Tourism is a lucrative industry for most countries around the world, including Malaysia. For many people, it could be both expensive and addictive. It requires a lot of planning to make sure our comfort is maintained throughout the entire trip without breaking the bank. When it comes to keeping a balance in your spending, you can bring enough cash for your primary needs, e.g. food and transportation, and use a credit card to simplify your retail shopping. By paying with a credit card, you can track your spending more easily and will not have to deal with currency conversion. Plus, you will feel safer because credit cards are easier to keep and less prone to theft. Here are some ways to maximize your credit card usage while planning for your next trip:
- Collect Extra Mileage Rewards
Instead of paying your flight tickets, accommodations and other big shopping items with cash or debit cards, you can use your credit card to get more air miles. All you have to do is connect your frequent-flyer accounts to your credit card and earn reward points based on those purchases.
If you are an avid traveler, having a travel credit card is an excellent idea to boost your bonus points. Some travel cards like VISA Signature Card would offer discounts and competitive exchange rate on overseas transactions, as well as multiple bonus points on travel related purchases.
- Get Free Travel Insurance
Now that you are thinking of having a travel card under your name, choose a credit card with travel insurance coverage. Some issuers offer this benefit for eligible cardholders, which includes overseas travel and medical insurance. It could be an excellent addition to your existing travel insurance coverage. Before you go, check with your credit card issuer if you are eligible to get travel insurance coverage.
- Pay Online Transportation with Ease
Having a credit card is an easy way to access your money overseas, wherever the payment system is accepted electronically. For example, when you have just arrived in a foreign country and do not have a small amount of local currency for a bus or train ride, you can opt to order transportation from an online ridesharing app that is available in that country, i.e. Grab, Lyft or Uber.
- Choose to Pay in the Local Currency
Some countries have more advanced payment system than others, e.g. one that can give customers an option to choose the currency for payment. If you are offered this option, always pay in the local currency. That way you will not get charged a ridiculous amount of fee for converting to your home currency. Those small fees would add up and cost you a lot throughout your entire trip.
- Avoid Taking a Cash Advance
No matter where you are, using your credit card to take money out of an ATM is not a wise thing to do. Although your credit card issuer might add this feature as a benefit, it is subject to an additional cash-advance fee. If you really need instant cash, it would be better to use your debit card to withdraw money from your bank ATM, e.g. HSBC or CIMB, or from the MasterCard ATM network – the ones with MasterCard, Maestro, or Cirrus logo.
With these in mind, a credit card is a good payment option while you are traveling. Just make sure to inform your bank on your travel itinerary and carry their emergency hotline number at all times.