Card or Cash When Travelling?

Card or Cash When Travelling?

The best way to keep money secure whilst travelling is to keep it in various places, meaning between cash cards, credit cards and cash itself.

  • ATM Card– An ideal way to get cash whenever it’s needed. It is better to open a travel account separate to the primary account used at home.  Looking for the best online bank account to transfer money easily from one account to another is a great way to avoid the turmoil of losing all money should something go wrong. Also, looking for banks that are part of the Global Alliance means that using any one of the partner banks cash machines will not incur a fee. It’s worth bearing in mind that the exchange rate for withdrawing money from a cash machine is often better than most currency exchange centres. To keep costs to a minimum, it’s always a good idea to withdraw large amounts of money rather than going back to the machine time and time again each day.
  • Credit Card – Great for large purchases and emergencies. Users should always notify the credit card company of their plans to travel to avoid disappointing moments where the company blocks the card for “suspicious activity” when they see it being used abroad.
  • Cash– The money that talks. Cash is quick and convenient and can often be responsible for lowering prices due to companies not having to pay debit and credit card fees. Even though fees are kept low by withdrawing large amounts of cash at a time, money should be kept on the person in small amounts. It’s also better to keep money in different places about the body. For example in a concealed pocket, money belt, socks, etc. You may even want to consider travellers checks if the situation calls for it.

It pays to have the right Apps

There are many mobile applications that can help manage the finances of a traveller. Banks are constantly upgrading their applications in order for customers to be able to deposit, transfer and check funds without having to make a costly call to customer services. People can find out where the nearest cash machine is in the area or with some apps, even take a photo of a check to deposit it to their bank account.

In the UK, the most major banks have iPhone apps, which are a useful way to keep a track of your spending (all you need is a WIFI connection), and for our US counterparts Mint.com is known to be a very good budget tracker. Lots of pretty graphs and tables to see where your spend is going each month.

Never has it been so easy to make the money last the distance when travelling abroad. So making a little extra preparation on your financial planning goes a long when out on the road.