Believe it or not I have never had a credit card!! But now Im thinking when I go travelling its a good idea to have one. Im planning on opening a Nationwide account but im just worried if my account was hacked into or in some other way jepodised I would not be able to claim my money back. This has happened to me before and because I didnt have a credit card the bank wouldnt refund me my money.
Also how do credit cards work (yes I know I sound like a martian!) is it like having a bank account or is it like a store card where you pay off month by month? And what credit card do you all think is best to get??
A credit card is not a bad idea to have at all.
Credit cards work by having a certain $$ figure which is credited to you. So basically lent to you. If you're credit card has a $1,000 limit for instance, then ou have up to $1,000 to you at your disposal. The only downside to all of this is that the interest rate put onto the amount of money you owe back is always very high, so you end up paying a lot of extra money back just with intrest alone.
If you can pay off the credit card as soon as possible then it is fine to have.
Take in fact that you will have to establish a credit rating to allow the bank to give you a credit card with a decent credit limit. So the sooner you get your credit card and start using it (even on small purchases), the higher your credit rating may be at the time of your trip.
The best type of card to get is the one with the lowest interest rate and lowest Foreign Exchange rate / Foreign Transaction Fee.
Depending on where you live, there might be a really good deal.
But make sure that you get a credit card which is widely accepted. Such as Visa or Mastercard.
I would also recommend getting a card with a FIXED APR instead of the perks. If you plan to pay off the card every month (good for you) then the perk cards are OK...I will only go with fixed because especially after traveling and the best budgeting, I always spend more than I think and have a balance left over at the end of the month.
I would STRONGLY suggest getting a credit card for traveling - anywhere. It's a nice security blanket. Just make sure that you are aware of your credit limit and consider that exchange rates may affect this. Also, know how much your credit card will charge you for each purchase (a transaction fee of sorts, or exchange fee..whatever they call it). If you have a question - ask it before traveling.
One other point to bear in mind, credit card companies are starting to reject transactions which don't match your normal spending pattern ...i.e. if you go out of the country. This is one of the ways they're trying to cut back on fraud, but makes it difficult for travelling - so you now need to advise you bank when you're going away apparently.
I met a couple recently who'd had all sorts of problems with their cards whilst abroad and had run up big phone bills having to call the bank each time they needed to get transactions authorised....so best to have a backup / alternative.
Thanks for your replies! I dont really intend on using it and im planning on getting it just for emergencies.
Im also planning on getting a Nationwide debit account, does anyone know if they cover for stolen details/cards?