small purchases. However, it is not as safe as the other methods and cannot be reimbursed if it is lost or stolen. You will also have to pay currency conversion charges for cash from another country.
You can learn more on the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada at fcac-acfc.gc.ca.