Traveling With Your Student Credit Card
By: Larry Goldberg
A student credit card can be quite helpful for meeting all of your needs. From downloading music online to eliminating the hassles of cash when you travel, a student credit card is certainly a necessity these days. However, should you choose to travel with your student credit card, there are several things you might want to keep in mind.
Choose the Right Card
If you plan to do a lot of traveling with your student credit card, the first thing you might want to do is choose the card that is best going to meet your needs. While you should certainly consider travel rewards cards to make your trip a bit cheaper, you should also look at things like cash advance fees for any ATMs you might stop at along the way and foreign transaction fees if you plan to head overseas in the near future. Find a card with the lowest fees for the things you’ll be needing on a regular basis is the best way to save some cash.
Talk To Your Credit Card Company
Before you head anywhere, even across the country, you need to place a call to your student credit card company. Because identity theft and other types of fraud are so prevalent these days, credit card companies will often place a hold on accounts that are being used in odd places. Notifying your company that you intend to be in a certain location can keep your credit card active even when they see charges from thousands of miles away coming through.
Be Aware of What You’re Carrying
Know what cards you have in your wallet, and be familiar with the numbers on each of them. Should you become the victim of a pickpocket or simply lose your wallet, knowing what your card numbers are and who to call will be of great help.
Special Tips When You’re Abroad
If you’re planning a semester abroad, there are a few things you need to consider in terms of your student credit card. First, when buying something, you might want to find out if the seller intends to complete a DCC, or dynamic currency conversion. This is the practice of converting the foreign currency to dollars as the transaction is made. This can cost you more with both your credit card company and the seller, so if at all possible, avoid this type of fee. Second, keep in mind that many train and bus stations abroad don’t use the magnetic swipe technology Americans do with their credit cards. They use a system by which chips are embedded into the credit cards themselves, and instead of a signature, you simply type in your PIN. The problem, though, is that American cards don’t use this technology, so you’ll have to find someone who can swipe your card for you at automated ticket booths and such.
Traveling with a student credit card can be very advantageous, but it’s also fraught with both financial and other types of danger. Be aware of your situation, hang onto your card, and have fun.
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