Five Tips for using your Debit Card Overseas

Electronic banking brought a fundamental change to the way I travel, no cashing traveller’s checks or quiet negotiations with wily money changers in foreign markets, just a debit card, credit card and a small emergency cash reserve. Follow these five tips for smart debit card use on your next vacation:

Use affiliated bank ATMs. Your bank has affiliate banks ion other countries and they usually wave transaction fees for your ATM withdrawal. Check with your local branch or the bank’s website.

Know your daily withdrawal limit. We changed our account to reduce fees without checking all the conditions. A year latter we found out our daily withdrawal limit had been reduced to $250 a day. Unfortunately, we were in Rome and reliant on cash transactions for most of our accommodation costs. We had to use a cash advance on the credit card, a very expensive alternative. Check your daily limit before you leave.

Advise your bank of your travel plans. Your bank is protecting your interests and will freeze accounts if unusual transactions suddenly appear in your statement. Advise your bank and credit card provider of your travel plans and carry contact numbers to resolve any problems whilst overseas.

Minimise your transactions. Fewer transactions reduce your exposure to fraud and fees.

Safeguard your card. Keep your debit card in your money belt with your passport and other valuable documents.