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Payments To Use While on Honeymoon

Credit Cards

This is definitely one of the most popular forms of payment. I personally rarely carry cash nowadays since I know I have the convenience of my credit card. I mean think about it, you don’t have to go to the currency exchange booth, you get a statement of all your purchases and refunds for tracking and analysis, and you get fraud and theft protection amongst others. However, just as with the pros, we do have the cons as well. Credit card companies will charge you a certain percentage or fixed fee per transaction to use your card in foreign territory. If you were to go for cash advances on the card, you get charged even more. As you can imagine, this charges quickly add up. I suggest you take your credit card along for EMERGENCY expenses only. I carry mine but I have never used it on any of my trips. I default to my debit card if I run out of cash. Remember to call your credit card company and inquire about their fees, fraud and theft coverage details while overseas. You particularly want to let them know when you are traveling, where you are going and how long you’ll be gone for so that they don’t freeze up your account as they might see these charges as fraudulent activities if not notified. If you plan to take cash advances on your credit card, remember to memorize your credit card pin. Preferably a four-digit number since most ATM machines don’t take long numbers. Make sure you know the favorable brand taken by vendors before you go as well; by brand, I mean Visa, MasterCard, and American Express etc.

Debit Cards

This is my backup means of payment should I run out of cash. They offer the same conveniences as a credit card. Though the money withdrawn will be taking out of your checking, savings or whichever account your card is primarily linked to, you still face the same costs in terms of fees like credit cards. I personally travel with just enough money in my primary account (not too much and not too less), and I do this to avoid major loss just in case my card makes it way into the wrong hands or is stolen. Remember, ATMs have their own sets of rules and fees besides your banks. You might encounter cash withdrawal limits per transaction (results in paying usage fee per transaction), daily withdrawal limits regardless of account balance, ATM usage charge coupled with bank charge for withdrawing at a non-branch ATM, overdraft charges if you don’t have sufficient funds amongst others. Most debit cards don’t offer the same protection as credit cards when it comes to fraud or theft protection so be sure to check with your bank before traveling. Remember, most rental companies won’t take a debit card and those that do, put a higher hold amount on your account. Before you go, use the same preparation tips as with credit cards. Ask about protection, check for bank ATMs in your country or perhaps bank affiliates that won’t charge you to withdraw money.

Traveler’s Checks

I personally haven’t used this before, however it does offer its advantages and disadvantages as well. Traveler’s checks can be purchased in most foreign currencies, replaced if stolen or lost and was once the preferred and only way for travelers to take money abroad. Not any more. They come in handy, provided your vendor accepts them, in cases where your credit and debit cards won’t work. Nowadays, most merchants prefer payment via credit, debit cards or cash to traveler’s check. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to use unlike before. However, major hotel chains and merchants in major cities still accept them but don’t expect the local street vendor or craft store to do so. Before you go, give yourself ample time to purchase them as it can take days to process an order for traveler’s checks. There are fees associated with purchasing them but your home financial institution or primary place of banking might waive this fee. If you have AAA, you get to order your checks for FREE!. Make a copy of the check’s serial number and of the replacement policy and put in a safe location at home and in your suitcase just in case they get stolen or lost.

Cash

This is my choice of payment and I recommend using cash on your trip. It’s fast, widely acceptable and has no accompanying fees. You can either convert to the respective currency in your country of origin or at your destination. Don’t exchange all your money so you won’t have to change any leftover funds when you return home from your trip. Having local currency of your honeymoon destination gives you flexibility and option to get whatever you need regards of place of purchase. So local vendors, remote vendors, taxis etc. will take this form of payment and it eliminates extra or bloated prices associated with vendors seeing foreign currency. The biggest disadvantage with cash is that if it’s stolen or lost, you are out of luck. Before you go, check for the best exchange rates at your local bank. Exchanges at airports have high fees associated with them.

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