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How many Credit Cards should you bring?

Travel Forums General Talk How many Credit Cards should you bring?

1. Posted by Marcus1 (Full Member 129 posts) 8y

Is it it dangerous to bring 3 or 4, just in case I run out of limit on some of them? After VISA & Mastercard, what are the best to have?

2. Posted by Magnus J (Budding Member 20 posts) 8y

I only have a VISA

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2001 posts) 8y

Much depends on your credit limits? Credit cards used overseas can get expensive because, unlike at home, many merchants will tack on a fee for their use.

4. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 8y

Yes, like Daawgon says, it depends on your credit limit. However, I would bring one of each (Visa and Mastercard) plus a debit card. Just remember to keep one backup card separately in case you lost your wallet (touch wood!).

As for charges, so far from my experience, overseas merchants have never charged me extra as it's always in the local currency. But back home in Malaysia, some merchants may require a minimum purchase for credit cards. And then there are merchants with low profit margins (e.g. computer stores), they will pass on the credit card company commission of 2-3% on you, which they'll inform you in advance if you want to pay by credit card.

It's the card issuer who will do the currency exchange in your bill. So they may charge a little bit extra to cover any exchange rate fluctuations. Just so you know, UK's Nationwide doesn't charge anything for overseas withdrawals on its debit card. HSBC charges 2% (minimum £1.75 maximum £5.00) for its debit card overseas transactions but they waive it if you have the Bank Account Plus or the Premier account. Contact your card issuer for more info on how they charge overseas transactions.

One important thing: remember to inform all your debit and credit card issuers that you're travelling so that they don't block your card from overseas transactions and withdrawals.

5. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

Good advice.

Make sure your debit card is Maestro.

6. Posted by Marcus1 (Full Member 129 posts) 8y

My VISA Credit is €2500, so then what?

7. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 8y

Quoting Marcus1

My VISA Credit is €2500, so then what?

Ah... Irish, eh? I had been assuming you're from the UK, hence the reference on UK banks. Give some info in your profile! :)

If I were you, I will get a Mastercard (maybe request for a lower limit) and keep that separately as a backup card. As for debit/ATM card, you may want to open a separate account for travelling only and deposit a limited amount of money in it so that you can control your spending and also limit the damage in case anything untoward happen. You can ask someone you trust back home to help manage it by depositing more funds into that account when it's running low, or do online transfer (from your main account) by yourself if you are sure to have secure internet access.

8. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 8y

Oops... wrong info. reply removed.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 31, 2008, at 10:59 AM by Hien ]